Celebrate 2019 NEA National Heritage Fellows Las Tesoros de San Antonio!

By Paulette Beete
two older women in fancy gowns singing

Las Tesoros de San Antonio—Beatriz (La Paloma del Norte) Llamas and Blanquita (Blanca Rosa) Rodríguez. Photo courtesy of Esperanza Peace & Justice Center

Beatriz “La Paloma del Norte” Llamas and Blanca “Blanquita Rosa” Rodríguez are the surviving members of Las Tesoros de San Antonio, a group of elder women performers who teamed up to preserve Mexican and bicultural musical expressions through their singing and storytelling. Along with Janet “Perla Tapatia” Cortez and Rita “La Calandria” Vidaurri, Llamas and Rodríguez each had incredible singing careers that soared both locally and internationally in the 1940s–1960s before tapering off in later years. Through the Esperanza Peace & Justice Center in San Antonio, these women reemerged and teamed up as the group Las Tesoros in the 2000s. Although Janet “Perla Tapatia” Cortez and Rita “La Calandria” Vidaurri passed away in recent years, Llamas and Rodríguez continue to perform and continue the legacy of the group.

All four women grew up in the Westside of San Antonio, Texas. Each singer, with her personal style and grace, forms part of this unique ensemble that represents the important sound of the Mexico/Texas border. They were all inspired by and connected to many other important Tejana singers, including the great Lydia Mendoza (1982 NEA National Heritage Fellow) and the internationally renowned Eva Garza. MORE...

Join us as we celebrate Las Tesoros de San Antonio and the other 2019 NEA National Heritage Fellows at a free concert on Friday, September 20 at 8:00 PM ET. Watch live at Shakespeare Theatre Company's Sidney Harman Hall or online at arts.gov. Find ticket and other information here.