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Local Tejano Star Headed to the Grammys

By: Jennifer Cavazos
By: Jennifer Cavazos

Grupo Vida is one of the hottest Tejano acts the country. Their stage performance is “wow”-ing audiences who are used to a more traditional Tejano style.

Art Tigerina is the lead singer of the group and was born and raised in Bryan. They've recently been recognized for their latest album, with their first Grammy nod for Vida-Live.

"I guess it really hasn't hit me until I guess ‘til I’m sitting there and you see all the stars around me. Then maybe I'll be like now this is pretty cool. It’s exciting for me, but my family and sisters are more excited than I am," says Tigerina.

Grupo Vida is up against some Tejano legends, including David Lee and Jay Perez. Tigerina says it’s quite an honor to be in the same category the artists he admires so much. As a kid, he would spend hours listening to their music and dreaming of being on stage.

"When we were young, we'd play outside. We'd beat on some cans and stuff. The microphone would be a broom," says brother, Jesse Tigerina.

It wasn't long before those dreams started to come true.

"I had a little country and western band, played little beer joints here, in Hearne, Navasota, and Caldwell and from there I started hanging around more with my brothers and finally they let me sing a song with them at one of their gigs," says Tigerina.

A mechanic by trade, he made his way to the Alamo City where Tejano stars are born. He slept in his car for about a month and fixed vehicles on the side to make ends meet. The youngest of 10, Tigerina got a call that would change his life. Members of Eddie Gonzalez's band were looking for a lead singer.

"I auditioned, they said we'll call you, a couple days went by, I went back to sing a couple more songs. In about a week time before they said you got the job," says Tigerina.

They expanded their audience when they were asked to tour with the Dixie Chicks a few years ago. It’s been uphill every since.

Grupo Vida brings back the traditional accordion style mixed in with a hip-hop Cumbia flare.

"Its hard to say where its going. It just depends what the people want at the time and it’s like an evolution thing. It comes around," says Tigerina.

Grupo Vida has received several Tejano Music Awards, but never been considered for a Grammy. Not bad for a boy from Bryan.

"When I come back home, I'll be somewhere out eating and people will come up and say hi. I'm still the same guy I was when I was here, that's just the way I am. I'm real humble and even when I play gigs I always represent. Hey I’m Art from Bryan/College Station."

A small town boy, with humble beginnings is looking forward to what the future could hold.


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