Albert Zamora is a conjunto bandleader, songwriter, producer, and multi-instrumentalist known internationally for his virtuoso abilities on the accordion. The founder and frontman for Talento, he established himself by infusing conjunto with rock & roll energy, charts, and funky backbeats. The band's intense live show plays to sold-out houses and at festivals on both sides of the Texas border and throughout the American Southwest.
Zamora hails from Corpus Christi, Texas and grew up in a household immersed in music. He began singing professionally at age four and through his younger years and adolescence took on and mastered the drums, guitars, piano, and trumpet. Despite his abilities, the one instrument he longed to play proved the most difficult -- the accordion, due to its imprecise notes. Nonetheless, by the time he was in his late teens he accomplished it and formed Talento, who have backed him ever since. Their debut recording, Road to Respect for Hacienda, was issued in 1995 and featured the regional hit single "La Prieta Casada." Zamora followed it with another studio effort entitled Tuff Enuf, as well as the live set Believe the Hype the same year. In 1998, their song "Quien Mas Te Adora" was chosen as song of the year by radio in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon. Several more albums appeared during the '90s, but it was in the 21st century that the group stepped up its live game due to near constant touring and rehearsals.
Zamora issued two recordings that focused on his innovative accordion style -- Accordion Prince and the compilation Accordion Dreams in 2001 and 2002, respectively. In 2002, he and Talento also delivered tracks to the groundbreaking Conjunto Cumbias. The band continued to tour and release records for Hacienda until 2004 when they signed to Freddie Records and issued the groundbreaking Sueño Seductor. Que Viva La Musica de Acordeon followed in 2006 amid intensive touring that took the band across the continental U.S. In 2009, they were nominated for a Grammy for the previous year's Heir to the Throne.
While there is no mainstream chart success for most Tejano and conjunto acts, there doesn't need to be. The genres have their own regional radio stations and record stores on both sides of the U.S. border, and a fanatical following for their music. Zamora and Talento have never had a problem getting their recordings across to fans while, thanks to radio, winning a steady stream of new ones. Zamora spent time producing and arranging for other artists while keeping a full-time schedule with Talento on the road. After 2010's Acordeon Sin Fronteras, Zamora didn't record again until 2013's critically acclaimed Ayer y Hoy. In January of 2017, a new single entitled "Cervezas al Aire" was issued by Freddie, and later that month, Zamora announced via his Facebook page that he had completed the final two songs of a new album. In July, the full-length A Living Legacy arrived. ~ Thom Jurek, Rovi