Paying tribute to a music legend Jimmy Gonzalez

For the family and friends of James “Jimmy” Gonzalez, losing him last week was more than difficult, he was the rock of his family and the rock of his band Jimmy Gonzalez and Grupo Mazz.

This past Monday at the Brownsville Events Center, the Gonzalez family greeted fans from across the country. Fans lined up waiting to express their respect and condolences to the music man’s family and his children. The visitation was at 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. It was a time to celebrate the life of a musical legend.

The Brownville Herald reports there are some sweet sounds coming down from heaven.

“There’s quite a band up there right now,” said Tommy Gonzalez, brother to the late Tejano legend Jimmy Gonzalez, 67, a Brownsville native, who died last week in San Antonio.

Jimmy Gonzalez of Jimmy Gonzalez y Grupo Mazz was a Grammy Award-winning musician who had several record hits, not only with Grupo Mazz but also with Joe Lopez y El Grupo Mazz.

Gonzalez died of cardiac arrest in San Antonio, Texas.

Tommy Gonzalez share his thoughts with the Brownsville Herald, “You know, people talk about celebrating, yes, we want to celebrate his music, but it’s very hard because we have a lot of memories, we have a lot of memories,” Tommy said, tearing up. But Jimmy’s legacy is not lost on his family or on his friends and family all across the country.

“His whole life he succeeded,” Tommy said. “That’s what he set out to accomplish.”

The passing of Jimmy Gonzalez hit hard here in Kansas City for area band leader David Tinoco of Las Estrellas who has been performing Grupo Mazz songs for years. Tinoco said he knew Jimmy was dealing with health issues. “He always gave 100 percent to his performances.” Tinoco added the band enjoyed playing and singing Grupo Mazz songs because Jimmy was a great writer of Tejano music and a great story teller for his music and we want to play his music.

KKFI- FM radio DJ Viviana Medellin told Hispanic News her listeners were always requesting Jimmy Gonzalez and Grupo Mazz music. Not one Taste of Tejano show went by that the DJ’s didn’t play one of Grupo Mazz songs.

Medellin told Hispanic News, Jimmy’s passing is a big lost to her and her listeners, “Jimmy music was very popular on my show. I met him in San Antonio, Texas years ago and in Las Vegas I kept up with all of his music…I probably have all of his music. He even wrote a song called Mi Voy Pa Kansas City.

So when some of my friends, Rita and Johnny Rey Garcia, come up from Houston, they say play me that song Mi Voy Pa Kansas City, so I did. All of his music has been a tremendous hit in Kansas City.

Ingenuity CEO David Chavez said fans lost one of the very best musician when Jimmy Gonzalez passed away. “One of the most iconic singers, writers and performers in Tejano music history.

Jimmy Gonzalez Grupo Mazz in Las Vegas was huge…Mazz did not perform that much out of the state of Texas, so when I would have the group on the West Coast the fans would really come out.

When asked what made Jimmy special to you as a promoter?  “Jimmy had his sons in the band, and as part of his management team, so I would get to work with the whole family.  After 3 years of working together we really got to know each other.  Jimmy appreciated our special treatment such as having the state of Nevada recognize Jimmy Gonzalez with a day named after him and his surprise birthday recognition on stage.”

Chavez believes Jimmy Gonzalez and Grupo Mazz will go down in history as one of the greatest artist of Tejano music. “Yes, because as a founder of Mazz, this pioneering group was at the forefront of changing the music from orchestras (horns) to keyboard based, along with La Mafia,”said Chavez.