The group includes experienced and talented musicians from the Rio Grande Valley in south Texas, including: Rudy Garza, Jr. – keyboard; Manuel Ybarra - accordion, David Champion, Jr. – bajo sexto; Juan Miguel Cruz - bass; Oscar Rios - electric guitar, and, AJ Espinoza – drums. Together, we have created a unique style of Tejano Conjunto music.
Rudy Garza, Jr. is keyboardist and vocalist for Virginia y Valor, and he is also a composer. He has performed and composed songs for Alma Pulido, Bobby Pulido, and La Preferencia. In the 1980s, Rudy performed with Romance and also with Cali Carranza, and had the opportunity to perform with Cali Carranza at the Tejano Roots Hall of Fame Awards Ceremony. He has traveled to perform with Tejano music groups across the US and Mexico for audiences ranging to the tens of thousands. In the mid-2000's, Rudy was nominated keyboard player of the year for the Tejano Music Awards.
David Champion is a lifelong supporter of Tejano Conjunto music and has dedicated a significant amount of time to researching, documenting, and conducting public presentations about music. He narrated portions of Accordion Dreams, a documentary produced by Hector Galan of Galan Productions, co-produced Taquachito Nights, a collaborative CD that was sponsored by the Smithsonian Institution’s Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage. Together with Virginia, they have conducted various educational events showcasing Tejano Conjunto Music. He is the proud spouse of the vocalist for the group and joins the band on bajo sexto.
Juan Miguel Cruz, bassist and vocalist for Virginia y Valor, has performed professionally since the age of 15. In addition to bass, he also plays bajo sexto. He performed with Feliz Trevino y Los Imperiales under the management of legendary Radio Broadcaster, Martin Rosales. In the 1970s, he performed with Narciso Martinez who is a recognized icon and legendary Tejano Conjunto musician. He has performed across the states. In Michigan, he performed with Juan Arrellada y Los Cuatro Imanes and formed a group with his sister called Los Hermanos Cruz and later Los Proximos. Juan has performed throughout the Rio Grande Valley with Fruty Villarreal y Los Mavericks. On August 31, 2019, Juan received an Ambassador Honorary Award from the South Texas Conjunto Association for his dedication and support in preserving South Texas Cultural music at the 9th Annual Freddie Gomez Conjunto Memorial Concert in Brownsville, Texas. Juan Cruz recently had a double lung transplant, yet continues to persevere and has maintained strong vocals along with his tremendous musical talent.
Oscar Rios, electric guitarist, is son to Virginia and has played the guitar since he was 10 years old. Born and raised in Weslaco, Texas, Oscar has been surrounded by musical influences his entire life. He played electric guitar in a band while in high school named Revelo. Oscar is a full-time college student studying Computer Science.
Alex "AJ" Espinosa is our youngest talent who is currently 15 years old and has been playing drums since he was about 3 years old. He brings great vitality to our group's sound and demonstrates that Tejano Conjunto music is alive and well in today's younger generation and will continue to live on!
Benny Layton, Jr. hails from Edcouch Elsa and is on to the late great Benny Layton, Sr. who performed with Los Hermanos Layton for over fifty years. Benny, Jr. plays drums and guitar, and went from being drummer to outstanding up and coming accordionist, following the footsteps of his father. Benny works full time at a college in Education Technology and is often seen setting-up and monitoring sound systems for large events. Benny is also a part-time college student and has recently shifted his role to being our Sound Engineer for performances while he completes his degree.
Adelante y Con Ganas!