Aztex is led by Joel Guzman and Sarah Fox, a couple who have joined forces in matrimony as well as in their musical endeavors. Both have strong family ties to music. Guzman was a child prodigy on the accordion whose nickname when he performed and recorded with his father was the Little Giant, or el Pequeno Gigante. Vocalist Fox is the daughter of a Mexican vocalist mother and a Cuban father. Before they officially met, Fox had heard her future husband's music at home in Texas on her radio. Both Guzman and Fox later found work as session musicians, and both were music students in college, where they each concentrated on classical and jazz studies. They worked on Tejano recordings released by artists who include Ruben Ramos and Ram Herrera and went on to establish and run a production company to provide film scores and also to work on commercial advertisements. In addition to the couple, Aztex also includes Brian Sebastian on drums and percussion and Kevy Rojas on guitar. The producer who helped los Lobos earn a Grammy for its album Los Super Seven, Steve Berlin, came on board with Aztex to produce the group's Short Stories album. The bilingual recording blends elements of Mexico's traditional music with the American flavors of blues, rock, country, and jazz. Half a dozen of the release's 11 numbers are original compositions. Fox counts among her influences such diverse artists as Billie Holiday, Tito Puente, Chaka Khan, Etta James, Celia Cruz, Aretha Franklin, and Tania Maria. Before forming Aztex, Guzman spent time as part of Little Joe, Johnny y la Familia.
Share this page