Saturday, January 31, 2009

Latino musicians honor former teacher

Latino musicians honor former teacher
By Jennifer Torres Record Staff Writer January 30, 2009

STOCKTON - At a banquet hall on South Lincoln Street, Consuelo Najera, a singer, paused on stage.

"We are going to continue this memorial for Don Tino Carreon with another song," he said in Spanish. "Let's go."

Faustino "Tino" Carreon, who lived in south Stockton and offered lessons and advice to neighborhood boys who aspired to play conjunto, mariachi and other forms of Mexican and Mexican-American music, died Jan. 23 of cancer. He was 69.

On Thursday, former students - such as Najera - played in honor of their teacher and friend as relatives watched, tapped their feet, hugged Carreon's wife, Marina.

"He played all kinds of instruments," said Roberto Carrasco, Carreon's stepson. "He loved all Mexican music."

Carrasco said his stepfather was born in the United States, close to the Mexican border, in 1939. He grew up in Oxnard, moved to San Jose and then to Stockton.

He gave free music lessons, Carrasco said, because "it was his dream. Because he really loved the music."

Near the stage Thursday, dozens of snapshots were mounted on bulletin boards. They showed Carreon smiling in dark sunglasses, and his students - behind microphone stands, with guitars strapped around their necks, with accordions between their arms.

Carrasco said one of his stepfather's favorite songs was "Renunciacion," which begins, "I don't want to see you crying."

When he found out he had cancer, he told his family he wanted the funeral to be a celebration, Carrasco said.

"He wanted to rest in peace, but with music."

Jennifer Torres at (209) 546-8252 or

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