Esteban "Steve" Jordan / Feb 23, 1939 - Aug 13, 2010

The "Jimi Hendrix of the accordion", Steve Jordan in fact claimed to play 35 instruments (he even played guitar in Willie Bobo's band in the mid-'60s!). He was also a good singer and could even play the cello.

He was born to migrant farm workers in Texas and learned accordion as a partially-blind kid, becoming professional at a very young age although he didn't record until the late '50s. He recorded some great soul, blues and even doo-wop early on (check out his version of "Ain't No Big Thing" by The Radiants).

He took his conjunto's music and fused it with rock, jazz, soul, mambo, country, polka, cumbia and blues. He put his accordion through electronic effects to get new sounds and eventually the Hohner corporation designed an instrument to his specifications. His music often involved his whole family playing in the band. "El Parche" (he has an eye-patch) is one of the greats of Tex-Mex music.

Check out his cover of War's "Why Can't We Be Friends":

Another fun one:

And here's the aforementioned Radiants cover:

And check out this live performance of George Benson's "Clockwise":

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