By Herman Martinez | For The Citizen

RUBÉN Domínguez recalls converting the musical teachings provided by his father, Ramón, and his uncle Ryan Domínguez into a focused pursuit of guitar and vocals. His repertoire, which began with tunes of the Eagles, evolved to build on the classics by Daniel Valdez and now includes the music of Red River’s Michael Hearne.

“I loved traveling with my mother, María Trujillo Domínguez, in my youth, leaving Española and traveling throughout northern New Mexico to attend my father’s performances as a member of the Santa Fe-based musical Trío Zía… My father taught me chord progressions and song melodies and my uncle taught me guitar leads.”

Experiencing the loss of both parents in a span of eight years, Rubén came to Manassa in the San Luis Valley to live with his godparents, Alberto and Rosa Vialpando. At his new home environment, Rubén naturally engaged himself in the musical pursuits of Los Cancioneros del Valle, who had just premiered a two-CD set “Dos Voces, Dos Guitarras – Tradicional.”

Los Cancioneros del Valle was a duo comprised of his tía Rosa and her uncle (Rubén’s great uncle), Salomón López of San Antonio. Rubén transitioned into the family’s ensemble, converting it to Trío Los Cancioneros del Valle, while attending Centauri High School. Rubén received Recognition Music Awards, performing at the New Mexico Hispano Music Association Youth Talent Competition in Española and Pan American Day at Adams State University. 

Upon high school graduation he enrolled at ASU in Alamosa and continued his musical pursuits with the university’s Jazz Band and Corazón del Valle Mariachi ensemble programs, in addition to forming his variety band, the Sol Boyz.

Rubén announced on Feb. 25 at Society Hall that Trío Cancioneros del Valle is anxiously awaiting the debut of their recently recorded CD titled “Serenata” that will be released early this spring.

El Premio Hilos Culturales award presentation completes a cycle of three honors for Trío Los Cancioneros del Valle: 2009 recipient – Salomón López; 2017 – Rosa Vialpando; and 2021 – Rubén R. Domínguez.

 Photo of Rubén Domínguez courtesy Herman Martinez