Tuesday January 02, 2018

René Kladzyk's musical tribute to the El Paso-Juárez border

René Kladzyk (aka Ziemba) on the bridge between El Paso, Texas and Juárez, Mexico.

René Kladzyk (aka Ziemba) on the bridge between El Paso, Texas and Juárez, Mexico. (René Kladzyk)

Listen 9:22

When musician René Kladzyk's father fell in love with a woman from Juárez, Mexico Kladzyk didn't realize her whole identity was about to change. The family moved to El Paso, Texas right across the border from Juárez. From that point on Kladzyk became a "fronterizo" — a borderlander. The border defines life in El Paso and Juárez. Whether it be the violence of drug cartels creating a looming darkness over daily life or the beauty of blending cultures in Tejano music, the border's influence is inescapable.

Today, René Kladzyk, who performs as Ziemba, takes us from Marty Robbins to Selena, through the dangers and beauty of life on the edge, in a special q Block Party for the El Paso–Juárez border.

Below are Kladzyk's song picks.


Ziemba, 'El Paso'

Bobby Fuller Four, 'I Fought The Law'

Selena, 'Bidi Bidi Bom Bom'

Marty Robbins, 'El Paso'

Khalid, 'Winter'

Produced by Ben Jamieson