Last March, shortly after Grupo Vida appeared for the University of Toledo’s annual Latino Student Union Scholarship Baile, the Tejano music scene was buzzing with the news that Sunny and Grupo Vida parted ways after completing their recording commitment and seven year relationship with Tejas Records.
It was, however, at least publicly, a friendly departure.
Sauceda took the opportunity to re-sign a multi-record solo deal with Tejas Records. He immediately got into the studio to record and at the same time formed a top-notch, high-energy group to carry his accordion based live show and recording career to new levels.
Sauceda is considered to be one of the best accordion players in the world and the list of the accomplishments that led up to this new solo career is long and impressive. Sunny performed across the country as part of the record breaking “Fly” tour with the Dixie Chicks and Grupo Vida. He has received “Best Accordionist” recognition from both the T.T.M.A and T.E.M.A. He has one of the top endorsement relationships with Hohner and has traveled internationally to do clinics and endorsement performances. In 2005, he received a Grammy Award for Best Tejano Album, which was a CD-collaboration with David Lee Garza and Joel Guzmán.
Over the past 10 years, fans have been spellbound by Sauceda’s stage performances, one of forces behind Grupo Vida’s many well-deserved “Show band of the Year” honors at the Tejano Music Awards.
Tony T. Samarripa, of KXTQ in Lubbock, TX, one of Texas’ top program directors, says, “It’s exciting to watch because he’s young and has time still to become the best accordionist we’ve ever had." Tejano hit-maker and long time friend, Eddie González, “It’s the best thing that could have happened. Now he’ll have the creative freedom he needs.”
Vida is compromised of Art Tigerina (lead vocals), Tim Villanueva (drums), Jason Martínez (guitar, accordion, drums), Rick Vega (bass guitar), Javier Sauceda (keys, acoustic guitar, vocals), John Villanueva (percussion), and Sunny’s replacement, Joel Vásquez, accordion).
According to Vida’s general manager, John Villanueva, “This Tejano, Country mix is what the public has been demanding from us, with Vida’s renditions of Freddie Fender’s Wasted Days and Wasted Nights, Cash’s Folsom Prison, and Willie Nelson’s On the Road Again.”