By FRANCISCO E. JIMENEZ
Sergio Gonzalez, 33, a 1998 graduate of San Benito High School, brought home a Latin Grammy Award for his production on the album “25 Concierto Conmemorativo,” a live Spanish-Language Christian album by world-renowned recording artist Marcos Witt.
Gonzalez is originally from Dallas, but he moved to San Benito when he was nine-years-old, attending Landrum Elementary and Miller Jordan Middle School before attending San Benito High School. It was while he was in high school that he found a job at a local recording studio, a path that would lead him to the Latin Grammy Awards.
“While I was in high school I started recording, producing records and stuff,” said Gonzalez. “I’ve been a musician since I was four-years-old, playing piano. When I was in high school, that’s when I started doing record production. As soon as I graduated I was already in the business.”
Gonzalez worked at a recording studio in Edinburg called Sunrise Recording Studios, the same studio that had recorded local Tejano artists including Elida Reyna and Letty Guval.
“This was all when I was 16-years-old, I was a sophomore in high school,” Gonzalez said. “(Right after high school) I started touring. I kept on going with the music production. I got married, I moved to San Antonio when I was 22. A few years after that I met this guy that I travel with now, his name is Marcos Witt.”
Since the two met, Gonzalez has worked on three of Witt’s albums – the award-winning album “Alegría,” and his 2008 album “Sobrenatural” before receiving his own Latin Grammy nomination for production on Witt’s 2011 album “25 Concierto Conmemorativo.”
“It was a 25th anniversary album where we compiled 25 years of music. We recorded it live at Lakewood Church in Houston. It was recorded in February 2011, and then it was released later on that year,” Gonzalez said. “(I found out I was nominated) a few months after it was released. We actually missed the Grammys that year. We released the album after the cutoff for the 2011 Grammys, so we had to wait for next year.”
The Latin Grammy awards were held on Thursday, November 15, in Las Vegas, Nevada. Gonzalez described what it felt like to win a Grammy Award and be onstage to accept the award.
“It was crazy because I went up there with (Witt) to receive it,” Gonzalez said. “It was very emotional. You see the guys who receive the awards on TV and speaking; well I ended up receiving one and got to speak a little. It was kind of cool, surreal if anything.”
With a Grammy Award now sitting on his shelf at home, Gonzalez focuses his attention toward his upcoming projects; among those is a new tour with Witt as well as possibly recording a live album in December in Mexico City.
Gonzalez attributes all of his success to his Christian faith. With so much going on since winning the award, Gonzalez still remembers his hometown where his parents, Saul and Rosalinda Gonzalez still live along with siblings.
“Sometimes we see that we’re from a little town. Almost nobody knows us unless they’re from the Valley,” Gonzalez said. “It’s just overwhelming to think that somebody from a little town like that could achieve anything, much less winning a Grammy. You can do anything you really want to do. You can be from New York or you can be from San Benito. If you want it, you get it. It doesn’t depend on where you’re from. It depends on your desire to succeed.”