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The 63rd annual Cotulla Woman’s Club Honors Banquet will be held at 6 p.m. Thursday, February 16, in the Betty Avant Cafetorium on the high school campus to recognize the academic achievements of the top three students in each of the school’s four grade levels.
The popular event includes a speech by a Cotulla alumnus, and this year’s keynote address will be given by Leroy Esparza, a 1997 graduate who pursued a successful career in the music industry and has earned a number of accolades for his work.
Tickets for the banquet are currently available at $10 apiece from any Woman’s Club member and from treasurer Marcena Martinez at the high school cafetorium.
Esparza is a musician and entrepreneur with over 20 years in the Tejano music industry and 13 years as a business owner in San Antonio.
Born in Laredo and raised in Encinal, Esparza graduated from Cotulla High School and earned a bachelor’s degree in Music Education from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio.
While pursuing his degree, he performed professionally throughout San Antonio and surrounding areas with bands such as Eddie Guerrero (Freddie Records), and Conjunto Sereno.
Upon graduating from St. Mary’s, Esparza began to teach private music lessons in San Antonio, which provided him the flexibility to continue his professional career as a touring musician.
As a professional musician, he has had the opportunity to tour with Elida Reyna (Tejas Records, 2003-2006), Sunny Sauceda y Todo Eso (Tejas Records/Solstice Records, 2007-2012), AJ Castillo (2013-2019, AJ Castillo Inc.), and Bobby Pulido (2022 to present).
Over the course of his musical career, Esparza has garnered three Grammy nominations (American) and two Latin Grammy nominations with Solstice Records recording artist Sunny Sauceda y Todo Eso.
In 2010, he founded LJE Music Lessons, a music academy providing one-on-one music instruction to students of all ages in San Antonio. Since its beginning, LJE Music Lessons has become a standard to follow in private music education. Esparza is the director of one of San Antonio’s longest-running summer rock band camps, Summer Jam. This June will mark Summer Jam’s 11th anniversary. Esparza will be taking his rock band camp on its first national tour to Nashville, Tennessee, this summer.
On January 7 this year, Esparza was inducted into the Tejano Roots Hall of Fame (Class of 2022), and became the fifth recipient of the Greg Paredez Bajo Sexto Award.
Esparza currently lives in San Antonio with his wife and two sons.