ENTERTAINMENT//MUSIC & STAGE
The Tejano music scene is remembering Noe "Gipper" Nieto, a Kumbia Kings veteran who died after a two-week battle with COVID-19.
Nieto, or "Gip," as friends like A.B. Quintanilla and Chris Perez call him, was an accordionist and producer. He played with Quintanilla in Los Kumbia Kings and then joined him in the Kumbia Kings All Starz following the breakup, according to Tejano Nation.
According to his obituary, Nieto was born in Columbus, Georgia, but moved often with his military family. He eventually called San Perlita, a small town in South Texas, home. The 46-year-old recently married Kelly Nieto. Nieto is the father of three children.
A.B. Quintanilla's social media pages reflect the loss.
"I never had a brother till I met 'Gipper,'" he says online.
One post by Quintanilla, the older brother of late Tejano icon Selena, says Nieto battled the infection for two weeks.
"He was my best friend and amazing musician and will be truly missed," another post says.
Quintanilla family patriarch Abraham Quintanilla also shared his condolences for the Nieto family online and encouraged vaccinations.
Chris Perez is also remembering Nieto online. He says the fellow musician was "close" to his heart. The rocker, who was married to Selena at the time of her 1995 death, says he found out about Nieto's death just before going on stage for a Dallas concert. Perez says performing after hearing the news was "tough."
Bobby Pulido, another Tejano hitmaker of the 1990s, says online that he's heartbroken by the loss of a "tremendous human being."In addition to sharing his talent with Latin music fans, Nieto also worked with young musicians. San Perlita Independent School District shared that he was a former student who returned as an employee as an instructor for the ACE after school program and "shared his love of music and immense talents with our children."
Noe ‘Gipper’ Nieto Jr of Kumbia Kings All Starz passes away from COVID-19 complications
Kumbia Kings, AB Quintanilla mourns the death of one of its members
Noe "Gipper" Nieto Jr.