Tony "Ham" Guerrero , the trumpeter whose Grammy-nominated band, Tortilla Factory, was a groundbreaking mix of musical genres, died Saturday .
The 66-year-old battled diabetes for years and had a heart attack Jan. 10 . He fell into a weeklong coma, awoke, then suffered from pneumonia in recent days, said Sergio Guerrero , a close family friend not related to the musician.
Guerrero was born in San Angelo and raised by his grandparents, who started him on trumpet lessons when he was 8 years old. He went on to the well-regarded Berklee College of Music in Boston.
In 1968, he joined Little Joe (Hernandez) and the Latinaires and later formed the Tortilla Factory, a band that blended jazz, Latin music, funk, rock and more into a new sound, friends said. The band recorded 20 albums and "attained legendary status," Sergio Guerrero said.
After a 23 -year hiatus, Tortilla Factory reunited in 2006 to raise money for a terminally ill band member, Tony Guerrero said in a 2009 Statesman profile. The band later recorded an album , "All That Jazz" , that met with critical acclaim and a Grammy nomination. In December , the band's "Cookin" album received a Grammy nomination for Best Tejano Album.
A tribute concert previously planned for Guerrero will still happen today from 2 to 6 p.m. at H & H Ballroom , 4404 Brandt Road .
Guerrero is survived by a wife, three sons and two daughters, Sergio Guerrero said. . Funeral arrangements are pending.
Published in Austin American-Statesman on Jan. 30, 2011