Saturday, October 24, 2009

Saturday: A Great Day For Latino Events in Austin

Good Saturday to you all! If you re in Austin, you have zero reason to stay home today. Zero reason. All day and night in The Live Music Capital, there will be the usual array of great touring acts and local bands playing downtown. Today is extra special as Latino events dominate the music scene and art world here in Austin as the city celebrate Dia De Los Muertos, or All Souls Day. A national Mexican holiday tradition celebrated by many Mexican-Americans, Dia De Los Muertos is dedicated to our  family and friends who have passed. Many traditions like pan de muerto (a special sweet bread pastry) and  building of shrines are just a couple of the many traditions of Dia De Los Muertos. The holiday itself typically on the first day or two of November.

Here in Austin, our annual Dia De Los Muertos tradition is the annual Dia De Los Muertos parade put on by The Mexic-Arte. This year's festivities are titled "Viva La Vida Fest". Austin Vida is a proud media sponsor this year for the event, which looks to be just as amazing as it is every year. Everything gets started at 2:00 with live performers, ballet folkoricos, Teatro Vivo and more. Here's what happens around 2:00 as far as entertainment.

Teatro Vivo - 3:15-3:30 PM
St. Edward's Ballet Folklorico - 4:15-4:30 PM
Los Hijos de Janitzio - 4:30-4:45 PM
Roy Lozano's Ballet Folklorico - 7:15-7:30 PM

The Parade begins at 5:00 over at Plaza Saltillo on the East Side. The parade runs through 6th street and comes back around to the Mexic-Arte on 5th and Congress. The parade is one the only time a parade in Austin one ups the parades in San Antonio, home to the best parades in the state of Texas. People comes in their Dia De Los Muertos costumes, make elaborate floats and really go all out. For music, Viva La Vida Fest will feature headliners Bocastria and Charanga Cakewalk. Here is a video by Austin Vida of Charanaga Cakewalk performing at World Music night at Momo's presented by Bemba Entertainment.

Speaking of Bemba Entertainment,the third annual Xemumba Fest (prnounced like "sha-moom-ba) takes place over on the East Side at Kenny Dorham's Back Yard on 1106 E. 11th. Bemba Entertainment owner and Xemumba founder, Brandon Badillo, was profiled this week by Austin Vida staff writer Alysha Hernandez. be sure and check out the links below to find out more.

The music of Xemumba has a Latin American focus, but is quite diverse none the less. Krudas Cubensi are Cuban MCs who spit rhymes en Espanol with island flavor that could only come from island natives. There is also music from Brazil and a great local salsa band (El Tule) fronted by a gringo believe it or not. El Tule frotnman John Dell is not Latino but grew up with us along the border. His Spanish is better than most U.S. born pochos.

The treat, again this is only my expert opinion, are the two young up and comers. The first young, "must see" band is none other than Austin's own Este Vato. These Hebronville, Texas imports take the stage at 5:15PM and will be just what you need for a mid-day pick up. Este Vato is a Latin fusion band that combines traditional cumbia, hip hop and funk that draw comparisons to Ozomatli. They will be putting out their first full length CD very soon, so look out for that. Here's a clip of Este Vato from the Austin Vida YouTube Channel. The song is called "El Poder", meaning 'the power" in English.

The other group that I consider a must see is another Latin Fusion group from Austin, La Guerrilla. Their sound leans more towards traditional, South American style music. It is very danceable and makes for good live show. La Guerrilla is fronted by the talented Enrique Rumiche. He used to be with another Latin band, Ballistica, before forming La Guerrilla. Some of the Austin Vida crew and I caught them for the first time this summer and I enjoyed the show. At that particular show, they featured horns and an extra percussionist. I hope they have that same set up today. They too have an new CD on the way entitled "No Passport Required". We'll keep you posted via Austin Vida about that.La Guerrilla takes the stage at 9:00PM. Check out a clip of La Guerrilla from the Austin Vida YouTube Channel. The song they are performing is called "World Party One".

As for the rest of the Xemumba Line up and times, here they are:

El Tule  11:15pm 

Seu jacinto  10pm

La Guerrilla  9pm 

Os Alquimistas  7:45pm 

Azul   6:30pm 

Este Vato   5:15pm 

Krudas Cubensi   4pm 

Ritmo 3   2:45 

Gabriel Santiago Quintet  1:30pm 

Buscando El Monte  12:15pm 

Proyecto Saoko  11am

Don't think for a minute that this is all the Latino awesomeness going on today. There's more. Also playing Downtown are the Spanish guitar masters known as Del Castillo. They will be playing an early show at 7:00 over at Antone's. They are always a must see live show anytime they play. Hang out at Antone's after and catch Gary Clark Jr for the late show. Check out yet another clip from the Austin Vida YouTube channel, this one of Del Castillo of course. This song , "Anybody Wanna", was their first single off their current self titled album. It was filmed at Antone's during the same night they were shooting their official music video.

In case you are out all day at The Mexic-Arte events and want to find a place to sit down and drink a cocktail or three, head a few blocks east to El Sol y La Luna. Located at the corner of 6th and Red River, you can enjoy some Mexican food and drinks while listening to the traditional sounds of Leticia Rodriguez on stage. Rodriguez is quite the accomplished producer, dancer and singer. She is definitely more on the traditional Latin music, but that is the best to dine to. Her boleros and traditional rhythms are something the whole family can listen to.

  Leticia Rodriguez, 8:00 at El Sol y La Luna

For something hip, young and trendy, head over to The Parish on 6th after The Mexic-Arte concert finishes. Local Latin DJ extraordinaires, The Peligrosa All Stars, will be spinning danceable Latin music mashes they're famous for. Comprised of DJs Manolo Black, Orion, Hobo D, DJ Dus, Pagame and Hobo D, you're sure to dig one of them if not all. The Peligrosa party gets started at 10:00PM. It's only a $5 cover charge but you can get in for $3 with an RSVP on their Facebook event page. These guys have spun at all the hottest hipster joints, from Creekside to Beauty Bar. For lovers of Latin music who love to dance, they do not disappoint.

Peligrosa All-Stars, 10:00 at The Parish 

 In the event you are a North Austinite or a suburban townie, and don't like to venture downtown or don't dig large crowds, there are a couple of good options for you as well.Austin modern rockers, Vallejo, play the last show at The Beacon in Georgetown. Vallejo, headed by the brothers of the same last name, rock with Latin Percussion a la' Santana. A staple in the Austin rock scene since the mid nineties, when I moved here, Vallejo's crowd follows them anywhere. I imagine they'll draw a lot of people up in Georgetown. It's good to see them on stage not only because of their music, but also because A.J. Vallejo suffered a heart attack back in February. Vallejo Doors open at 6:00 and the show starts at 8:00. Children twelve and up are welcome. Attendees are asked to bring a chair and it is BYOB. Click here for more information.

Also at 7:00 up North at The Baby A's restaurant, the Vitera Bros take the stage. I just saw Haydn Vitera this past Thursday night at Ace's with Kalua and Este Vato. Haydn is a talented musician who plays a mean guitar and an even meaner violin. Maybe you saw him on the cover of the first edition of the now defunct Aviva grab and go paper that later became Todo Austin. Chicks seem to dig that dude. His Myspace page lists his age 35, but that's got to be wrong. He looks younger than I do at 29. I wonder what he maybe?

If you're not going downtown but want to make dinner plans, why not head to Baby A's on 5610 N. IH-35 and drink their famous margaritas while enjoying some good music. The Vitera Bros play a good blend of modern rock, country and Latin. Performing song in both English and Spanish, the Vitera Bros have a unique thing of their own going for them. I think fans of Los Lonely Boys, Rick Trevino and even Vallejo would enjoy their music. Haydn has a new CD coming out soon as well, and we'll keep you posted on that via Austin Vida as well.

Well there you have it....your complete guide to Latino events for today. As I mentioned at the beginning, there is zero reason for you to stay home today. Latinos stand up!

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