Brown Sound News is TODO Austin’s take on what’s happening in Austin Latin music.
Texas Folklife will host the Big Squeeze Accordion Contest for the 11th year. The program supports up-and-coming Texas musicians who are 21 years of age or younger. Finalists will be selected by a panel of judges and will perform at the Bullock Texas State History Museum in April where three Grand Prize winners will be selected and receive prize packages. The Grand Prize Winners will perform onstage with legendary Texas musicians at the Accordion Kings & Queens Concert in Houston in June. The showcases will be announced and the application instructions will be available this month online.
New Big Squeeze Program Director Alysha Hernández helms the program this year. “I can’t wait to get started on the Big Squeeze Accordion Contest for 2017,” said Executive Director Charlie Lockwood, who was appointed in October 2016. “We at Texas Folklife have a lot of new energy for this year’s program. I’m particularly pleased that Alysha Hernández will be joining us. She brings a deep knowledge of historically important areas in the state for the contest, stellar experience in event production and management, and a lot of passion for our work. The Big Squeeze is one of our most popular and most important programs—I’m glad it is back!” For information call 512-441-9255 or visit texasfolklife.org.
Mike Maddux, former “acordeonista” with the band Cerronato, is involved with a current music trio known as “Hora Once.” Composed of members Ana Maria Barajas on vocals, Adam Carney on guitar and harp guitar, and Maddux on bandoneón and acordeón, they play a variety of music from South America, including tango, Brazilian choro, and songs by Astor Piazzolla, as well as original compositions. They recently released a CD titled “Hora Once/Eleventh Hour.” If you sign up for their newsletter, new subscribers will be sent a link to download a free song from their CD. To join and for more information, go to horaonce.com.
Brazilian Soul is a new band born in Austin and is comprised of Paula Maya on vocals; Sergio Yazbek on guitar; Marco Antonio on bass and Michael Longoria on drums. They describe their music as “really groovy Brazilian music influenced by American soul, plus other dance rhythms.” Their first show is Saturday, Jan. 14 at 10:30 p.m. at the Sahara Lounge, 1413 Webberville Rd. Also on the bill is Carolina Quintana and Company, featuring renowned Argentinean electric guitar Nicolas “Cookie” Polichiso opening the evening, as well as the Sahara House Band at midnight. The $8 cover includes buffet.
There was a theft at the home of Austin-based Los A-T Boyz last month and two instruments were stolen: an Hernandez bajo and a white classic Fender Stratocaster. They are both used by the patriarch, Mr. Paco Rodriguez, in their performances. Raphael Rodriguez is asking musician fans and friends to report any information on the instruments to the group. Please contact them via social media for more information.
Award-winning electric violinist and singer songwriter Omar Phoenix returns to the stage after a lengthy hiatus with a fiery showcase of original music from his collection of albums including “Forever Red” (2005), “Experience” (2007), and “Mirrors and Memories” (2011). This will also be an opportunity for audiences to experience new songs from his upcoming fourth album due for release in 2017. “I’ve spent months retooling some of the older songs that the band and I have played for over ten years to give them a more clean and polished sound in contrast to the more classical crossover wash they had before,” Phoenix comments. Join him Jan. 6-7 at 8 p.m. at The City Theatre, 3823 Airport Blvd.
Jess Lopez is releasing a new CD titled “Mi Vida” and will have a CD release party on Saturday, Jan. 7 from 6-9 p.m. at Tropicana Bar and Grill, 1141 Airport Blvd. No cover. He has also been selected to perform in March at the Tejano Music Awards Fan Fair in San Antonio. For more information, visit the Facebook page for the artist.
Como Las Movies has made two announcements about new songs. One is “Mermelada” featuring Gerardo Arellano (available on SoundCloud) as well as an official music video of the song “Reynosa” featuring Kiko Villamizar. Video directed by Barry Link; edited by Jasper McCollum; puppeteer Ana Lucia Amezcua; and available on YouTube.
Savannah Votion, a 2013 contestant on American Idol, has been working with Austin-based producer Rick Fuentes on an upcoming album, “Diva Del Fuego.” One of the songs is a remake of “Cuando Se Fue” and a video has been released that also features Fuentes. Available on YouTube.