“One Road Austin,” a kick-off concert produced by EPS Presents, celebrated Austin’s diverse music community and helped launch new music nonprofit EQ Austin. The concert, hosted by Mayor Adler, featured performances by over 20 legendary and up-and-coming Austin artists, including Ruben Ramos, Vallejo,Del Castillo, Kevin Russell, Nakia, Peterson Brothers, Oliver Rajamani, Tiarra Girls, Lesly Reynaga, Naga Valli, and many more.
The concert was a rare display of Austin’s diverse music community, featuring artists across multiple musical genres on one stage. Kicking off with young talent from The School of Rock- Austin, the night played out to be Austin’s own version of The Last Waltz highlighting Austin’s rich music heritage. Produced by Alex Vallejo from the three-brother, Austin-based band “Vallejo, the show included a house band made up of Jelly Ellington on guitar, Aric Garcia on drums, Cole Gramling on keyboard, Jonas Saks on bass, Matthew Holmes, aka Sweet Lou, on percussion, Mark “Speedy” Gonzales on trombone, Kevin Flatt on trumpet and Tony Brad on sax.
The Peterson Borthers, Kevin Russell from Shiyribs and Nakia brought Austin’s classic blues to the house.
Nagavalli,Oliver Rajamani, Leti Garza and Kiko Villamizar delighted the crowd with traditional sounds of world music, from east-Indian soul to Latin rhythms.
Joining together onstage to perform an original song were rappers The Teeta, Deezie Brown and Harry Edohoukwa, proving hip hop and rap music is thriving in the city.
Tiarra Girls showcased their Latina pride through their politically charged new single, and Tejano legend Ruben Ramos represented the roots of Mexican-American music in Texas.
Lesly Reynaga boldly took on the stage with an original Latin pop composition, and Alesia Lani broke out her sultry rhythm and blues.
Love & Chaos and Betty Soo incorporated Americana into the night’s set, while Candi Sanders and Tomar Williams from Tomar and the FCs reached the audience with funk and soul music.
Haydn Vitera and Josh Ross from Black Heart Saints embraced metal and rock, and Vallejo and Del Castillo concluded the night together on stage for an unforgettable night of coming together.
The most emotive moment of the night came when a tribute video to Austin’s own Donnell Robinson “MC Overlord,” which was gathered by long-time friend AJ Vallejo, introduced Robinson’s band to the stage.
Special guests included Austin Mayor Steve Adler, District 3 Council Member Sabino “Pio” Renteria, SIMS Foundation Executive Director Heather Alden, Austin Music Foundation’s Jennifer Dugas, SXSW Planning Manager Catlin Whitington, and artist and producer Terrany Johnson, among others.
EQ Austin’s mission is to stimulate cultural representation and foster economic prosperity in the creative sector through an equity, diversity, and inclusion lens. It is an outcome of a collaboration of the Austin Music Movement and the City of Austin’s Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) working committee, convened by Mayor Adler in 2017, to address the City’s Austin Music and Arts Omnibus report and is funded by Austin Music Movement. The report outlined challenges facing the city’s creative industries, describing the music and creative ecosystem as “a powerful means of connecting people that bridges linguistic and cultural divides, and is a vehicle for identity and expression like no other.”
EPS Presents (Event Production Services) has been producing family friendly, community oriented festivals in Austin for over 15 years, with such classic events as Pachanga Latino Music Festival, Trail of Lights, Blues on the Green and Austin’s New Year Celebration.