Monday, October 27, 2014

Dia de los Muertos take 2

Happy, so happy, to be a part of this special celebration and beautiful tradition. Easter Seals Central Texas threw down with the 2nd Annual Dia de los Muertos ( celebration in East Austin. The Texas weather couldn't be anymore cooperative. Hot enough to make you thirsty and keep sponsors Casa Garcia's and El Jimador tequila busy, but not so hot as to make the crowd miserable.

Behind Zavala Elementary school is were this celebration took place. A small stage behind the school was the perfect spot for the music, dancing, and early entertainment. There was a kids zone behind the stage with face painting, games, and a piƱata. There were also some food trailers on the hill opposite of the stage with some different selections there to calm the hunger pains. My only criticism is how spread out and distant all these things seemed to be from each other. It was an awkward set up.

The performances for the early crowd were absolutely perfect. The mariachis, the ballet folklorico, and musical performances were spot on. Set up early and scheduled well to keep the crowd with the young children happy and entertained.

Mariachi Nueva Generacion were every bit as spectacular as you would expect. I Can't say they needed the sound system, as the group projected their voices and instruments and did it well. The music selection, the different singers and soloists kept it interesting and every bit entertaining.

Roy Lozano's Ballet Folklorico de Texas  ( was as beautiful and visually stunning as they were inspiring. Giving the crowd that moment where you are transported away, while watching them. It was very nice to see all the young girls in the audience enjoying it and mimicking the dancers on stage.

OH MY! Austin Samba School ( and drum line with Las Monas was the high point of the early festivities. Doing a Dia de los Muertos version of a conga line. The procession entered the fields and snaked around through the crowd. With the beautiful Austin Samba School dancers and all the other characters leading the way for the drummers as well as Las Monas, it was FANTASTIC. Drawing in many members of the crowd, the performance was a wonderful way to continue the festivities for the evening.

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The final performance was a traditional dance by Austins own Groupo de Danza Mexica-chichimeca de Austin.  They were doing some very beautiful footwork to bring the crowd out to the main stage area. It was a very moving moment.

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Kicking off the evening on the main stage were the Tiarra Girls  ( A 3 piece band that was as surprising in their music and performance as the realization these were 3 sisters ages 13 - 16. What WHAT you say?! Yes! You read that correctly. The girls did some covers and originals mixed together. It was brave and stunning, when these young ladies did the Selena song 'Como la Flor'. With Selena's brother and father there. They did it good and did her song justice in their rock version. Go ahead and do covers, but own it don't karaoke it. The reaction from the crowd was enough of the truth, they were loved and the crowd enjoyed the performance. I loved the originals, and some of the covers were pretty damn surprising and amazing. I will bet you that my dad would have choked up hearing the Tiarra Girls do Linda Ronstadt. These girls need the experience and continued support of live performances, but there is NO doubt all in attendance can say with pride "I was there."

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There was a small break in the performances with the introduction and some words from both the Easter Seals Central Texas ( executives and some local politicians. There was also introductions of special guests and ambassadors of the Easter Seals organization. It is nice to have been a part of a special event that is so meaningful to so many people and does so much for the Austin Community.

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Son De Rey  ( was up next. This is the band I was really excited to see. With some recent recognition at the Austin music awards, I was stoked. The lead singer definitely had all eyes on him with his amazing headdress, so if anything,  you new it would be entertaining. It was actually better than that. They were great! With the mix of Latin themed music, Spanish lyrics and some cover songs, this band powered through their set. As the crowd built up, more people were on hand to absorb the brilliant performance from Son De Rey. So glad I did enjoy this set with the crowd. Hell, one member of my entourage was downloading their music before the set ended.

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Quimikoz Del Son
( was from Ft. Worth and these cumbia performers came to show Austin, live music lives all over! They were energetic and exciting. Quimikoz Del Son are one of those bands that have members filling the stage from on side to the other, but it didn't stop the lead singer from conducting the show and having the Austin crowd on their feet. It was cumbia done well and it was cumbia done fun. Here's to hoping these guys don't stay away from Austin to long. I am sure they will enjoy the love Austin gives them back. Special congratulations to the keyboardist as he became the father of baby girl the very morning they left Ft Worth to come perform for the Easter Seals Dia de los Muertos in Austin.

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Capping off the night was AB Quintanilla and the Kumbia Kings All Starz ( WHOA! This was a hella set. From the moment the lights came up, the Kumbia Kings All Starz completely showed the crowd why they are kings. Looking out into the crowd, there was no question this is what every one came to see and no doubt everyone was having a good time. With all of the dancing going on and crowd cheering, they lit up the east Austin night with their sound. Like true professionals, the Kumbia Kings All Starz powered throughout the set when there were sound problems. They happily gave the crowd what they wanted, had fun doing it, and left the crowd not wanting more, but happy. An all around entertaining performance and crowd pleasing good time with the cumbia and rock mix. Watching all the beautiful people in the crowd have a great time, it was a stellar night.

Happy that we were all there!


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