Cultural Connections

The rich cultural heritage of Mexico and Latin America are kept in two important ways in Austin. Under the auspices of the Austin Latino Music Association, the Sonidos del Barrio series is creating a top-shelf video archive of Latino musicians living and working in Central Texas.

Filmed before a live audience, each concert is aired on the Austin Music Network with plans for syndication throughout Texas and the U.S. Featured performers have included Manuel Donley y los Estrellas, Ghandaia, Del Castillo, Son y No Son, and Willie Santiago & Jazz Puerto Rico, among others. In the works is a tribute to some of the legendary conjunto musicians in the area. Included are Johnny DeGollado, Santiago Jimenez Jr., and Los Aguilillas de Jesse y Beto Duran. A May concert taping is planned.

In a groundbreaking program at UT's Performing Arts Center is Artes Americas. The new initiative, still in the planning stages, began in response to President Faulkner's 1998 Strategic Plan calling for an expansion in research and cultural exchange between the university and the Americas. Not only will Latin American artists be invited to perform, institutions across the U.S. will be invited to participate. In this way, a broader U.S. audience will experience the arts of Latin America.

"The university is ready to redefine itself as a university of the future, which means educating around the globe, not just locally or regionally," says PAC Director Pebbles Wadsworth.

As might be expected, an educational component will be included to help audiences and artists learn about each other's work and culture. An added plus is that the popular arts are not being left out, nor are the contributions by local artists. This means that local music lovers, tired of driving to San Antonio to see Latin pop stars like Shakira, may have the chance to catch them right here in River City.

Artes Americas plans to launch this fall with a remounting of the Luis Valdez play Zoot Suit. In addition, pop stars Juanes and Luis Miguel are two names being mentioned as possible highlights of its inaugural season. All details are pending.

Spanish Language or Latino-Themed Radio Stations

Radio Latino 92.1 (KQQTejano-FM)

Tejano Club 92.5 (KKLB-FM)

Exitos 98.9 (KHHL-FM)

Sol 104.9 (KXXS-FM)

Radio Caliente 1440 (KELG-AM)

Puro Norteño 1490 (KFON-AM)

La Mexicana 1530 (KQQA-AM)

La Mejor 1600 (KOKE-AM)

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    2002-03 AMA Band of the Year winners Del Castillo ride a wave of Latinization.

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