The Pan-American Hillside Summer Concert Series returns
The Pan-American Hillside Summer Concert series returns to the Oswaldo A.B. Cantu/Pan-American Recreation Center and Neighborhood Park this month.
The yearly summer tradition brings a variety of Latin music acts to the hillside stage in East Austin. Acts range from legendary musicians to local up-and-comers representing a wide range of styles across the Latin music spectrum.
The family-friendly concerts take place every Tuesday starting at 6 p.m. Admission is free.
The first concert on July 11 features legendary band Conjunto Los Pinkys. The band has been inducted into the Austin Music Hall of Fame, as well as the Tejano-Conjunto Hall of Fame. They have been performing since 1992 and will be joined by accordionist Susan Torres.
“She’s been blazing trails for a while,” Nancy Flores, editor and publisher of Austin Vida, said. “Susan Torres plus Conjunto Los Pinkys just equals a great time.”
The following Tuesday will feature J.R. Gomez and his band, The Conjunto Bandits. Gomez is a veteran of the Tejano and conjunto scenes, but he formed The Conjunto Bandits a few years ago.
“He's been featured alongside some big heavy-hitters within the Tejano music genre,” Flores said.
The final show features Tejano singer Ruben Ramos, known as "El Gato Negro" (The Black Cat). Ramos recently loaned his voice on the song "Boogaloo en Monterrey" on a Latin soul album by Austin’s own Adrian Quesada.
“This is a chance to see a living legend,” Flores said.
The hillside stage
The hillside stage at the Pan-American park in East Austin is significant. Located in a historically Latin American neighborhood, the stage features murals painted by Raul Valdez. He’s been painting since the '70s, and his work dots Austin's landscape.
“He’s an iconic artist, a master muralist whose work has been showcased all around Austin and beyond,” Flores said.
The stage features Mexican revolutionary heroes alongside themes of family and culture that represent the Latin American identity of the neighborhood.
Ballet Folklorico de Austin is presenting "Guelaguetza Austin" on July 29 at the Long Center. Guelaguetza is a yearly Oaxacan celebration that features traditional dances and an exchange of gifts between the eight Oxacan regions it brings together.
You can find more local happenings in this month's Cultura Guide.