Tonight the Austin Moose Lodge welcomes back Los Texas Wranglers and Nikki Lopez y Grupo Cañonazo for a special Halloween dance and costume contest to benefit the Johnston High School Veterans Memorial.
Led by Julian Fernandez, Los Texas Wranglers is a hard-working conjunto with a loyal fan base that loves to dance to the group’s unique blend of country and conjunto music. Fernandez has won Austin Music Awards for Best Drummer, Accordionist Mariano “Sonny” Trujillo has won in the Miscellaneous Instruments category, and the group has also won for Best Latin Traditional Band as well.
Nikki Lopez y Grupo Cañonazo is a new local band made up of veteran Tejano musicians with experience with some of the genre’s greatest groups. Bandleader Steve “Rat” Silvas is probably best known for his tenure with Little Joe y La Familia. Vocalist Nikki Lopez is a charismatic rising star with a style all her own, and even spent some time with Los Texas Wranglers before branching out into Tejano.
Johnston High School alumni and former students, along with other East Austin community members, have proposed a monument to honor to honor the 37 students who attended the school that lost their lives fighting in the Vietnam War. During that time, 75 young men from the Austin area were killed in the war in Vietnam. Then, the Tejano population of Austin was less than 10 percent, yet suffered 25 percent of the casualties and 23 percent of those casualties were from Johnston High School.
The Austin Moose Lodge is located at 2103 E.M. Franklin Avenue, east of Airport and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevards in East Austin. The music is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. $10 cover before 9 p.m. and $15 after 9 p.m. All ages are welcome. For more information about the Johnston High School Veterans Memorial, contact Dan Arellano at 512-826-7569.