Free Week has officially begun Austin! The annual event is a festival of sorts when independent Austin venues host free shows that showcase Austin’s local talent during the first week after New Year’s Day. In 2011, Austin Vida hosted the first ever Latino indie Free Week showcase at Stubb’s and in in 2012, we hosted four Free Week showcases all over town. With the help of some friends at Pachanga and The City of Austin, we were able to give Latin music a real presence during Free Week. The best part? We’re presenting four Free Week shows again this year, showcasing the multiple genres and groups within the “Latin” umbrella.
This year our Free Week kick off happens at local music venue and purveyor of the artisan sausage, Frank. We are taking the cultural singer-songwriter route with this one, presenting three of Austin’s most talented Latino groups and performers.
Austin singer-songwriter Gina Chavez was scheduled to perform tonight, as seen on the event poster to the left, but she had to cancel due to sore throat and flu-like symptoms. We wish her a speedy recovery and thank Kiko Villamizar for filling in on short notice. We’ll be sure to have Chavez on another showcase soon.
Performing with band mates from Kiko Y La Banda, Villamizar will open the showcase with his brand of traditional Vallenato, a popular folk genre from Colombia. Locally Villamizar is know for his new open Latin jam showcase series around town. Kiko Y La Banda perform at 10 p.m.
Son Jarocho collective Son Armado follow Kiko Y La Banda. Son Jarocho is a popular Mexican-based art form centered around community gatherings & celebrations known as Fandangos. The Fandango involves music, dancing, and poetry in the context of a communally created and shared space, with the tarima (a wooden dance platform) as the gathering point. Son Armado do this well and take the stage at 11 p.m.
Closing the night is first time Austin Vida showcase performer Mauricio Callejas. A self-proclaimed troubadour from El Salvador, Callejas is the founder of the first songwriter directory of Central America, www.centroamericanto.com and produces a weekly radio program that is broadcasted from different radio stations around the world. He is currently performing in support of his latest release, Helado Pop, that was co-produced by himself and Michael Ramos of Charanga Cakewalk. Callejas will perform at midnight.
Frank is located at 4th and Colorado street. All ages are welcome. No cover. Visit the official Facebook event page HERE for your chance to win a $20 Frank gift card to use at tonight’s show. Tonight’s show is sponsored in part by Pachanga Latino Music Fest and The City of Austin.