Press Release - Rancho Alegre Conjunto Festival

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -

Download PDF of Press Release

April 12, 2017

Media Contact: Piper LeMoine

Media Contact Phone: 512-609-9208

Media Contact Email: piper@ranchoalegreradio.org

Conjunto Festival Comes to Stubb’s May 5th and 7th

Local nonprofit to bring traditional, accordion-driven Texas music to iconic Austin music venue on Cinco de Mayo weekend

Austin, Texas — For the first time in recent memory, Stubb’s Waller Creek Amphitheater will host Conjunto music on its legendary stage, courtesy of Austin-based nonprofit organization Rancho Alegre Radio. After a two-year hiatus, Rancho Alegre Radio is bringing back the Rancho Alegre Conjunto Festival, this time in the heart of Austin’s Red River Cultural District. The festival is roaring back and jumping back onto the Austin music scene this year with a free, family-friendly event featuring an audacious lineup of over two dozen performers from all over Texas on two stages at Stubb’s on Friday May 5th and Sunday May 7th.

Rancho Alegre Radio Executive Director Baldomero “Frank” Cuellar says Stubb’s is the perfect venue for the festival, given its legendary status in Austin music history and national accolades.  “Stubb’s has always had the best acts from all kinds of genres, and for us to have the opportunity to bring our beloved Conjunto, a traditional Texas music, to a world-class, world-famous venue that has hosted everyone from James Brown to Joe Ely to the Fabulous Thunderbirds to Muddy Waters to Metallica and quite literally everyone in between, is an incredible honor.”

The Rancho Alegre Conjunto Festival began in 2012 and spent three years at the Austin Moose Lodge in East Austin. The festival attracted Conjunto fans from all over Texas and presented over 40 different groups in just three years, becoming known among artists and fans for giving new groups a chance when the larger festivals tend to prefer established artists. Feeling the need to expand, the festival explored larger venues, but had difficulty finding one large enough to accommodate the new vision and growing demand before finding Stubb’s.

“It’s not an exaggeration to say that we’re breaking barriers by presenting this music at this venue. It’s also the first time Conjunto music has been presented on this scale in downtown Austin and we’re looking forward to bringing our music and our culture to Stubb’s and sharing it with everyone who loves accordions, dancing, and great Texas music.” Cuellar continued.

The lineup includes a who’s who of Conjunto artists of all ages from all over Texas. Among the scheduled artists on the list of over two dozen performers are legends like Nick Villarreal, Chano Cadena y Su Conjunto, and recent National Medal of Arts recipient Santiago Jimenez Jr.; veterans like Los Enmascarados, Gilberto “Chore” Perez Jr., and Grammy Award winners Los Texmaniacs; up and coming groups like Mark Weber y Los Cuernos, Conjunto Cats, and Roger Arocha y Su Conjunto; and local favorites like Los Texas Wranglers and Chencho Flores y Su Conjunto, among others. The lineup also includes special Tejano guest, Grammy Award winner Augustin Ramirez, as well as Conjunto Halcon from Los Fresnos High School in Brownsville. The complete lineup is listed on Rancho Alegre Radio’s website: http://www.ranchoalegreradio.org/festival/lineup.

The festival begins on Friday, May 5th, with doors opening at 4pm and music beginning shortly afterwards. Similarly, doors will open at 2pm with music beginning shortly afterwards on Sunday, May 7th. Stubb’s is located at 801 Red River Street, at the corner of 8th and Red River Streets in downtown Austin. All ages are welcome and admission is free.

For more about the festival, including up-to-date lineup, information about sponsorship, vending opportunities and other ways to support the event, visit http://www.ranchalegreradio.org/festival, or follow the Rancho Alegre Conjunto Festival on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. The Rancho Alegre Conjunto Festival is supported in part by the Cultural Arts Division of the City of Austin Economic Development Department, the Texas Commission on the Arts, Texas Folklife, Compadresmusic and Hacienda Records.

To schedule interviews with festival organizers or performers, please contact Piper LeMoine at 512-609-9208 or piper@ranchoalegreradio.org.

About Conjunto Music

Conjunto music is Texas "roots" music that dates back to the end of the 19th century. Like Blues and Traditional Country, it tells the stories of the everyday lives of the working class. It is also dance music, characterized by a strong, unrelenting beat and bright accordion melodies and Spanish lyrics, evidence of the fusion of German and Mexican immigrant musical cultures in south Texas at the beginning of the 20th century. It was tremendously popular among working-class Mexican Americans during the post-World War II era, before audiences began to flock to Tejano music, which was a heavily influenced by Orquesta, Rock, Rhythm and Blues, Jazz, and Country, beginning in the late 1960s and 1970s, nearly wiping out Conjunto on radio playlists everywhere. In recent years, Conjunto has enjoyed a surge in popularity, thanks to the internet, the rise of younger groups, and new festivals in cities all over Texas and the rest of the country. It remains, however, a hidden gem in the history of American music and continues to fight for air time on the few remaining terrestrial Tejano music radio stations in Texas.

About Rancho Alegre Radio

Rancho Alegre Radio is an Austin-based 501(c)(3) non-profit organization (EIN 46-3595637) dedicated to the preservation and promotion of Tejano and Conjunto music. Their Conjunto shows at the Moose Lodge earned them coverage on the Austin Music Map project of KUT Austin’s Texas Music Matters, NPR’s All Things Considered, in the Texas Observer, and a travel feature about the American Southwest in the Guardian (London). They have also hosted Rancho Alegre on KOOP 91.7FM community radio in Austin since August 2014. For more information, visit ranchoalegreradio.org.

###

Spread the Word about Rancho Alegre Radio