Nano Stern, one of Latin America’s rising musical talents, will bring his powerful indie-folk-rock-jazz fusion to the Cactus Cafe on Sept. 30.
Stern made his American debut last year during South by Southwest and managed to pierce through the madness of the festival and make his mark. His engaging stage presence and moving music led the way for his first Cactus Cafe show last fall.
As Stern’s star rises around the world, his musical message of social justice remains firm. “I lived my early youth under the end of (Augusto) Pinochet’s dictatorship, so there was very little access to the great tradition of Chilean music,” Stern said during a 2014 Austin360 interview.
Under Pinochet’s dictatorship, many folk musicians were exiled, and Chileans faced danger if caught listening to certain musicians. But as the dictatorship came to an end, folk music slowly began to circulate again, giving a young Stern a chance to listen for the first time and become inspired by it.
Don’t miss the opportunity to catch Stern in an intimate venue, where you can see his artistry up close. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. Advanced tickets are $22 and $24 at the door.
Check out some of Nano Stern’s songs in our playlist below:
In Mexico City, the first signs that Mexican Independence Day (Sept. 16) is approaching are restaurant signs announcing the arrival of chiles en nogada. The seasonal stuffed green chile poblano, invented by Puebla nuns, is drenched in a white walnut sauce and topped with red pomegranate seeds, featuring all the colors of the Mexican flag. They’re the culinary staple of the holiday.
Some of my fondest memories of celebrating Diez y Seis in the Mexican capital city include dancing, eating and drinking at the festive parties in neighborhood plazas that brought revelers together to eventually shout the Mexican cry for Independence, or “El Grito.”
Many cities across the U.S. have also embraced Diez y Seis and created their own traditions. In Austin, there are several ways to enjoy the holiday. Swing by Fiesta Gardens on Sept. 12, where the daylong pachanga starts at 11 a.m. Try all the good food and bring your dancing shoes. Tejano music giants Jimmy Gonzalez y Grupo Mazz will headline the festival at 9:30 p.m.
At the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center, the ¡Viva México! 2015 celebration starts at 6 p.m. Sept. 12 and will feature art, mariachi music and a youth orchestra. Mexico’s Consulate General Carlos Gonzalez Gutiérrez will also address the crowd.
Austinites will even be celebrating Diez y Seis on the south steps of the Capitol from 5-10 p.m. Sept. 15 with live music performances and ballet folklorico. At 9 p.m., Gonzalez Gutiérrez will re-enact “El Grito,” which was the call for independence that Father Miguel Hidalgo gave in 1810.
“Texas and Mexico are bound together by history, geography and traditions,” said Gloria Mata Pennington, chair of the Fiesta de Independencia Committee, in a news release. “The fact that the Fiesta del Grito is now held at the Texas State Capitol is an acknowledgement of the importance of that connection, the rich culture, and the contributions of Texans of Mexican heritage.”
Central American music doesn’t dominate in Austin the way it does in other U.S. cities, but local singer/songwriter Mauricio Callejas has worked for years to make it more accessible in the area with a Central American music festival he founded called CentroAmericanto.
On Sept. 12, the one-day festival at the Scottish Rite Theater, will feature legendary Nicaraguan singer/songwriter Luis Enrique Mejía Godoy. “His catalog of socially conscious songs is indispensable (in order) to understand the music history of Nicaragua,” festival organizers said of Godoy in a news release. Joining Godoy on the lineup is Nicaraguan musician, composer and producer Luis Pastor Gonzalez Vega, who is known as “Luis Pastor.”
Other performers include the dance company Folklore and Rhythms of Panama, Costa Rican piano virtuoso Esteban Alvarez, songwriters Jeana and Juan Carlos Ureña from Costa Rica and Callejas, who is originally from El Salvador.
Doors open at 7:30 p.m., and tickets cost $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Visit cacfest.com for more details.
While Mexico celebrates its Independence Day on Sept. 16, several other Latin American countries also celebrate their independence next month. Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua all have Independence Days on Sept. 15. Chile celebrates on Sept. 18 and Belize on Sept. 21.
All of these days coincide with the start of National Hispanic Heritage Month in the U.S., which runs from Sept. 15-Oct. 15 and recognizes the contributions of Hispanics in America. The Hispanic Heritage Center of Texas, which is located in San Antonio, is currently seeking authentic photos, documents, paintings, audio recordings or film dating back to Texas’ beginnings to preserve family heritage and history. If you’d like to share your story, visit hhctx.org.
Americans have been celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month since President Ronald Reagan expanded Hispanic Heritage Week in 1988.
During the month, keep an eye out for special programming at schools, cultural centers, libraries and museums.
Austin’s PBS station KLRU plans to offer several documentaries both online and on television including a profile on the life of popular Mexican-American writer Rudolfo Anaya, which will air at 10:30 p.m. Sept. 21. It’ll also premiere the documentary “On Two Fronts: Latinos & Vietnam,” which tells the story of two siblings who stood on opposite sides of the Vietnam War, at 9 p.m. Sept. 22.
Do you know of other events celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month? Let us know in the comments section.