Here’s your chance to catch Little Joe y La Familia for free

Tejano music icon Little Joe Hernandez will perform at the Pan Americana Festival 2018. (Photo credit: Jorge Flores)

It’s not every day that you can check out a musical living legend for free, but tonight Little Joe y La Familia will headline the Pan Americana Festival at the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center (600 River St.).

Saturday’s concert, which starts at 5 p.m., will wrap up four days of free Tejano music at the cultural center presented by the Mexican American Experience Wednesday and Thursday and the Pan Americana Festival Friday and Saturday during South by Southwest week.

RELATED: How Austin women helped make a classic Little Joe album cover

Before Little Joe y La Familia hits the stage, festivalgoers can also catch Tejano music giant David Marez, past Tejano Idol winner Ashley Borrero and former Los Texas Wranglers vocalist Nikki Lopez.

Aside from free admission, the Pan Americana Festival offers free parking at Fiesta Gardens.  Shuttles for attendees will run to and from the MACC from 5 p.m. until 10:30 p.m. when the concert ends.

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Documentary on Little Joe Hernandez coming soon

Contributed by Jorge Flores
Contributed by Jorge Flores

Whether you’ve danced to his music at one of his performances or played his songs at a family pachanga, chances are that most Tejano music fans have many memories tied to the noted discography of the legendary Little Joe y La Familia.

At 74, Little Joe Hernandez has been entertaining audiences for decades and blazed a trail for Tex-Mex music in the process, earning him the nickname “King of the Brown Sound.”

Hernandez, who has done everything from squash musical and cultural barriers to energize the Chicano movement, will soon be the subject of a 2015 documentary.

Check out my latest Cultura en Austin column for more details.

Recently, I attended an event where the filmmakers were raising funds to finish the documentary. Some of Hernandez’ wardrobe was on display, including famous outfits he’s worn on stage and on album covers. Anyone remember him wearing a zarape-inspired suit jacket?

Austinites, in particular, have fond memories of Little Joe y La Familia concerts. This summer many fans reached out to me when I wrote the behind-the-scenes story behind his album cover for “Las Viejas de Little Joe and the Latinaires” by La Familia. For the album cover, Little Joe gathered Central Texas women to pose during one of the popular Saturday night dances at the old City Coliseum in the early 1970s.

Hernandez continues to perform around the country. Stay tuned as more updates are available about a release date for the documentary next year.

ALBUM IMAGE COURTESY OF TOMMY DE LEON.
ALBUM IMAGE COURTESY OF TOMMY DE LEON.