Cuban hip-hop duo Krudas Cubensi to release ‘Highly Addictive’ album

Pioneers in Cuba's rap scene, MCs Las Krudas, Odaymara Cuesta, left, and Olivia Prendes began rapping about a decade ago. They left behind their life in Cuba, and now call Austin their home.
Odaymara Cuesta, left, and Olivia Prendes make up Krudas Cubensi. Photo by Alberto Martinez/American-Statesman

Pioneers in Cuba’s rap scene, MCs Odaymara Cuesta and Olivia Prendes began rapping more than a decade ago. As the hip-hop duo Krudas Cubensi, they’ve captivated fans around the world with their powerful socially-conscious rap that touches on everything from feminism to racism.

Their latest album “Highly Addictive” drops July 23 with an album release party at 9 p.m. at The North Door. The celebration, which is presented by allgo, also features special guests Dj Ang. G, La Vibra, Blakchyl and Gabi Allhues.

Austin360 recently featured Krudas Cubensi in the Emmy-nominated video and story series “Austin Gente,” which focuses on Latino/a identity in the U.S. In an interview for an episode centered on Latinx LGBTQ identity, Krudas Cubensi shared insights on their experiences in Austin.

“We’re Afro-Latin, queer, vegan, hip-hop artists in the U.S.” Prendes told Austin360. “At the end of the day we are by ourselves because no one shares those identities with us.” If they go to queer events, they may be the only Latinas. And if they go to queer events specifically for minorities, they may be the only immigrants speaking Spanish.

“We are queers for real,” Prendes said. “Even in the queer community, we are the queerest of the queer.”

Krudas Cubensi have become a fixture in Austin’s music and social justice scene, breaking new barriers with each song.



Los Tigres Del Norte, Buena Vista Social Club alumni to perform at Pachanga concert series in August

Orquesta Buena Vista Social Club lead vocalist Omara Portuondo will perform at an upcoming Pachanga Presents concert.
Orquesta Buena Vista Social Club lead vocalist Omara Portuondo will perform at an upcoming Pachanga Presents concert.

Earlier this year, the Pachanga Latino Music Festival restructured as a concert series and kicked off the new Pachanga Latino Music series at ACL Live. Now, the concert series brings a lineup of living legends to downtown Austin in August.

On Aug. 19, Pachanga presents Omara Portuondo and Eliades Ochoa of the Buena Vista Social Club. Last fall, Austin bid adieu to the Orquesta Buena Vista Social Club where Portuondo and Ochoa were among the members on stage who gave an awe-inspiring performance during the group’s farewell tour. Concert tickets range from $45-75, and doors open at 6:30 p.m.


With a noted career that has spanned more than four decades, Los Tigres Del Norte continue to break barriers with their masterful storytelling. The iconic norteño supergroup has become a prominent voice for Latinos around the world and don’t shy away from social justice and political issues. The multiple Latin Grammy winners have been featured in documentaries, feature films and publications such as the New York Times. At their shows, Los Tigres Del Norte are known for performing sans a set list and instead let the audience tell them what to play. Concert tickets for their Aug. 26 show range from $59-$89, and doors open at 6:30 p.m.

September shows announced so far feature Natalia Lafourcade on Sept. 20 and The Mavericks on Sept. 24. For more information about the upcoming concerts, visit






Selena Quintanilla to be honored with Madame Tussauds wax figure

Selena performs at Hemisfair Plaza in San Antonio, TX, April 24, 1994.  Photo by Sung Park / The Austin American-Statesman
Selena performs at Hemisfair Plaza in San Antonio, TX, April 24, 1994. Photo by Sung Park / The Austin American-Statesman

It’s been a good year for fans of Selena Quintanilla Pérez, the Tejano superstar and pop culture icon who continues to influence music lovers more than 20 years after her death.

Madame Tussauds Hollywood announced plans today to immortalize the legend with a wax figure that will be unveiled at the famed Hollywood destination on Aug. 30.

“On behalf of our family we would like to express a huge amount of gratitude to Madame Tussauds in creating such an amazing lifelike wax figure of our beloved Selena,” Selena’s sister Suzette Arriaga said in a news release. “This is yet another step in making sure that her legacy lives on and that her fans new and old can appreciate her as a person, an artist and one whom we can all identify with.”


In 2015, Selena fans launched a petition requesting a wax figure for the “Queen of Tejano.” Nearly 10,000 people signed and the outpouring of support eventually led Madame Tussauds to partner with the Quintanilla family to create a wax figure with a team of expert sculptors and artists. Together they chose the wardrobe, expression, hairstyle, pose and makeup for the Selena wax figure, according to Madame Tussauds.

Selena's stylish outfits also made the Tejano star a fashion icon. Photo contributed by Madame Tussauds
Selena’s stylish outfits also made the Tejano star a fashion icon. Photo contributed by Madame Tussauds

The completed figure, which is valued at about $350,000, will feature a recreated 1993 stage look from Selena’s concert performance at Memorial Coliseum in her hometown of Corpus Christi, where she recorded the album “Selena Live!” The album won a Grammy the following year.

Selena’s Facebook page is offering fans the chance to win a VIP pass to the launch party on Aug. 30 as well as a Selena Annual Pass. For a chance to win, fans can upload a video to the Madame Tussauds Hollywood YouTube channel explaining why they are the Selena’s biggest fan.


News of the forthcoming wax figure comes on the heels of another important recognition for the artist this summer. In June, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce announced that Selena would receive a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame, joining other artists such as Ice Cube and John Legend.

In October, Selena fans will have more to celebrate. The late artist, who was also a fashion and beauty icon, will be honored with her own limited-edition M.A.C. cosmetics line, which is expected to release this fall.

Selena was fatally shot by her former fan club president in 1995, but her legacy lives on as she continues to earn honors for her work and gains a new generation of fans.

“At Madame Tussauds, our figures represent icons who have made a significant impact on our culture. That perfectly describes Selena,” Colin Thomas, general manager of Madame Tussauds Hollywood, said in a news release. “Her influence has transcended generations and her passionate fans continue to be inspired by her to this day. We recognize this and in response, we are proud to join her fans in celebrating her legacy by immortalizing her.”





Flaco Jiménez to perform with Los Texmaniacs at ‘Music Under the Star’ concert

Courtesy of The Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum
Photos courtesy of The Bullock Texas State History Museum

Living legend Flaco Jiménez will join Tex-Mex band Los Texmaniacs on Friday at the Bullock Texas State History Museum’s outdoor concert series “Music Under the Star.”

Grammy award winners Los Texmaniacs blend everything from conjunto roots music to Texas rock and R&B. At this special concert, they’ll feature Jiménez, who in 2014 received a Lifetime Achievement Grammy Award. Jiménez’ career has spanned six decades and continues to record and perform. In 2013, when he performed at the Pachanga Latino Music Festival in Austin, he told the Statesman’s Spanish-language weekly ¡Ahora Sí! that “I don’t read or write notes; I just play by ear.”

Max Baca and Los Texmaniacs.
Max Baca and Los Texmaniacs.

RELATED: Find out about more Latino cultural happenings in Austin.

The free, family-friendly shows at the museum’s Lone Star Plaza start at 6 p.m. and concertgoers are encouraged to bring lawn chairs or blankets to enjoy the performances. Food and beverages will be for sale and free parking will be available onsite after 5 p.m.

The “Music Under the Star” series wraps up on July 22 with performances by indie rockers Quiet Company and hip-hop duo Riders Against the Storm. Find out about more Austin weekend music picks here.

RELATED: Best of Latino cultural arts in July

Oaxacan tradition comes to Austin

The "Flor de Pina" is one of the many highlights of the Guelaguetza, an annual harvest festival in Oaxaca, Mexico. Los Angeles Times photo by Gary Friedman.
The “Flor de Pina” is one of the many highlights of the Guelaguetza, an annual harvest festival in Oaxaca, Mexico. Los Angeles Times photo by Gary Friedman.

The first time I traveled to Oaxaca City about 10 years ago, I ended up folk dancing on a festival stage after the performers invited me and other audience members to join them. It was my introduction to Guelaguetza, a celebration and cultural exchange that honors the diversity of traditions within the various regions of the Mexican state of Oaxaca.

For the first time, Austin will have its own Guelaguetza festival presented by the local Mexican folkloric dance company, Oaxaca Arte en Movimiento (Oaxaca Art in Motion), as well as other community partners. The series of events throughout July includes a free textile exhibit and conference at 2 p.m. July 15 at the Benson Latin American Collection.

On July 16, maybe you’ll get your chance to dance on stage at the Guelaguetza Oaxaqueña event featuring folkloric dances from eight distinct regions of Oaxaca state. Check out the free event at 7 p.m. at the hillside amphitheater of the A.B. Cantu/Pan American Recreation Center.