Catch “The Panza Monologues” on Feb. 5-21

Photo contributed by Alberto Jimenez
Photo contributed by Alberto Jimenez

You’ve heard of “The Vagina Monologues, but what about “The Panza Monologues?” Playwrights Irma Mayorga and Virginia Grise discovered the power of their panzas or bellies about 10 years ago when they began talking to their comadres and community members about their panza stories.

The result was a unique performance piece that brought to life women’s stories of love, life and struggle. We chatted with the  playwrights in our latest Cultura en Austin column about the inspiration behind the work, why it struck a chord with audiences and how after a decade it’s still relevant to a new generation.

Catch the performance, which is also a book now, on Feb. 5-21 at the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center. Tickets for the performances, which are Thursday-Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m, are $14-$20 and can be purchased here or 30 minutes before showtime at the door.

In addition to the performance, Red Salmon Arts will present a book reading and book signing with Grise on Feb. 8 at 5 p.m. at Resistencia Bookstore (4926 E. Cesar Chavez St., Unit C1). Power to the panza!

Austin Gente: How music shapes identity

Growing up in a small town on the Texas border, the biggest radio stations were in our sister city on the Mexican side. So I grew up listening to the latest hits on Mexican radio – from rock en español to Latin pop. Tejano music was at its peak, and just a touch of country music rounded out the soundtrack of my childhood.

Our Austin Gente series, which explores what it means to be Latino in the U.S., releases the latest installment this Sunday. It focuses on how all kinds of music help shape Latino identity.

We chatted with singer/songwriter Gina Chavez, multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Haydn Vitera and Joanna Saucedo of the local son jarocho group Son Armado to get their insights on the connection between música and Latinidad.

Haydn Vitera is among the featured artists in Austin360's Austin Gente video/story series.  Photo by Nancy Flores/Statesman
Haydn Vitera is among the featured artists in Austin360’s Austin Gente video/story series. Photo by Nancy Flores/Statesman

“I’m a rocker. I’m Latino. And an American,” Vitera told us during the filming of Austin Gente. “I don’t have to be just one thing.”

Look for it online Sunday at austin360.com/cultura and in the Austin360 arts and entertainment section of the Austin American-Statesman. In the mean time, take a sneak peek at some of the behind-the-scene footage and images we shot when the artists recently dropped by the Statesman studio.

Joanna Saucedo, of Son Armado, dances on the wooden platform, called the tarima,  Photo by Nancy Flores
Joanna Saucedo, of Son Armado, dances on the wooden platform, called the tarima,
Photo by Nancy Flores

Videographers Kelly West, Efren Salinas and I were spoiled with private concerts backstage. I even got to carry Vitera’s famous electric violin the “Viper.”

Cedar Fever was rampant during our filming, and all the artists affected were troopers for fighting through it. We also learned a fun fact – there’s actually a brand for a soothing throat spray called “Entertainer’s Secret.” Who knew.

Many thanks to all three powerful artists who are representing the Latino community in their own unique way.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chicano Batman to perform at Sahara Lounge; Jarabe de Palo adds 2nd Austin show

Chicano Batman  Photo contributed by Chrisko Morales
Chicano Batman
Photo contributed by Chrisko Morales

 

Cultura en Austin readers, download Chicano Batman’s “She Lives on My Block” for FREE here.

Chicano Batman, a bilingual quartet, draws influences from 1960s Brazilian tropicália music, psychedelic rock and old-school Latin soul. It’s a nod to the past, but with a fresh take for a new generation of listeners. The LA-based band is performing on Saturday at Sahara Lounge (1413 Webberville Road) at 10 p.m.

We had a chance to chat with vocalist and guitarist Bardo Martinez about the music and awesome band name. Here’s what he had to say: shar.es/1mAE6t

Jarabe de Palo

It’s a great weekend for Latin grooves in Austin. Over at the Flamingo Cantina on Sixth Street, tickets for the Jarabe de Palo Saturday night show were so popular that it’s now sold out. A second show has been added starting at 5 p.m. Buy your tickets here. Spain’s Jarabe de Palo, which has nine studio albums under its belt, has been a major force in the alternative rock en español scene since the 1990s.