RUBEN RAMOS has developed a solid reputation as one of the smoothest singers and classiest bandleaders in the history of the genre. Born in Sugarland, Texas, Ruben Perez Ramos now sits at the helm of a family musical legacy borne over 80 years ago. This legacy - El Legado - is set with traditional Mexican roots, was infused with the big-band sound of the 1940s, heavily influenced by blues and rock, and is now perched at the pinnacle of La Onda: Tejano.
Changing the band's name back to The Mexican Revolution, Ruben Ramos continues to spread the word on tejano. In December 2005, Ruben released his latest CD entitled "Reloaded". We forsee from the music industry and the fans overwhelming, adding to his legendary status. The cool and smooth sound of one of the hottest horn sections in Texas, the selection of songs, combined with Ruben's distinct and sincere voice, promises to be one of his best CDs to date. www.rubenramos.com
Before he was on “The Voice,” Nakia was a Blues Grifter. Named for the age-old concept of stealing from the greats, the Blues Grifters formed in 2010. The band quickly became a hit on the club circuit in Austin performing at the legendary “Home of the Blues,” Antone’s Nightclub, and the South Austin hot spot, C-Boy’s Heart & Soul and began recording its first album.
A video of Nakia’s full-throated, soulful performances found its way to television producer Mark Burnett who insisted on recruiting Nakia for a new show. Nakia is a two-time Black Fret artist grant award recipient.
VALLEJO (pronounced Va-lay-ho) has become one of the most popular rock bands to hail from “The Live Music Capital of the World” Austin, Texas with their sonic melting pot of classic album rock mixed with contagious funky rhythms and Latin percussion.
Started by the three Vallejo brothers from El Campo, Texas – vocalist and lead guitarist AJ Vallejo, twin brother Alex Vallejo on drums and younger sibling Omar Vallejo on bass – along with high school friend Bruce Castleberry on guitar and percussionist Alex Geismar, Vallejo has toured all over the US and Mexico tearing up stages with their fiery live performances with such acts as Matchbox 20, Stone Temple Pilots, Juanes and Los Lobos. www.vallejomusic.com
Oliver Rajamani's unique musical sound and original compositions are drawn from the historic 'Romani trail' and the Lonestar state of Texas. From India's melismatic folk and spiritual chants, strings and drumming, the raw Arabic tones of the oud, the spirited torch of traditional Gypsy flamenco, to the Lonestar country and blues of Texas, Rajamani masterfully creates with no trace of boarders yet paying homage to tradition.
Rajamani sings in exotic tongues from India as well as English and Spanish. His music is a sound that is at once foreign and familiar. Drawing upon ancient Eastern traditions, his music resonates in a deep place within its listeners, while remaining accessible and satisfying to the foreigner’s ear. www.oliverrajamani.com
RICK & MARK DEL CASTILLO
Del Castillo is a cross-cultural power in music. Their original sound blends, rock, Latin, blues, and world music. Between the release of their first CD, Brothers of the Castle back in 2001, to their 2006 release, Brotherhood, Del Castillo has received an astonishing 18 awards including SXSW/Austin Music “Album of the Year” Awards for Vida (2002) and Brotherhood (2006), “Band of the Year (2003)”, ASCAP’S “Best Independent Group of the Year (2005)”, and Austin Music Pundits “Best Live Act (2004)”.
By 2004, Del Castillo was touring nationwide across the country playing with such diverse acts as Styx, Los Lonely Boys, Ozomatli, Don Henley, Los Lobos, and Willie Nelson and continued tour non-stop through 2006. They have performed at three of Willie Nelson’s 4th Of July Picnics, and at Eric Clapton’s Crossroads Guitar Festival, and they have made numerous national and local TV appearances. www.delcastillomusic.com
Since launching his solo career in 2005, former Asleep At The Wheel fiddle player and Austin Latino Rocker/Electric Violinist HAYDN VITERA has made his mark sharing the stage with headliners as diverse as Grammy winners Los Lonely Boys, Rock En Español pioneers Los Enanitos Verdes and 80’s rock legends Dokken.
His music has been featured in various on-screen projects including Robert Rodriguez’s From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series. VITERA has been featured on stage with the legendary George Strait and the iconic Stevie Wonder and most recently, has joined the Electrify Your Strings program as an Artist Mentor, traveling nationwide to empower and expand the horizons of middle school and high school orchestra students along with program creator Mark Wood, electric violin visionary and co-founding member of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. www.viterarocks.com
East and West co-mingle harmoniously in Indian-American, Austin-based musician, Nagavalli. Nagavalli’s music, described as “Eastern Soul”, blends east-Indian soul with delicate touches of pop, rock, trance and pure eastern tradition. Nagavalli’s repertoire ranges from her original songs in English to east-Indian and Sufi spirituals, creating sounds both unique, yet familiar, which often results in the listener achieving a state of meditative tranquility.
Nagavalli grew up in Mumbai, India bringing the rich, soulful music of her home to Austin, Texas where Valli has brought in a variety of artists representing genres such as Latin, American rock and jazz to East-Indian and Middle-Eastern classical and folk into the studio to refine her eclectic sound. www.nagavalli.com
A SPECIAL TRIBUTE TO MC OVERLORD
Robinson was the first rapper to be accepted into the fold of Austin’s downtown music scene and he remained a perennial presence in the Austin Chronicle’s Austin Music Awards rankings for best hip-hop artist for years, even during the period in which he put performing as Overlord on hold to focus on his children’s music project, Big Don. Robinson moved to Austin from St. Louis in the early ‘90s to pursue a music career.
He met one of his longtime producers, Ter’ell Shahid when the two men worked as bouncers at a Sixth Street club. His music was unique, a hybrid of hip-hop and the funky rock that was popular in Austin at the time. Shahid characterizes it as “alternative hip-hop.” It was good music, but also, non-threatening. He rapped about struggles and pushing through, but his music was loaded with love. The love came across when he performed, both in his gregarious stage presence and his generosity with stage time.
Austin, Texas' TIARRA GIRLS have been gigging steadily since SXSW 2012 and show no signs of slowing down anytime soon. The teenage trio made up of the three Baltierra sisters (Tori, Tiffany & Sophia) proudly perform all their own instruments and started out playing covers from Beatles, Stevie Wonder, Corrine Bailey Rae, Cyndi Lauper, Black Keys as well as Selena, Juanes and many more.
Fast forward a few years and the result is a sonic melting pot of the girls' musical influences rolled into their own unique brand of alternative rock that is undeniably influenced by their strong family bond.
BettySoo’s vocal prowess is a thing of wonder. A world-class instrument of deft phrasing and purity, a voice that knows when to hold back and when to dive in. At her own live shows, taking a verse onstage with friends or singing harmonies in sessions with Austin’s finest, BettySoo sings with consummate loveliness and self-assurance. A voice that knows the roots of American music inside and out; coming from a most unexpected place – a diminutive Korean-American with a deceptively girl-next-door demeanor.
Touring the unforgiving circuit of listening rooms, clubs and festivals, BettySoo has mastered the art of performance. A funny anecdote sets up a song of heartbreak and need; a witty rejoinder belies the dark truths that underpin much of her work.
Austin-based recording artist Lesly Reynaga learned her first song at age four in her native Monterrey, Mexico and was tapped for a national Mexican television reality show as a singing talent at age 14. Today, she continues to create a buzz as an emerging singer-songwriter and performer.
Reynaga is noted for her passion-filled showmanship, an extraordinary vocal range, a bilingual song catalogue—quelled from a unique knowledge of pop, rock and traditional Latin music—and as a multi-instrumentalist on guitar, vihuela and keyboards. With the release of her first studio recording, “Fool’s Paradise,” in 2017, she drew critical acclaim while captivating audiences from Austin to New York City. www.leslyreynaga.com
Leti Garza is an entertainer in music, dance, and theater, as well as director, producer and writer of performance works.
Leti, a multilingual vocalist, has independently produced three albums, and been featured on KEXP and National Public Radio. Her album, El Unico Para Mi, made Texas Music Magazine’s top ten favorite albums of 2017. The song, Frio en el Alma, was also a listed favorite in 2017 by NPR’s Alt/Latino program. Leti has received a Distinguished Music Award by the Texas Music Museum, as well as recognition by the Austin History Center for her contributions to Texas Music. Through her projects, Leti promotes inclusion and the power of diversity. She is a member of NARAS, LARAS, Women in Professional Music Society and the Indie Collaborative. www.letigarza.com