You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


  • ePAPER

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks


Welcome to

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on

Austin remembers Selena

Events honoring César Chávez; music festivals bring Latin/Tejano rhythms

On the way to a junior high school field trip, I snagged one of the window seats on our yellow school bus, put on my headphones and excitedly pressed play on my Walkman. I had recently saved enough cash to buy Selena’s “Amor Prohibido” cassette, and so when a classmate asked what I was listening to, I proudly flashed the tape cover featuring the Tejano star’s image.

It will have been 20 years since the death of Selena Quintanilla-Pérez on March 31, but her music and legacy live on in the hearts of fans who watched her rise to fame and hoped to see her reach superstardom as a crossover artist.

Growing up in the small border town of Eagle Pass, I remember seeing the signs for “Selena y Los Dinos” outside the ballrooms where she played frequent weekend shows. Tejano music was hot at the time but dominated by mostly male artists. Quintanilla-Pérez infused the Tejano music scene with energy, invigorating the music with a contemporary edge that spoke to a new generation.

But most importantly to me, she offered hope to young Mexican-American girls. Here was someone who looked like the women around me, who spoke like people I knew, who was also from South Texas and was proving that she could be successful and accepted beyond the region. So when one of my schoolmates rushed into class to alert us of the shocking news of her death, it stunned us all.

As the nation remembers Quintanilla-Pérez’s life, fans are honoring her legacy in different ways. On March 14, the Austin360 Rock the Lot two-day free festival will feature music by the Selena tribute band Bidi Bidi Banda, among others. Singer Stephanie Bergara, who also serves as a music programs specialist with the city of Austin’s music division, leads the local group. Bidi Bidi Banda’s performance begins at 3 p.m. Saturday at the Austin American-Statesman’s west parking lot. For more details, visit

In April, Quintanilla-Pérez would have celebrated her 44th birthday, and some fans are honoring the cultural icon then. On April 10, local art group Puro Chingón Collective will present an interactive screening of the film “Selena” as part of Fusebox Festival’s 2015 ThinkEast series. Guests who attend the 8 p.m. screening at 1036 Jain Lane will receive a bag of props to be used at key moments throughout the movie. Visit for more information.

Celebrating César Chávez

As we become more aware of where our food comes from and how it’s grown, let’s not forget the hundreds of thousands of migrant farmworkers who call Texas home and help nourish you and your family by laboring in the fields and canneries across the United States.

Every meal has a story, and when labor leader and civil rights activist César Chávez advocated for migrant farmworker rights, he was also trying to ensure that all Americans have a safe food supply.

In March, Chávez’s efforts will be honored across the country with everything from marches to film screenings. In Austin, community members are invited to gather on March 28 for the annual “Sí Se Puede” March. Attendees will assemble at Terrazas Library (1105 E. Cesar Chavez St.) at 10 a.m. and march to City Hall Plaza, where there will be music, speakers and entertainment. Paul Chávez, the son of the late labor leader, will be this year’s guest speaker.

Learn more about Cesar Chávez and the Mexican-American/Latino civil rights movement with free documentary screenings at the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center at 7 p.m. March 12-13 at the Black Box Theatre. Visit for more details.

Free music during SXSW

While the crowds descend on downtown during South by Southwest, there are two festivals where you can enjoy Tejano and Latin rhythms for free while taking in the city’s awe-inspiring lakeside views and festive atmosphere.

Head to the courtyard of the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center on March 18-21, where music kicks off at 6 p.m. with the Mexican American Experience festival. Sunny and the Sunliners, which was the first Tejano music group to appear on “American Bandstand,” headlines on Wednesday night. Other featured artists that evening include Mariachi Amor, Cañonazo, Street People and Latin Express.

On Thursday, San Antonio native and Tejano music star Chente Barrera wraps up the fest after performances by Tejano Idol contest winner Erica Rangel, Beyond Therapy, Llueve and Baraja de Oro.

The hip-shaking music continues after the Mexican American Experience festival ends and the Pan Americana Festival begins on March 20. Master accordionist and party instigator Celso Piña returns this year to headline Friday night. Nicknamed “El Rebelde del Acordeón” (Accordion Rebel), Piña created a hybrid cumbia sound that incorporated reggae, hip-hop, ska and rock. Also bringing innovative genre-blending sounds will be San Antonio’s Piñata Protest, who play accordion-style punk music.

Monterrey electronic rockers Kinky return to the festival as well, this time headlining Saturday night. Los Masters Plus and Austin’s Cilantro Boombox will also energize the stage. For a complete listing of bands, check out

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Austin360

You think you don't like beets? Try 'em this way.
You think you don't like beets? Try 'em this way.

This salad, best described as a "small plate" using the current culinary lingo, offers a refreshing bright spot this time of year when we have had our fill of roasted roots and stews and are ready to move on to something sunnier. Sure, the dish is anchored by the deep earthiness of roasted beets, but they are given a different outlook, layered...
Celebrate the Afrobeat legacy of Fela Kuti at Long Center concert
Celebrate the Afrobeat legacy of Fela Kuti at Long Center concert

1. “Fela! The Concert” 8 p.m. March 26. $25-$50. The Long Center, 701 W. Riverside Drive. 512-474-5664, This multimedia extravaganza of rhythm, beat and culture celebrates the Afrobeat legacy of Fela Kuti. “Fela! the Concert” features electrifying rhythms from a live 10-piece Afrobeat band, as well as nine...
Austin Dance Festival inspires artistic sense of community
Austin Dance Festival inspires artistic sense of community

When Kathy Dunn Hamrick founded the Austin Dance Festival three years ago, her mission was simple: “I wanted to showcase as many artists as we could in a community atmosphere, not a stale, cold one.” The artistic director of modern dance troupe Kathy Dunn Hamrick Dance Company since 1999, Hamrick and the dancers she’s mentored have...
Music and a ‘Beautiful’ musical among arts events this week
Music and a ‘Beautiful’ musical among arts events this week

Music “Notre Dame Cathedral, c. 1200.” The Texas Early Music Project explores the groundbreaking music of Léonin and Pérotin of the 12th century School of Notre-Dame, whose musical innovations are the foundation for almost all the music we enjoy today in the Western world. 8 p.m. March 25, St. Mary’s Cathedral, 203 E...
Recipe of the Week: Morimoto’s recipe for perfect white rice
Recipe of the Week: Morimoto’s recipe for perfect white rice

If you aren’t already rinsing rice before you cook it, it’s not too late to start. Famed chef Masaharu Morimoto includes his recipe for perfect white rice in his new book, “Mastering the Art of Japanese Home Cooking” (Ecco, $45), as well as an easy nori-wrapped rice ball that will ease your craving for sushi without actually...
More Stories