Editor’s note: This article was originally published March 15, 2014
Despite the celebrity sightings, big name artists and surprise guests, it’s still possible to take an off-the-beaten path approach during South by Southwest. It’s how you can discover musical gems from more underground artists, creating uniquely original work. All that’s required from you is an open mind.
At the Listen Global, Act Local free unofficial party at Kenny Dorham’s Backyard, next to the Victory Grill, crowds on Friday not only checked out a strong lineup of both local and international musicians but also browsed local art and connected with community organizers who also had booths at the gathering.
Its laid-back setting on E. 11th St. made it the perfect spot to duck into when the lines and crowds elsewhere became overwhelming. Cultural mash-up artist Zuzuka Poderosa and local Cuban female rap duo Las Krudas were among the artists on the lineup.
Listen Global, Act Local, which is presented by Sacramento-based community arts/culture/activism organization Sol Collective and artist development company Conrazón of New York, produced the highly-curated show from 2 p.m.-midnight.
Natalia Linares of Conrazón says she hopes the event continues to grow in Austin each year and wants to include more local partnerships.
In the evening when Zukuza Poderosa took the stage, she energized crowds with her unique hip-hop/dance music rooted in Brazilian rhythms. She had festivalgoers dancing and cheering, especially when she stepped off the stage and into the crowd to join her fans in the dance party.
Some other artists also on the lineup included Panamanian hip-hop duo Los Rakas, Austin-based DJs Orion and Sonora of Peligrosa and Native American electronic music group A Tribe Called Red of Canada.