The live music scene at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport makes the New York Times

7:51 p.m Tuesday, May 2, 2017 Music
Deborah Cannon
The Redd Volkaert Band performs at Austin Bergstrom International Airport on Dec. 6, when the airport celebrated its 10,000th Live Music Show.

Travelers who walk through the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport are likely to hear live music on any given day of the week. Austin, after all, is the Live Music Capital of the World, and there’s no better place to showcase that moniker than in an international airport. 

Apparently, the Lone Star State charms of the many local bands that play the airport made an impression on one SXSW-goer, as reported in the New York Times:

The last thing Joel Malizia, a co-founder of the video production company Pilot Moon Films, expected when he arrived at the airport in Austin, Tex., for the recent South by Southwest festival was the sound of live music.

What he heard was the ensemble of Wendy Colonna, who describes her musical style as Americana. “It was so ethereal,” he said.

ABIA isn’t the only airport that plays live music for its patrons of the skies. Airports in Nashville, Portland, Houston, San Diego and Pittsburgh also have programs similar to Austin’s Music in the Air, where musicians are paid through grant money per set.

“We don’t have to go on the road to make new fans,” Colonna told the Times. “At the airport, the road comes to us.”

The New York Times article also mentions Houston's Hobby Airport and George Bush Airport’s “Harmony in the Air” program, which includes jazz and classical music. The audition process for their program is competitive, the performing arts program manager for the Houston Airport System told the Times.

Musicians are expected to have a college degree in music, five years of experience, two professional and two personal references, and must be performing in Houston. (Currently 10 groups perform at two Houston airports.) 

It almost makes you want to go through a security screening just to hear some good music. Almost.

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