Now's the best time to get your Latin music fix. May is Latino Music Month – which was made official by the Austin City Council in 2005 and as Austin's Latin music scene makes a bigger footprint in the city's overall music culture, the diversity of Latin music can be heard across the city's live music venues.
At this year's Pachanga Latino Music Festival on May 11 and 12, the Latin sound ranges from traditional Tejano to musicians who combine cumbias with hip-hop or electronic music. The musical fusion throughout the Latin music scene results in everything from hip-hop cumbia to funk to indie rock — sometimes in Spanish, English or Spanglish.
Here are a few highlights from throughout the month.
La Condesa's 4th annual Cinco de Mayo Downtown Block Party
This free event from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. features the music of Bombasta, La Guerrilla, Mariachi Tamazula, Charanga Cakewalk, Este Vato, Ocote Soul Sounds (DJ set) and Deejay Honeycomb.
Where: Entire block of West Second Street between Guadalupe and San Antonio
Fiestas Patrias of Austin Cinco de Mayo 2012
The two-day event (Saturday and Sunday) will feature Tejano and conjunto performances. Headlining the Saturday show is seven-time Grammy award winner Jimmy Gonzalez y Grupo Mazz. Another highlight that day is a performance by Gary Hobbs.
Sunday brings an all-day accordion jam fest. Featured performers include Joel Guzman y Sara Fox, Flavio Longoria, Henry Zimmerle, Los Pinkys as well as other conjunto bands from across Texas.
Where: Fiesta Gardens Park
Catch this jazz bassist and singer who in 2011 received Grammy award recognition for best new artist. Doors at the Paramount Theatre open at 7 p.m. Information: www.austintheatre.org. (Read our story on Spalding.)
Rodrigo y Gabriela and C.U.B.A.
Performing for the first time with a backing band, this music duo specializes in rhythmic acoustic guitar. They come from Mexico via Ireland. Doors at Stubb's open at 7 p.m. Go to stubbsaustin.com for tickets.
Check out the Gipsy Kings at the Backyard at Bee Cave. Enjoy these music masters play Latin American rhythms like flamenco mixed with pop sounds. Doors open at 6 p.m. thebackyard.net .
May 11, 12
Pachanga Latino Music Festival
Don't miss this two-day event at Fiesta Gardens featuring some of Latin music's biggest acts. Puerto Rican hip-hop duo Calle 13 headlines this year's fest. Other highlights include French-Chilean MC Ana Tijoux and Chilean party band Chico Trujillo. pachangafest.com .
Music in the Parks Concert Series
Enjoy a Saturday afternoon at the park with indie Latin-folk songstress Gina Chavez and Latin fusion band Este Vato, who will perform at the Rosewood Recreation Center (1182 N. Pleasant Valley Road). For more information on this and other Music in the Parks shows this summer, go to austintexas.gov/department/music-parks .
The Pinker Tones
Save the date for this must-see show with Spanish synth- pop band the Pinker Tones at the Beauty Ballroom. Doors open at 9 p.m. thebeautyballroom.ticket fly.com .
Veteran music mashers bring their urban Latino fusion sound to Stubb's, where doors open at 7 p.m. stubbsaustin.com .
Contact Nancy Flores at 912-2559