The abolition of slavery came to Texas in June of 1865, two and a half years after the Empancipation Proclamation was signed at the end of the Civil War. Each year Texans remember Emancipation Day with Juneteenth celebrations on June 19. The big city celebration includes a 2K run/walk, parade and all day party in Rosewood Park on Saturday. This year, a couple other great music events are planned to commemorate Juneteenth in Austin.
Fri.-Sat.: Juneteenth Soul Fest at Kenny Dorham’s Backyard The music kicks off at 6 p.m. on Friday and continues til 11 p.m. Festivities start up again at 3 p.m. on Saturday and runs til 11. The lineup is diverse, but skews to the East Austin neighborhood’s heritage sound, Texas blues. Eastside Blues Syndicate plays on Friday alongside jazz musician Woody Russell and José “Sweet Tone” Ruiz and soul/funk/r&b outfit CJ Edwards. Saturday features a who’s who of Austin bluesmen including the Blues Posse, Hosea Hargrove and the East Side Kings. The night will close out with a rollicking jam. In addition to music, the event has art vendors, food trucks, hands on kids’ activities and free beer. $10 suggested donation. 1106 East 11th st.
Fri.: Juneteenth Music Festival at AISD PAC. Drop by the brand new AISD Performing Arts Center in the Mueller development for an evening of soulful tunes and celebration. The lineup features the Boss Street Brass Band, led by Reagan High School band director Ormide Armstrong and a host of Reagan alums, electro-soul artist Serafia and soul mavens the Soul Supporters. The Austin All-Star Marching Band and several drum lines and dance teams will also appear. $5. 6 p.m. 1500 Barbara Jordan Blvd.