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Cultura en Austin: Music beyond SXSW in March

Nancy Flores,

In March, our city transforms into a global stage for thousands of South by Southwest artists, and it’s easy for locals to overlook the richness of our own music scene. But throughout the month, Austinites can experience some magical music moments without waiting in lines or fighting crowds.

One of those special musical treats will happen when Austin’s Money Chicha, which features members of the Grammy-award winning Grupo Fantasma and funk powerhouse Brownout, teams up with Peruvian chicha master Jose Luis Carballo for an exclusive performance at 10 p.m. March 28 at One-2-One Bar on South Lamar Boulevard.

Peru’s chicha music — a hybrid sound popular in the 1960s and 1970s that blends Andean and cumbia rhythms, among others, with psychedelic effects — experienced a global resurgence a few years ago. Several bands throughout the U.S., including Money Chicha, began springing up and helped introduce the music to new generations.

Performing alongside a giant of the genre, says Greg Gonzalez of Money Chicha, will be an honor. In the early 1970s, Carballo played lead guitar in the group Los Hijos del Sol. Their hit song “Cariñito” continues to be a strong part of Peru’s soundtrack. Carballo went on to launch other successful chicha bands and continues to perform with his band La Mermelada.

“Jose represents the true sound of Peruvian cumbia/chicha music,” Gonzalez says. “His experience and sound is a bridge which connects the indigenous melodies of Peru with the rhythms of Latin America, the classical guitar technique of Spain and the psychedelic swagger of American rock ’n’ roll.”

In February, Money Chicha released its latest single, “The Mexican/Enfermera, ” which refreshes two classic chicha songs.

At their One-2-One show, special guest vocalist Kiko Villamizar will join the band. Villamizar’s sophomore album, “Aguas Frias,” earned him a spot in 2017 as an Austin360 Artist of the Month. Villamizar plans to close the night with his Colombian roots fusion music.

Doors open at 9:30 p.m. Tickets cost $10 in advance and $15 at the door. A March 28 afternoon workshop and Q&A with Carballo is also in the works. For updated details, visit

Celebrate International Women’s Day in Austin

Frida Friday ATX, a monthly market featuring female vendors of color, plans to celebrate International Women’s Day with music, art and community from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. March 7 at Symphony Square.

The group’s marketplaces go beyond just shopping. Artisan TK Tunchez founded Frida Friday ATX to create a new path for minority women artisans whose work wasn’t always understood. She also incorporates women of color musicians and DJs into the growing monthly events that she describes as a movement for gender and economic justice.

Its International Women’s Day celebration coincides with the market’s three-year anniversary. Stephanie Bergara of Bidi Bidi Banda and singer Leti Garza will serve as the event’s music producers. Suggested donations range from $15 to $25. Visit for more details.

Cultura en Austin is a monthly column highlighting Latino-related cultural events in Austin. Look for it on the last Friday of the month.

Nancy Flores grew up in the Texas border town of Eagle Pass and has been covering Latino culture for the American-Statesman and Austin360 since 2011. Before that, she covered Latino issues as a journalist in Mexico City. Send tips or suggestions to