Empress of soul Tameca Jones returns to Austin, plus Juneteenth music and more
Here are our top picks for live music events in the Austin area on June 16-22.
Friday: Tameca Jones, Mama Duke at Antone’s
The Empress of Austin soul returns to Austin for one night only. In tearful testimony at an Austin Music Commission meeting last year, the explosive soul singer said Austin’s lack of support for Black musicians was part of what drove her decision to decamp to L.A. last year. This is a fine opportunity to show her the love she deserves. The stellar bill also includes bombastic rapper Mama Duke and soulful singer Ivy Roots. $25 and up. 9 p.m. antonesnightclub.com.
Friday-Sunday: Juneteenth Culture Fest at Kenny Dorham's Backyard
A weeklong celebration in the heart of Austin's African American Cultural Heritage District heats up on Friday night with a hip-hop block party featuring rappers Kydd Jones, Dowrong and many more. On Saturday an East End Community Celebration will include an appearance from Ballet Afrique, a hip-hop showcase and Chitlin Circuit Revisited, a concert and discussion that explores the roots of Austin’s Black music scene, inside the Historic Victory Grill. A closing ceremony on Sunday will honor McMillan’s four decades of service to Austin’s Black music scene with gospel music and more. All events are free and open to the public. See the event’s Facebook page for more details.
Saturday-Sunday: Juneteenth Jubilee celebrating Black Excellence at Cheer Up Charlies
This two-day bash at the Red River Cultural District’s hub for LGBTQ culture features over a dozen DJs who will explore the depth of the African diaspora’s sonic palette through sets featuring everything from deep house and techno to hip-hop and Afrobeat. DJs include Stefon Osae, Fairyaries, Miss Melodic and Black Android. The event will also include live performances from vocal house duo Glass Slipper and Vertarias Black. 3 p.m. doors daily. See the event’s Facebook page for more details.
Sunday: Juneteenth Celebration Concert at 4818 E. Ben White Blvd.
The Austin chapter of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers teams up with the Austin Federation of Musicians to present a diverse selection of local talent. The event is headlined by steamy R&B singer and emcee Anastasia Hera and rapper Bavu Blakes backed by Classic Hip-hop Live, a live breakbeat ensemble that serves up family-friendly renditions of your favorite old-school rap songs. Austin jazz icon James Polk will appear with his ensemble Centerpeace; singer and guitarist Sonya JeVette, who takes inspiration from early R&B and soul masters, will also perform. 2:30 p.m. See the Facebook event page for more details.
Sunday: H3 Cypher Sunday at Empire Control Room
Update, June 16: This event has been canceled as of Thursday, according to the promoter.
Earlier: Back in the '90s, downtown Austin clubs willing to book hip-hop artists were few and far between. Then a crew of ace freestyle rappers joined forces with top ATX DJs and some of the city’s best funk and groove instrumentalists to create the legendary Hip-Hop Humpday residency. Huge crowds flocked to the Mercury Lounge on Sixth Street for their hourslong improvised jams, proving that there was an Austin audience hungry for sharp lyricism laid over live breakbeats and jazz improvisation. An all-star cast of H3 originals including Bavu Blakes, Tee Double, Traygod, DJ Phyfteen, D Madness and more will be in the house for this early show. $12. 6 p.m. empireatx.com.
Sunday: Stay Black and Live at the Carver Museum
The two-day celebration of Black art and culture turns up the volume for a daylong music festival featuring top Austin rappers Riders Against the Storm, Mama Duke, the Teeta and Chakeeta B alongside blues legend W.C. Clark and more. Worth noting, this is your last chance to see the exhibit “Grooves from the Deep and the Space Math of George Clinton,” a vibrant collection of visual art from the genre-defining funkateer now on display at the Carver. Noon. Free and open to the public. juneteenthatx.com.
Monday: Weather Station at 3Ten
Singer-songwriter Tamara Lindeman’s Canadian outfit is known for elegantly arranged indie-folk music that incorporates horns and winds, but there’s also activism in their approach: “Ignorance,” the group’s acclaimed 2021 album, addressed climate change. Last month’s “How Is It That I Should Look at the Stars” is the Weather Station’s sixth album since its 2009 debut, “The Line.” $20-$23. 8 p.m. 3tenaustin.com.