Tejas Got Soul is going out with a bang for its last free concert at Discovery Green! Be there! Sunday, Nov 27 from 5 – 7 pm. The set list explores the work of stellar Houston musicians whose music nonetheless stood the test of time: Rocky Gil, Neto Perez, Big Lu and Archie Bell.
With our legends AVIZO performing, journey from the original Chicano youth sound of the past, all the way to the genre we know today as Tejano music. But first, a little background:
In the 1950s and 60s young Tejanos grew up listening to their parents’ favorites – the big band orquesta music and rural conjunto music, but they also listened to US top 40 radio, especially R&B, Doo Wop & Soul. These Tejano teenagers wanted to play the music they liked. This sound was labeled “Chicano Soul” and Houston had a thriving scene. Everything was in place – legendary record labels, huge night clubs like the Pan American and Stardust Ballrooms, and eager young artists.
No group is better to pay tribute to this phenom than AVIZO. Leader Robert Dorantes helped Tejas Got Soul shape the program because he lived this music and understands its significance. In fact, some of his bandmembers worked alongside Chicano Soul pioneers. We are honored to work with AVIZO to pay these Houston artists a long-overdue tribute.
First, Rocky Gil of Rocky Gil and the Bishops, one of the best singers in Houston at the time won several battle of the bands competitions across Texas. Rocky was known for getting so into performances he cried on stage then walked off while the band continued to play an instrumental.
The second artist is Neto Perez. He and his band, the Young Originals, filled venues across Houston, toured the country and recorded on several record labels throughout Texas. A surviving member of the Young Originals still performs today as a member of AVIZO.
The third artist is Big Lu of Big Lu y Los Muchachos, a great dance band whose first album “Frijolitos Pintos” was released on Tear Drop Records. The organ and horns on this album echo the driving, danceable soul sound of that era.
If this isn’t enough, the tribute will also include a salute to Archie Bell. Houston’s Archie Bell and the Drells got their big break opening nationally for Texas’ most renowned browned-eyed soul act, Sunny and the Sunliners. Archie says that Chicanos were his biggest followers. We may have a special guest in the house that night!
And then AVIZO – Houston’s Power House! An all-star lineup of Houston’s top Tejano musicians with a huge catalog of records and several Grammy nominations. They regularly serve as back-up band for the big-name vocalists in Tejano music, from Sunny Ozuna and Ram Herrera, to the late, great Joe Bravo. AVIZO will end the night as only they can – with the biggest performance of Las Nubes ever, inviting horn players from the past and present to participate! It will be a tribute of tributes – don’t miss it!
Sunday, Nov 27
Isaac “Simmer Down” Rodriguez, October 2022
Isaac is one of a team of five creatives that make up the Tejas Got Soul and Sonidos de Houston projects. The other team members are Nick Gaitan, Angel Quesada, Roberto Rodriguez and Pat Jasper. Follow Tejas Got Soul: Early Chicano Sounds of Houston