Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies
Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies

¡A Viva Voz! Quinceañera: Grupo Fantasma to Headline LLILAS Benson Celebration

Wed, April 5, 2017
¡A Viva Voz! Quinceañera: Grupo Fantasma to Headline LLILAS Benson Celebration
Grupo Fantasma; photo by Daniel Jackson

The Austin-based Grupo Fantasma will perform at the fifteenth annual ¡A Viva Voz! celebration of Latina/o arts and culture, which takes place at the Nettie Lee Benson Latin American Collection on Thursday, April 15, from 7 to 9 p.m.

Originated by former head librarian Ann Hartness as a way to highlight the library’s US Latina/o collection and invite the wider Austin community into the Benson, this yearly event has featured poets, visual artists, musicians, a cartoonist, and more. This April, as the celebration turns 15, the party will have the flavor of a quinceañera, with cake, punch, and, of course, a dance band.

Featured guests Grupo Fantasma have been rocking audiences in Austin and around the world since 2000. Comprised of musicians with Latino/Latin American, US, and Texan roots, the band writes and performs songs that cross borders and blend musical influences to create a sound that has captured the devotion of thousands of fans, as well as a Grammy in 2010, and the admiration and friendship of the late Prince.

Praised by USA Today as “Latin-funk masters,” Grupo Fantasma has served as the backing band for the legendary Prince on several occasions, as well as Fania All-Stars pianist Larry Harlow and Sheila-E, among others. Their television and film credits include Breaking Bad, Law & Order, Weeds, Ugly Betty, and the John Sayles film Casa de los Babys.

Grupo Fantasma won a Grammy for their 2010 album El Existencial. Since then, they produced Problemas (2015), a collaboration with producer Steve Berlin of Los Lobos. Music reviewer Felix Contreras of NPR had this to say about the group’s latest offering: “Everything seems to come to the band with ease, as genres burst apart in the most organic possible ways. It’s one thing for musicians to mature over the course of years and decades. It’s another to do so while maintaining and building on a childlike sense of wonder. Grupo Fantasma is a band built to last—always growing, but always joyful, too.”

¡A Viva Voz! is free and open to the public. Audience will be admitted on a first come, first served basis. The Benson Collection is located at 2300 Red River Street, corner of Red River and Clyde Littlefield Drive.

For more information about this event, please contact Susanna Sharpe, Communications Coordinator.

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  • Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies

    University of Texas at Austin
    SRH 1.310
    2300 Red River Street D0800
    Austin, Texas 78712