A listener reaches up high to snap a photo of the performance at Hi-Tones on St. Mary's Strip in 2015. Credit: Scott Ball / San Antonio Report

Take one part homegrown SA goodness, two parts community spirit, and three parts passionate and dynamic musicians, and you have the celebratory extravaganza that is Local Music Week 2015. Original artists with original musical expression join together in a collaborative effort to showcase the powerful voices and instruments of the Countdown City. According to the press release, the week embraces that “all parts – from musicians, to the venues, to the promoters, to the fans, and everyone in between – play a role in shaping our city’s music legacy.”

This is a beautiful example of the many local music supporters coming together to collectively acknowledge the new sounds and old sounds that represent the soul power of our city’s most aspiring artists. Members of Local 782, SATX Music, Do210, KSYM, and KRTU all work together to make a splash in the musical waters and create a wave of support for all those working diligently to perfect their craft and share their music with audiences far and wide.

The week kicked off Sunday with the Hot Dog Social at Hi-Tones. Main Plaza will host Downtown Tuesday: Local Music Week edition. Thursday evening Brick at Blue Star Arts Complex will feature a San Antonio Music and Media Mixer, KRTU Live and Local will host Garrett T. Capps, and the Phantom Room will host a hip-hop showcase. Festivities will conclude Saturday afternoon at Korova with an Indie Bootcamp. There is much more on the week’s calendar visit Local Music Week’s Facebook page and profile at Do210.com for more.

Local band The Hundersins play at Hi-Tones on Sunday during Local Music Week 2015. Photo courtesy of LMW.
The Hundersins played at Hi-Tones on Sunday during Local Music Week 2015. Photo courtesy of LMW.

One of the more recent catalysts of the movement behind organized support for musicians, George Garza, spoke to the value of organizations such as Local 782, which he helps lead. “We are a volunteer driven coalition of musicians who is always sharing, educating and network-building,” Garza said. “You can’t spell opportunity and community without unity.”

Active and intentional support for music is not a recent affinity for Garza, as Local 782 formed in 2008 and has helped make Local Music Week a calendar event since 2010.

“We are advocating for new technology, new ways of sharing your music, establishing yourself online, taking advantage of all platforms available to get your name out,” Garza said.

Originally, the group began as a brainstorming session.

“We decided we’d get together and find collective solutions for the problems we were experiencing as musicians,” Garza said. “How do you get your band on the air? Get interviewed? Book gigs? Plan for all of these things?”

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Over time these conversations manifested powerfully in the inaugural Local Music Week in 2010. “It is not a festival, it is a campaign to draw attention,” Garza said. “The purpose is to get people to appreciate local music, bring awareness to the bands, support and celebrate.”

With such a rich and diverse musical community, chances are that a lot people are missing out on some really great talent, or haven’t taken a chance because of preconceptions of what they’d get. “The intention is to get people to go out and see something they haven’t experienced before,” Garza said. “If you haven’t been to a certain part of SA, go check it out.”

Charlotte Tyer and Pete Cleveland chat outside The Mix.  Photo by Scott Ball.
Charlotte Tyer and Pete Cleveland chat inside The Mix. Photo by Scott Ball. Credit: Scott Ball / San Antonio Report

While exposing a new audience to the music in hopes that they will appreciate the talent, breaking a pattern is part of a deeper desire for Garza. “Everyone loves live music, but there is this mentality that you’re going to have to spend $40 to go listen to live music,” Garza said.

The music this week is affordable or free, in the hopes that more people will get up and get out.

Garza is musician himself, playing guitar and bass respectively for Pop Pistol and Belukhas, so he knows the one-of-a-kind feeling you get when a new beauty in the music unveils itself to you.

“There is something special about discovering something that is yours, uniquely yours,” Garza said. “That’s how we want people to feel about local music, the artists, the new thing that they love.”

Perhaps still on his heart after a long and hard-fought season, the Spurs drew inspiration for Garza in bringing it on home. “This gift it’s not just yours, it’s ours. It’s like our love for the Spurs, our Spurs,” Garza said, silver and black glistening in his eyes. “We care about Tim Duncan, we don’t like people talking bad about him. And that’s how you feel when you really care about something, when it’s really important to you.”

Live music is happening every night in San Antonio, and hundreds of bands present their sound to new people every day, in the hopes of drawing just a few more fans. “I saw David Robinson at Luna a few weeks ago, enjoying live music with his son, just taking a night off to expose himself to it,” Garza said. “Music brings people together, it makes people happy, and people that have really embraced local music are getting to feel that all the time.”

*Featured/top image: A listener reaches up high to snap a photo of the performance at Hi-Tones.  Photo by Scott Ball.

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Adam Tutor

Adam Tutor is a Trinity University graduate, a saxophonist who performs with local bands Soulzzafying, Odie & the Digs, and Volcan, and a freelance music contributor to the Rivard Report.