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Two new music fests coming in April

By Antonio De Jesús Aguado

After winning two Grammy Awards, it is no secret that Lorde, a 17-year-old New Zealander, is a popular musician, and she has chosen San Miguel de Allende as her first performance venue in Mexico, as part of the San Miguel Sound Festival. Delbert McClinton, who won a Grammy Awards in 1991 and 2006, will perform during the Magic Town Music Festival.

The San Miguel Sound Festival is organized by Katy Decker, from Massachusetts, who although she is not directly involved with music loves it and had the energy to organize the event. The director commented that the first singer to confirm his participation in the event was Willy Mason.

The Lorde wave

Ella Yelich O’Connor, best known as Lorde, is from Auckland, New Zealand. She started writing her own songs when she was 13 or 14 years old. The singer states that she has always been a good reader, thanks to a mom who is a poet and has many books at home. At the age of 12 Lorde impressed the directors of Universal with the quality of her voice and signed a contract. In 2012 The Love Club, an extended-play recording with six songs, almost

immediately reached 60,000 downloads on ITunes. The CD was officially released in March 2013.

In August 2013, with the song “Royals,” O’Connor became the first female singer in 17 years to reach the top of the Billboard charts in the US. Lorde was nominated at the 56th Grammy Awards for Record of the Year, Song of the Year, Best Pop Solo Performance and Best Pop Vocal Album, and she won for the Best Solo Performance and Song of the Year for “Royals.”

Brad Jacobs, from Auckland, director of The Coffee Club New Zealand—the biggest franchise in that country—told Atención that in New Zealand there are very few people who do not support her. “New Zealand is an interesting country and always very proud when it comes to world recognition,” said Jacobs. For example, he commented, the Grammys were scheduled to be played on TV a few hours after they aired in America—during prime time at night—but people campaigned until the broadcasters finally gave in and played it live in the middle of the day. “Many people stayed home that day to watch her perform live and win the Grammys,” said the director of the Coffee Club. According to Jacobs, Lorde seems to be very humble in her success and her music appeals to a wide range of listeners.

Lorde will perform on Tuesday, April 8, at 8:30pm at the Plaza de Toros. The tickets range from 650 to 6,500 pesos. Katy Decker, organizer of the San Miguel Sound Festival, told Atención that she is very excited because Lorde will close the festival. “She arrives in Mexico City and comes straight to San Miguel. This will be the first city where she will perform in Mexico after winning the Grammy. We feel very honored.”

The director of the festival said that the singer’s staff has had to work with them and has been very accessible. The conditions of the Plaza de Toros are not the best for live musical performances—it is one of the oldest bullrings in North America. The organizers had to be honest with Lorde’s staff. “She has been very sweet; she has her feet on the ground and the people that are working with us are very excited,” commented Decker.

Magic Town Music Festival

Magic Town Music Festival will feature all kinds of music, from rock, pop and country to funk and Jazz. The festival is organized by Texan Carrie Cameron, who founded a nonprofit organization in the US in 1992. Since her arrival in San Miguel de Allende she has been involved with civic associations and she started working on fundraisers. The name of the festival comes from the city’s being seen as a magical town.

Cameron told Atención that the festival got its start thanks to one of her best friends, Delbert McClinton, an American jazz, blues and rock singer, writer, guitarist and pianist, who owns a house in San Miguel. For years people had tried to convince him to perform in the city, but he had always refused. Finally, Cameron convinced him to do it, to benefit the children of Casa de los Ángeles.

The event, which will feature music, food, hand-made products and lots of fun, will be held two days, on Saturday and Sunday, April 12 and 13, from 11am to 7pm at Rancho El Cascabel, along the road to Atotonilco. The festival will provide free shuttle transportation from San Miguel de Allende to and from the venue. Rancho El Cascabel is known as “Timlandia” by the locals, due to its colorful construction and undulating concrete forms. “People will feel like Alice in Wonderland,” commented Cameron.  Tim Sullivan, the owner of Rancho El Cascabel, had the buildings constructed in the style of famous Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí for his sons.

The festival will start on Friday, April 11, with a dinner. The singers and sponsors of the festival will attend and also a silent auction will be held. A hundred tickets at a cost of 100 dollars are on sale for the general public at the Tienda of the Biblioteca, Mixta and at Aldama 42. The tickets for the concerts cost 40 dollars per day, and also there is a VIP ticket for 100 dollars, which includes entrance to a tent to hang out with the singers and musicians and unlimited food and drinks. The tickets will have a different price at the door the day of the event.

The San Miguel Sound Festival will be held April 4–8 and will have as its main venue the Plaza de Toros, where on Friday, April 4, several bands will perform from 3:30pm–12:15am: Jenny and the Mexicats, Spank Rock, Willy Mason and Heloise. On Saturday, April 5, Neon Indian, Washed Out, Despot, Win Win, Acrylics and Oh Whitney will perform following the same schedule. On Sunday, April 5, bands will play in alternative venues such as Azotea, Mama Mía and Limerick. The tickets for these three days are for sale at

Jenny and The Mexicats is a multicultural band, featuring trumpeter Jenny from London, the Spanish Davi (drums), and Mexicans Pantera (guitar) and Ico (double bass). The band first came into the public eye after the release of Jenny and the Mexicats, a CD mixture of jazz, flamenco and rock, among other rhythms. The CD includes songs in English and Spanish. The singles “Verde más allá” (“Green Beyond”) and “Me voy a ir” (“I Am Leaving”) have been a hit on the radio stations. Currently the band is working on a new production that will include Mexican sound.

The festival brings a unique, world-class musical lineup to San Miguel de Allende. On Saturday, April 11, San Miguel Magic Town will feature from 11am–7pm Johnny Favourite, Vudú Chile, Red Young, Silvie Rider Young and Maylee Thomas. On Sunday, April 12, with the same schedule, the performing singers and bands are Zuzu Men, Stephanie Urbina Jones, Mango Fishtrap and singer Delbert McClinton, who won a Grammy for his duet with Bonnie Raitt “Good Man, Good Woman” and in 2006 for his album The Cost of Living as the Best Blues Contemporary Album.

This event is designed to raise much-needed funds for Casa de los Ángeles, founded in 2000 as a safe haven for single moms, serving the San Miguel de Allende community’s poorest children. Casa de los Ángeles is currently providing medical services, food, emergency shelter, temporary housing, and educational grants to 78 poor families and 100 toddlers in the San Miguel community. The success of the center lies in the palpable passion of its founder, Donna Quathamer, and the dedicated people drawn by Donna’s deep, abiding love for every family, mother, child, volunteer, and donor. Casa de los Ángeles owes its continued existence and success to the support of a committed community. To date, over 1,800 volunteers from 34 countries have supported the organization in numerous ways.

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