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Music Fest offers good rockin’ and food April 13

Music Fest offers good rockin’ and food April 13
“The Georges” will bring their rockabilly style to the Music Fest. The group, from San Marcos, is a regular at Gruene Hall.

You may be under the misapprehension that to indulge in great cultural experiences requires a trip to the big city. But this weekend, you can get your fill of art, music, and great food right here in La Vernia!

Have you ever seen an art masterpiece painted right before your very eyes? Are you under the impression that it takes days, months, or years to achieve a work of art?

Head out to the second annual La Vernia Music Fest on Saturday, April 13, from 3-10 p.m. in the La Vernia City Park and let artist George Draghici show you how it’s done. George will be painting during sets by each of the featured bands “Johnny P. and The Wiseguys,” “The Georges,” and “Mission City Hot Rhythm Cats.” The artworks will be featured in a silent auction, with proceeds benefiting the La Vernia Foundation for the Arts.

La Vernia Music Fest has a warm, relaxed family atmosphere; plan to take your blankets or lawn chairs and settle into an evening of food and fun.

Dance to the music

Enjoy a variety of music, from rockabilly beats to smooth jazz and great crooning, evocative of the Big Band era

“Johnny P. and The Wiseguys” performed for the inaugural Music Fest last year and the community is looking forward to hearing them again. Frontman Johnny Panzarella sings old standards from Bing and Frank, as well as newer songs, and gives them a crooner sound. Much like Michael Bublé, his smooth vocals have audiences swaying to the sound of his voice and dancing to the rhythms of the band. Johnny’s smooth voice is complemented by trumpet, bass, trombone, percussion, and sax.

You can follow “Johnny P. and the Wiseguys” on Facebook to see where they are playing next. The band’s photographs are reminiscent of the 1940s and ’50s, with their black and white images very stylish and art in themselves.

The “Mission City Hot Rhythm Cats” is a group of jazz musicians from San Antonio who are also educators. As band directors, they are very well-versed in the Big Band sound. The group is composed of trumpet, trombone, sax, keyboard, upright bass, tuba, percussion, and a clarinet player with a Pete Fountain sound. 23 skidoo! These guys will make you get up off your chair and do the Charleston! No slow stuff here; they boogie! “Mission City Hot Rhythm Cats” are on Facebook and the Web, where you can listen to some of their performances.

“The Georges” from San Marcos perform around the area; the group has a standing gig at the legendary Gruene Hall near New Braunfels. Their rockabilly style will make listeners want to shine their belt buckles and get their boots scootin’.

The band members have a very stylized look reminiscent of the ’50s, complete with Elvis sideburns and slicked-back hair. Their white sport coats and muscles are reminiscent of Roy Orbison and “Sha-Na-Na.” Get ready for some fast guitar licks and fun vocals. This band is going to be fun! You can also find them on Facebook and YouTube, or at

Feed your appetite

And did we mention that if all this music and art gives you an appetite, you can tempt your taste buds with gourmet delights from mobile food trucks, such as Lagniappe Today, Cheesy Jane’s, and Spice Sea Mobile?

Lagniappe Today returns with a New Orleans-inspired cuisine. Cheesy Jane’s features big burgers and big malts, and Spice Sea will offer mainly Southern cuisine, as well as dishes from around the globe. No outside food or beverages will be allowed.

Music Fest participants also can enjoy food demonstrations by Chef Al Boos from the La Vernia H-E-B very popular with last year’s crowd and sweet treats by Simply Sweet Bake Shop in La Vernia.

Advance tickets are available at The Music Loft, the La Vernia News, and the Wilson County News. Tickets are $10 presale or at the gate.

Find out more at or La Vernia Music Fest 2013 on Facebook, or call Randy or Terri Leonard at 210-216-8318.

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