Travel the world with Jordan Price, Long Center’s Membership Manager! In today’s Mid-Week Intermission, he shares what curiosity and a love for community building has sparked in his own life, plus how the Long Center’s Membership program can help you find that spark of curiosity, too.

Jordan, a white man with short hair and beard, on a sled surrounded by snow.
Pleased to meet you!
I’m Jordan.

I have a thing for stringed instruments born of circumstance; music evoking a deep sense of place. I express curiosity through relentless questioning and intermittent travel. It brought me to Nkhatabay for Gasper Nali’s babatoni, Cheikh Ahmàdu Bamba’s Sufi Islam Brotherhood for kora, and Thabana Ntlenyana’s lesiba.

Twenty years ago, I studied history and art history — two subjects which rarely translate to gainful employment outside of academia. When a professor mentioned her groundbreaking research in Hellenistic Tarquinia handled mirror iconography, I smiled, nodded, and silently acknowledged it was time I find a new career path. Through frequent travel and extended trips in Greece, Lesotho, and Malawi, I discovered a love for building communities curious about humanity and an insatiable desire to move beyond the habitual.

Jordan as a young boy in a greenspace comically large beard made of moss

Prior to arriving at the Long Center, I held membership-building roles on Galveston Island and with Austin’s Audubon chapter. Birders have “spark birds,” the gateway critter which tickles your heart, providing the perfect introduction to avifauna.

Is there a corresponding term for music? Robert Johnson was my “spark artist,” igniting a lifelong passion for Delta blues. I need a better term for this, though — please send me your recommendations.


We’ve developed the Long Center’s Membership program to intentionally create community; by always providing priority access to our fantastic lineup, and occasional free tickets — complemented by our book club, Member’s Lounge, and thought-provoking experiences to reflect a diversity of perspectives.

Members on Dell Hall stage looking out into the house in low light
Austinites exploring the arts from new angles and behind-the-scenes tours. Photo by Catriona Long
a group of members dancing at The Drop-In, an outdoor concert, at night with stage and city lights
Members celebrating the vibrancy of Austin's culture at The Drop-In. Photo by Brynn Osborn

Become a Member by Friday at noon, and I’ll enter you in a giveaway for 4 FREE Box Seats to Neil deGrasse Tyson’s “Delusions of Space Enthusiasts” on January 18, 2022. Thanks for reading!

— Jordan


At the Long Center, we’ve always got a new partnership or something cool we know you’ll want to check out! Find and follow us @longcenter on your social media platform of choice, and we’ll see you real soon.

Are you ready for a choose-your-own mixtape adventure? Good, because that’s exactly what Bobby Garza, our VP of Programs and Community Outreach — and Resident Playlist Maker — has put together for you in today’s Mid-Week Intermission. So find your best headphones and prepare to get a little curious as Bobby takes us on a tour of the past year through music.

Bobby in the kitchen wearing an apron and ready to cook
Why, hello there.
I’m Bobby.
Bobby with a curious look on his face, wearing a black and gold sombrero.

I have a confession to make: I was NOT one of those people who learned how to make sourdough over the lockdown. I’m not saying I don’t appreciate that sort of gumption, it just requires more energy than I feel like I can muster at any given moment.

Actually… hold on, friend. I can call you that, yes? Before we go any further, there’s something missing. Let’s start here. Did you click that link? If that one doesn’t work, try this one. Without exception, good conversations have good soundtracks — this should be no exception.

Because we’re friends now, give the song a minute while you read on. I’ll wait. 

Proud member of the Unicorn Band
Mixtaping from a young age

I grew up when mixtapes were a language of love and friendship, a vehicle for culture and discovery. I consider myself a High Fidelity-level practitioner of this language — likely the only other one in which I’m fluent. I’d spend hours finding the right time on the radio to record something when the right song finally came on or strategically stealing moments using my sister’s dual cassette component stereo after a painstaking list was worked out with pen and paper, chock full of arrows, strikethroughs, and underlines. In my heart and my brain it feels like this when I’m working on a mix.

Okay, before we move forward, friend, you have a bit of a choose-your-own adventure moment. This next bit needs this or this or this.

I spent the first part of lockdown like many workers in our industry: out of work. It’s terrifying, and we’ve lost so many in our field in the last 18 months for myriad and tragic reasons. The shows, productions, and events happening right now — bringing people some semblances of normalcy — are fueled by gig workers on double shifts and salaried employees still not back to 100% staffing. I spent a lot of time talking to my friend Steve Knopper about this for months as part of Billboard’s amazing interview series, “In a Pandemic.”

Luckily, like a lot of parents during this time, my days were filled as the worst stand-in for a teacher’s aide/cafeteria worker/janitor. My nights, however, still had the same soundtrack much like the songs I’m hoping you’ve still got playing. 

Bobby taking his two boys to school on their first day
First day of school! With Gael (15) and Mauro (11)
Family Game Night or How to be Terrible at Life

Let’s switch up the song for a minute.

In that time, I was amazed to see really incredible efforts of community arise, like “A Night for Austin,” produced by our pals at Luck, and Red River Cultural District’s Banding Together. I was also particularly moved by the campaign from the Hi, How Are You Project that had a singular challenge to check in with your loved ones and simply ask each other, “Hi, How Are You?” Mental health during this ridiculously hard last year and a half is something that has resonated with me, and if you get through this far in this intermission, I’d encourage everyone to send a text/email, or make a call or a surprise visit to a loved one. You never know how much they might need it right now.

And just like that, we need to change mood… If you’ve got the time, I’d say wait until :51 when the drums break and the vocals start…

…because I was hired by the Long Center and the world felt like it was spinning on its axis a little more true. I, for one, could not be more thankful for the opportunity to be here listening to good music and talking to you about the Long Center’s accomplishments and plans.

If you want to let that song play out, I’ll wait here because we need a different tone for this next bit, and I promise I’m wrapping up. If you’re still here, I appreciate you.

In the last year, this team has done so much in so little time. We’ve created new content from whole cloth, like:

Big LUCK sign on Long Center Lawn
Collection of different camera screens on a big TV, behind the scenes at Good Vibes Only
Tables and patrons gathered around at The Drop-In

Incredible moments of socially-distanced performances with touring artists and local favorites.

Professionally-produced virtual series featuring the best of Austin’s music scene.

16 weeks of free, local music on our H-E-B Terrace.

Honestly, this feels like a good place to change the music. We’ve also played host to community events from some of my favorite organizations doing critical work in our community, like Six Square, Black Fret, and Musician Treatment Foundation.

When asked how I would characterize what we’ve been up to, I wrote the following: As the world navigates through the uncertainty and trepidation surrounding the pandemic, the Long Center concentrated on finding singular, authentic voices; creating new partnerships with trailblazing organizations hosting memorable performances; and highlighting local artists and creativity. 

I think that sill holds true… and a good music segue. We’ve been on a mission to find authentic, inspiring voices, and we hope that you’ll take the leap and come along on this journey.

The part about which I’m most excited is the new content we have in store for you… starting with Long Center’s lookOUT. LookOUT is a celebration of diversity and creativity, an exercise in discovery rooted in extraordinary music. If you’ve been with us at all over the last year through one of our programs, gone to a socially-distant show or tuned into a virtual performance, I’d encourage you to be curious and check out something new with us. For the price of dinner and a movie, you can get hours of fodder for the soundtracks to your next conversations.

And just like that, I’ve taken up too much of your time for this to be an intermission. If you stuck around, thank you for indulging me and I hope to see you soon. You can play this one on the way out…

— Bobby


At the Long Center, we’ve always got a new partnership or something cool we know you’ll want to check out! Find and follow us @longcenter on your social media platform of choice, and we’ll see you real soon.

Year-End Gift 2023 | Long Center
Your Support Today, Transforms Tomorrow

We’ve made it our mission to support creativity in all its forms, and we hope this season you’ll join us and do the same. Your donation doesn’t just support our work, it’s a declaration that creativity belongs to everyone


Become a LC member today and and get first dibs on RSVP before the public, early entrance into the venue for you and your guests, members-only bars, and other surprises!

Amplify Austin is here – and we need your help to provide free arts experiences for K-12 students through our Long Reach for the Arts program.  Because the kids need art!