Today’s Mid-Week Intermission comes from an Austin favorite who’s always up to something wild, compelling, and stunningly brilliant… you guessed it — Graham Reynolds! Check in with this local composer to learn more about his newest projects, plus a little insight into our favorite helping of yuletide mischief, Graham Reynolds Ruins the Holidays. Catch the show December 3 & 4 (a few tickets are still out there!) in our Rollins Studio Theatre.

Graham Reynolds, a tall man with long brown hair stands in a brown pearl snap with his hands in his pockets in front of a brown studio upright piano.
Photo by Mark Poucher
Hi everyone,
I’m Graham Reynolds, a composer, bandleader, and improviser based here in Austin, but also doing work around the world.

I work in all sorts of contexts and mediums. Recently, I scored a dance piece called Horse that premiered in Sweden two months ago and a comedy TV show for the BBC, Out of her Mind, that started streaming in Britain a few months before that. I grew up playing piano but fell in love with the drums and spent a bunch of time with them as well.

I love to explore and never like to play anything twice the same way.
Graham at a desk with electronic composing tools.
Photo by Mark Poucher

I loved the holidays growing up. We hosted large gatherings on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. I missed that when I moved to Austin. So I started some holiday traditions of my own, including an annual holiday concert. While I love the season, the music itself can, for many of us, get old quickly (especially if you go anywhere near a store). It tends to be extra sweet, like a dessert with extra syrup poured on and sugar sprinkled on top of that. With this show, we try to add a bit of spice to the mixture with some irreverent improvisations and a lot of minor keys in the arrangements.

I got a new toy this fall, a sampler from 1010music. It’s only a bit bigger than an old CD case, but it can make huge amounts of sound. I’ve developed some new materials for this concert, and we’ve expanded the band dramatically. This year we have a full string quartet, a three-piece trombone section, and pedal steel. I’ll make sure you get to hear each player framed and spotlighted while also playing around with various combinations.

I’ve been working with the Long Center since day one. On opening weekend, I played a piece of mine with the ASO upstairs while a theater performance I scored went on downstairs. I’m excited to be back and hope you can join us for a bit of holiday fun this weekend.

Photo by Mark Poucher
Send me your requests!
Graham

KEEP IN TOUCH

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.

Nothing’s more memorable than returning to live arts after almost two years of live streams, video calls, and virtual shows… Good thing the Long Center is looking out for you! Liven up your gift giving this year with this sweet deal featuring live experiences the fam can look forward to all year long. 

HOW IT WORKS

It’s simple! The more shows you buy the more you save. That means more experiences and more holiday cheer for even less. Double check your calendar, because this deal is good through December 5th at midnight.

Tickets to 1 Show    ❄️  10% Off

Tickets to 2 Shows  ☕  15% Off

Tickets to 3 Shows  ⛄  20% Off

Tickets to 4 Shows  🎁  25% Off

Just add Standard tickets to your cart from these four shows 👇 and you’ll get the discount automatically. Happy gifting!

Rediscover a legend with The Simon & Garfunkel Story and leave all that troubled water far behind. You’ll experience the journey of the folk-rock duo from beginning to end, with all the hits in between, in this immersive concert-style theater tribute to one of the most iconic sounds of the ’60s.

Sunday, March 6 @ 7:30pm

Nominated for ‘Best Family Show,’ as well as The New York Times’ ‘Critic’s Pick,’ Paddington Gets in a Jam sees your favorite accident-prone bear center stage in his very own show. What starts with making marmalade jam turns into neighborhood chaos that only Paddington can fix! Declared ‘The Hottest Family Show in Town’ by Broadway World, ride along on Paddington’s newest adventure inspired by Michael Bond’s wonderful book series.

Sunday, March 13 @ 4pm

The Emmy and Tony Award-winner John Leguizamo will sit down with us to chat about everything and anything, from growing up in Queens to his rise in film and television. With plenty of humor, insight, and that Leguizamo charm, settle into some new perspectives based on struggles of racism & poverty, life lessons, and the characters he’s met along the way.

Wednesday, March 23 @ 8pm

Founded by dancer and choreographer Amalia Hernández in the early ’50s, Ballet Folklórico de México tells the rich, legendary, and transcendent story of Mexico. In this display of music and brilliant costuming, prepare to be transported to a place of good vs. evil — a land of heaven and earth where gods roam among the jaguars. Experience the beauty of Mexican dance and the 30 different cultures that have blossomed over the centuries and into the present.

de Amalia Hernández
Monday, April 4 @ 7:30pm

Ballet Folklorico de Mexico de Amalia Hernandez | Monday, April 4, 2022 at 7:30pm
Cyber Monday is just the start — with so much on the calendar, we can’t wait to see you back at the Long Center!

KEEP IN TOUCH

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.

We asked our Volunteer Ushers what they’d like for the holidays… and they said, “More volunteers, of course!” This Mid-Week Intermission celebrates the unsung heroes of the Long Center who greet every patron, know every seat, and answer every question. Read on to learn what they love about volunteering at the Long Center and why you should throw your hat in the ring.

What's Volunteering All About?
A full house sits in Dell Hell with dim lighting waiting for the show to start
A Full House for Neil deGrasse Tyson in 2016 // photo by James Goulden

You’ve seen them in the lobbies, you’ve been greeted by a smile… who knows, maybe you’ve even needed help finding your seat! Long Center experiences start and end with our Volunteer Ushers, and boy, do they have a job to do. With events ranging from 20 to 2500 people, plus countless outdoor shows, festivals, movies, and community events for thousands more… we’re always recruiting! So, what’s it all about?

It can take as many as 50 volunteers to staff a full-house performance in Dell Hall, and sometimes even more for an outdoor event. By helping you find your seat, engaging with guests, answering any and every question you may have, and providing excellent customer service, our volunteer team sets the Austin standard for an excellent experience. But whether they’ve been with us for six months or since we opened in 2008, each of our ushers would say it’s about giving back to the Austin community they love. And who wouldn’t want to see a show while they do that?

We asked:
How long have you been volunteering at the Long Center?

13 years
— Michelle

Over 10 years. Came to the public grand opening and was impressed!
— Carol

7 years. My wife said I needed something to do as I had retired. Love being a volunteer!
— Gary

6 months. I love giving back and socializing, especially in the arts.
— Rusty

Long Center's lookOUT featuring serpentwithfeet // photo by Catriona Long
Peek Behind the Curtain... Literally

There’s one perk of joining the team that beats them all, though… the shows! While our volunteer ushers keep our events seamless, safe, and enjoyable for everyone, they also get to see some great shows for free. From opera to ballet, Hasan Minhaj to Ina Garten, and The Avett Brothers to Gina Chavez, this is the best way to discover your next creative obsession. (And maybe even get a picture with them!)

Plus, you’ll also get a peek behind the curtain at how the events you attend every day are constructed, produced, and executed — a new perspective on the arts and music on which Austin runs. And with a calendar as full and varied as ours, you’ll never get bored.

We asked: 
What’s your favorite thing about volunteer ushering?

Networking and learning about event production.
—Rusty

Engaging with the attendees, especially ones who have never been to the Long Center before.
Katrina

Being around other people who enjoy and appreciate the arts as I do.
— Lesvia

I love the variety of  shows and performances I get to experience.
Pam

We asked:
What’s your most memorable ushering experience?

Singing along with Frankie Valle! (quietly)
— Gary

Watching a family open bags of Doritos at the ballet.

— Rusty

My most memorable ushering experience? Well that’s like picking a favorite child. Between Austin Opera, Ballet Austin’s Nutcracker, Whoopie Goldberg, comedians like Billy Crystal, banjo players like Steve Martin, etc., I just cannot do it.
— 
Lisa

Long Live Music featuring Billy Strings // photo by Jesse Faatz

So, what are you waiting for?? We’re inviting anyone 18 or older to join the team. If you love events, people, and live performances, you’re exactly who we’re looking for. Apply today, and we’ll let you know when the next official training takes place!

We asked:
Why should other Austinites volunteer with us?

Reasons include sharing a spectacular space where you can witness and experience the magic of phenomenal talent and creativity unfolding life; in front of your very eyes!
Lesvia

Experience camaraderie, see great shows, greet great people.
— Maria

Whether you live in Austin, Buda, Kyle, Round Rock, Pflugerville, San Marcos, etc., you should volunteer at the Long Center because it’s like automatically joining a fraternity or sorority. You will gain lifetime friendships with some awesome people.
— Lisa

It’s a wonderful opportunity to see great shows.
— Pam

Do512's Sound And Cinema // photo by Dillon Magnuson
Well, there you have it — we can’t wait for you to join the team. And to all of our volunteers… thank you

KEEP IN TOUCH

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.

This Friday, we welcome the Latin GRAMMY-winning sounds of Flor de Toloache to our H-E-B Terrace for lookOUT! We caught up with this all-female mariachi ensemble before the show to hear how they’ve stayed curious, connected, and creative over the past year. Read on and join us Friday with Las Cafeteras and Austin locals The Los Sundowns

GET CURIOUS WITH FLOR DE TOLOACHE
Flor de Toloache pose in a dinner booth dressed in white in this black and white photo
Photo by Nikki Schmidt

Long Center: Tell us a little bit about how Flor de Toloache has handled the chaos of the last year. How did you stay creative? What was rehearsal like How did you stay connected to each other?

Flor de Toloache: As a band we were as physically distant as we could possibly be, with Mireya in New Zealand, Shae in New Jersey, etc. for 17 months. We connected via Facetime and other streaming platforms to make music together, writing and performing solo with each other on the other side.

Lots of Instagram and Facebook Lives started off the pandemic and from there we began the whole performing-from-home thing by recording ourselves, each doing our own audio and video, sharing files, and stitching together “live” performances. We kept in touch with other artists and continued writing, collaborating, and releasing music! We definitely gained new skills as sound engineers and videographers LOL, but we are so relieved and happy to be performing live again.

Long Center: We’re incredibly excited to be launching our lookOUT series this fall with such a broad lineup, including your performance with Las Cafeteras on November 12th.

What’s it been like to tour again? Has it been exciting, nerve-wracking, or freeing to play for crowds once again?

Flor de Toloache: Playing live music, TOGETHER, actually physically together, in front of a physical audience is both amazing and, at first, was strange. The overwhelming feeling, however, is that everyone on stage and in the audience is clearly THRILLED and overjoyed to be partaking in the unparalleled experience of live music. It is a blessing and we are so excited to be a part of the Long Center’s lookOUT series performing with our very close friends, Las Cafeteras.

Flor de Toloache dressed in red and black in front of gold lights
Photo by Andrei Averbuch
Flor de Toloache dressed in all black with fringe jackets against a white background and floor
Photo by Andrei Averbuch

Long Center: Any new projects or albums in the works that you can share with us?

Flor de Toloache: We are working on releasing a rock covers album that we started recording over the pandemic as well as new music for our fourth album. In addition, we just released a new song with superstar Ximena Sariñana, “El Amor Más Grande.”

Long Center: What can our lookOUT concertgoers expect from your show on November 12th?

Flor de Toloache: LookOUT concertgoers can expect a music journey, an exploration of our traditional mariachi instruments through our original songs that span many genres, powerful vocal performances, rich with harmonies, and lots of smiles and gritos!

KEEP IN TOUCH

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.

Our weekly dose of curiosity comes from Las Cafeteras, whose community-building, Afro-Mexican beats are not only magnetic, but also headed your way soon. Hear from the band in today’s Mid-Week Intermission, and don’t miss out on their November 12th lookOUT performance with Flor de Toloache and Austin locals The Los Sundowns. And now, let’s see how Las Cafeteras stayed creative, curious, and connected.

GET CURIOUS WITH LAS CAFETERAS
The full Las Cafeteras band live on stage during an energetic performance

Long Center: Tell us a little bit about how Las Cafeteras has handled the chaos of the last year. How did you stay creative? What was rehearsal like How did you stay connected to each other?

Las Cafeteras: In retrospect, the band needed a break. We have been going strong for 10 years and when the Quarantine happened, the step back was much needed. The break allowed for each individual to be creative in their own space and to create art that was more reflective of the individual, rather than the collective.

When it came to recording, work was done remotely and through online sharing. We would book studio dates, get tested 2X and then record ideas. Creatively speaking, we were on FIRE! We put out more content this last year than we did in the last 3 years.

Long Center: We’re incredibly excited to be launching our lookOUT series this fall with such a broad lineup, including your performance with Flor de Toloache on November 12th.

What’s it been like to tour again? Has it been exciting, nerve-wracking, or freeing to play for crowds once again?

Las Cafeteras:  We’re not the same band that we were before Quarantine… I don’t think anybody is, and I don’t mean that as a bad thing. The band was already at a crossroads with our sound and performance. With the release of songs like “Long Time Coming” and “La Sirena,” it is clear that we have matured sonically and have had to grow our performance as well.

But you can’t really hone in on your performance without performing. IF there was an emotion for high anxiety and excitement that’s where we’re at.

A woman, in a retro black dress, stands on stage with open arms in this black and white stage photo

Long Center: Any new projects or albums in the works that you can share with us?

Las Cafeteras: We just released our latest single, “Oaxaca Love Song No2,” a rockin’ sonic homage to Oaxaca culture, comida, and Indigenous resilience. The music video is a hot black and white throwback to the Mexican Rock ‘n’ Roll era of the late ’50s. The song will be part of an upcoming EP.

Long Center: As we get back out into the open, we’re encouraging all of our readers to give into their curiosity and discover new artists, hobbies, art, or community organizations, or even revisit the activity that’s already around them.

What has Las Cafeteras become curious about? What will you explore next?

Las Cafeteras: In Quarantine, we explored a lot of collaborations. We worked with rappers in swing states, a Hip Hop producer in Seattle, artists in the Southwest (Arizona and El Paso), and worked with several different dance companies.

We want to continue to work with different artists, within and outside of our genre.

Long Center: What can our lookOUT concertgoers expect from your show on November 12th?

Las Cafeteras: We’re gonna take the audience on a journey. From Jarocho to Hip Hop, from Folk to Funk, from Afro-Mexican to Americana. We’re gonna dance, groove, and move together.

We can’t wait.

Las Cafeteras entertaining at a packed party, pre-pandemic

KEEP IN TOUCH

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.

X