Guitarist, songwriter, GRAMMY winner… is there anything Adrian Quesada can’t do? We caught up with the iconic Austinite ahead of his September 2nd show with us, celebrating our 15th anniversary. Keep scrolling to get the scoop on his creative process, what we can expect on September 2, and *gasp* a new Black Pumas album 👇

MEET ADRIAN QUESADA
Photo by Jackie Lee Young

Long Center: First off, just for fun — what song do you want folks to listen to while they read the rest of this interview?

Adrian Quesada: Cajmere’s “Brighter Days” (Underground Goodies Mix) because I just listened to that for the last 24 hours straight 😝

LC: Grupo FantasmaBlack Pumas… these groups are now huge household names in Austin and beyond. How has your perspective on making music in Austin changed since you first got started? 

AQ: As I get older, I feel more of a responsibility to represent Austin on a global scale and am truly honored to call this city home and receive as much support as I do here. The city has changed so much, and continues to do so. The longer I have the opportunity to make music here really feels like a blessing.

LC: We know that Jaguar Sound was your pandemic project – what kind of effect do you think that had on the album as a whole? Has it taken on new life now that it’s in music venues and out in the open? 

AQ: Jaguar Sound being a pandemic album had a bit of a solitary and pensive vibe to it that I think was very reflective of the moment in time. There were so many things that felt poignant, among them the fact that jaguars are largely solitary animals. I have some reclusive traits, so making music alone was not new to me, and it was the only way to really operate at that time.

The fact that a lot of friends were doing the same made it easy to collaborate on parts, so this was not an album that was finished alone; it was brought to life by a lot of talented musicians.

It has definitely taken on a new life as it wasn’t exactly recorded to be played live, so doing so and having people react the way they do has been really special.

Photo by Jackie Lee Young

LC:  The list of influences for this album are like a rap-cinema whirlwind. How did you land on ‘70s Italian movie scores and rap beats and then link these two seemingly separate ideas into something entirely your own?

AQ: What I love about film scores is that they’re set to visuals, but can be so expressive even without the film they accompany — they can be very open to interpretation.

I have a visual arts background and an art degree (I used to be a painter), so I always make music that I imagine someone can close their eyes to and see something when they listen.

Hip-hop was my first musical obsession, and a lot of samples have come from film scores and composers, so finding the middle ground between the two felt pretty natural to me.

LC: We’re beyond excited for your show on September 2nd, celebrating our 15th birthday. Who will be joining you on stage? Any special guests? 

AQ: We will be performing my Jaguar Sound album, along with a mini Boleros Psicodélicos set featuring vocalists Angélica Garcia, Clemente Castillo, and Mireya Ramos (of Mariachi Flor de
Toloache).

This will be a rare treat, as the last time we performed that music was last year at ACL Fest and a subsequent ACL TV taping. There may be a couple of other surprise guests that come through as well!

LC: Any future projects you can tease for us? Maybe a new big cat on the horizon? 

AQ: Yes, I am very excited to say that there is a new Black Pumas album coming very soon. We
came together to make something I’m very proud of as a second album, and I promise we won’t disappoint.

Photo by Jackie Lee Young

Well that’s it, we’re pumped! What about you? Catch Adrian plus special guests Angélica Garcia, Clemente Castillo, and Mireya Ramos at the Long Center on September for a big ol’ 15th anniversary show. Buy three tickets and get one free by entering the code SPIRITS when you check out. See you there ✌️

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.

In case you haven’t heard… we’re having an open house!! On Saturday, September 9th, we’re flinging the doors open and pulling out all the stops to make this FREE community bash one for the ages. Come hang out with us for the day and… 

  • Explore the Long Center, inside and out (sit in a seat you’ve never sat in before)
  • Get inspired by a new community organization (there are so many!)
  • Enjoy performances, games, and even food trucks (there’s something for everyone)
  • and have a whole lotta of fun while you’re at it

Since this is our 15th Anniversary – yes, it’s been 15 years since the Long Center first opened its doors in 2008 – we could think of no better reason to honor half of our founding duo, Dr. Teresa Lozano Long, who passed away in 2021. Her vision and legacy have inspired countless organizations, educational programs, arts & cultural initiatives, and individuals over the years. Thanks to Terry and her husband Joe R. Long, the Long Center exists today for us all to enjoy.

We’re excited to share more about this powerful, inspirational woman ahead of honoring her at our first annual Community Day.

Dr. Teresa Lozano Long with husband Joe Long. Photo courtesy Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies, UT Austin.
So, why Community Day?

We believe that Austin arts are better together, and the post-pandemic collective experiences of arts orgs, music venues, and cultural hotspots really drove this idea home.

Terry also believed in the power of the arts and the importance of equal access to marginalized communities. So, while we revel in this milestone of 15 years serving the Austin arts scene, we’re also looking at how the Long Center can expand what we do and innovate on what we’ve done, inspired by Terry’s passion and devotion. 

From traditional performing arts to hyper-local creativity, we’re looking to a horizon that’s always sunny and has room for everyone. Who wouldn’t want to celebrate that??

The Skinny on Teresa Lozano Long
A Strong, Smart, Texas Woman

Growing up on her parents’ dairy farm in South Texas, Terry was valedictorian of her high school class at the age of 16. She went on to get her Bachelor’s, Master’s, and doctoral degrees from UT Austin, becoming the first Hispanic woman to earn a doctorate in health and physical education from the University (wow).

She was inducted into the Texas Women’s Hall of Fame in 2010, and as an organization with an all-female trio of Board Officers and a mostly-female executive leadership team, we think it’s pretty cool that her name is on the building.

Photo courtesy the Long family.
National and Local Advocate

Chances are, if it’s an arts org in Austin, Terry probably supported it. Not only was she appointed to the National Council advising the National Endowment for the Arts in 2002 (that’s like the biggest federal support that the arts can get), but she also tirelessly advocated nationally and locally for cultural institutions and initiatives of all types.

Giving the lead gift that built and established the Long Center for the Performing Arts, together with her husband, Terry championed so many organizations throughout the community, a few of which will be participating in Community Day. Look out for performances by Austin Soundwaves, Austin Classical Guitar, Ballet Austin’s Rhythm on Stage, musicians from Austin Symphony Orchestra, and Austin Opera.

Arts and Education for All

There can’t be a mention of Dr. Long without highlighting her humanity. Her special combination of positivity, dedication to giving back, and strong belief in the idea that everyone deserves access to arts and education made her a pioneer in the field of philanthropy. In 2019, she was honored with the National Humanities Medal in a White House ceremony.

Teresa Lozano Long (center) with (from L to R:) National Medal for the Arts recipient Alison Krauss, Claremont Institute President Ryan Williams, chef Patrick J. O’Connell, and National Medal for the Arts recipient Sharon Percy Rockefeller. Photo courtesy Humanities Texas.

The organizations that bear her name now are direct results of this belief and strong reminders of the Longs’ legacy of support in which they’ve donated millions to create a better world. We’re honored to be one of them:

Dr. & Joe Long alongside (L to R) Jo Ann Christian, Jare Smith, and Jane Sibley
Ready to Celebrate?

We think we’ve made our case! Look out for more ways we’ll be highlighting the vision & spirit of Dr. Long at our first annual FREE Community Day plus open house details, teasers, and more on how we’ll cheers to 15 years.

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.

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