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Music enthusiasts create downtown rhythms (w/video, gallery)

By Bianca Montes
April 24, 2014 at 10:05 p.m.
Updated April 24, 2014 at 11:25 p.m.

Jaylynn Rodriquez, 17, sings with the Edna High School Jazz Band during Downtown Rhythms at One O'Connor Plaza on Thursday. "They have fun with it, so it makes me have more fun with it," band director Joshua Partida said of the jazz band.

Wesley Ybanez took a quick breath as the jazzy, Latin music pouring from the speakers outside of One O'Connor Plaza began to slow. The Victoria East High School senior raised his brass trombone to his lips and filled the silence with a solo line in the Chuck Mangione classic, "Children of Sanchez."

Wesley, 17, said he picked up the trombone about seven years ago because "it was different," and after years of practice, he played an instrumental role in revitalizing his school's jazz band.

"It's more independent," he said about the style of music. Wesley also performs in the school's marching band and wind ensemble. "There's a different rhythm and style - I like it."

Wesley and his band, along with first-year teacher Carlos Gonzalez, performed Thursday at the annual Downtown Rhythms concert.

The jam fest is a way for the Victoria Symphony to thank its supporters, executive director Michelle Hall said.

Thursday was the 17th anniversary for the free event, and about 700 people lined South Bridge Street to celebrate.

Several food trucks lined the road, including KB's BBQ serving up tangy, brisket nachos while local favorites The Sendera and The PumpHouse threw down the culinary gauntlet in a "tac-off."

The restaurants vied for votes and bragging rights by presenting two different fish tacos to diners - a redfish option with a peach pico de gallo on blue corn tortillas by The PumpHouse and a Mahi-Mahi taco with horseradish slaw and a mango salsa by The Sendera.

Halfway through the event, it looked like they were at a standstill - a tie.

The event also hosted several events for the children, which included a musical petting zoo, large bubble wands and face painting.

"It's just such a wonderful night," Julie Cordova, of Victoria, said from the picnic-inspired seating she and her family set up near the stage. "It makes me wish Victoria would utilize its downtown area more - the music's perfect, the weather's perfect, the bands are incredibly talented."

The concert, which featured sets by the VISD orchestra, Victoria East and Edna High School jazz bands, Victoria Symphony Orchestra and several groups from Victoria College ended with a live performance by local rockers Clay Crockett and the Shotgun Riders.



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