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    Los Aztex Balalaika

    Presented by and Russian Speakers Society of Austin, TX at Austin Scottish Rite Theater

    April 28, 2017


    Los Aztex Balalaika

    Joel Guzman
    Having grown up in a musical family and playing accordion all his life, Joel realized that the accordion had no limits. Born into a dual identity, both Mexican and American, Joel continues to merge both cultures into his accordion style. "I may play a box, but I don't want to be put in one," testifies 2-time Grammy Award-winner Joel Guzman. One blogger at called Guzman “probably the best three-row diatonic player in the country,” and added, “He can play anything from traditional conjunto to jazz and beyond." Guzman, a child accordion prodigy, was given the title "El Pequeño Gigante" by his peers. Guzman has long been known to his peers as the most versatile and virtuoso accordionist in Texas.

    Sarah Fox is the main songwriter and driving vocal behind Latin Rock outfit Los Aztex. With a Mexican mother and a Cuban father, Sarah was exposed to the best of several worlds including top artists in salsa, ranchera, blues, and jazz music. In 1999, Sarah joined Los Super Seven (RCA/Nashville) as a guest vocalist. The Mexican Roots CD received a Grammy for best Mexican-American album. She quickly followed with Short Stories (Hightone Records), and Latinology (GFR). Both projects mixed folk and jazz, creating an excellent fusion of tropical rhythm and roots music.  

    Joel Gabriel made his professional music debut at the 30th Annual Conjunto Festival in San Antonio,TX at the age of 14. The young apprentice is perhaps best known for his work with the award-winning group Los Aztex. His skills as a guitarist and accordionist have landed him onstage with some of the best in the business. Musically trained by his father, Joel Gabriel began performing professionally in his mid-teens. After taking up guitar, he was soon putting his skills to use as an accompanist, culminating with performances with Los Aztex at Le Gran Soufflet in Rennes, FR; Pueblo Fest, Tulare, CA; and many summer festival stages from Texas to Louisiana.

    The Flying Balalaika Brothers, created by two Russian musicians, combines classical training with folk traditions. This group features vocalist Zhenya Rock on balalaika, accordion, guitar, and banjo; Sergey Vashchenko on balalaika, bass, and accordion. They will also play original music by Zhenya Rock, composer.


    Tickets (at the door): 
    •           Adults: $20
    •           Seniors and Students: $10
    •           Students and children under 12: free
    Advance tickets online:

    This performance is made possible with support from the City of Austin’s Cultural Arts Division, the Texas Commission on the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, and Great Promise for American Indians.

    To learn about upcoming shows or to obtain interviews or reviews, contact Sergey Vashchenko at or at
    (512) 656-6865.

    Austin Scottish Rite Theater

    207 West 18th Street
    Austin, TX 78701

    Full map and directions

    Admission Info:

    Adult: $20; Senior and Students $10; Kids under 12 FREE

    General Day and Time Info:

    There will be a 15-minute intermission with refreshments.

    Phone: 512-656-6865


    There is ample parking in the theater's parking lot as well as street parking.

    Accessibility Information:

    Official Website

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