The Austin Tejano Trails has been a labor of love for a dedicated group of volunteers committed to preserving the history, diversity, and cultural assets in East Austin.
The art provides shade and a welcoming environment for visitors to reflect on Roy Montelongo’s musical accomplishments. Roy began his musical career at 14 years old playing sax for the Beto Villa Orquesta. He also played with Cowboy Donley, Isidro Lopez, and Alfonso Ramos before forming his own band in 1964. He was a popular radio showman and in 1991 was inducted into the Conjunto Music Hall of Fame.
Arismendi’s shade structure is circles of metal that are like a spinning record in honor of Montelongo’s more than 20 recorded albums, some of which were produced by his label, Texas Records. The shade treble clef motif casts shadows that move across the footpath on sunny days. The 4 ft. medallions show his love of music, family, and his popular radio program ¡Estamos en Tejas!
In 2001, he was posthumously awarded the Idolos Del Barrio Award by the Austin Latin American Music Association, and three years later he received the Tejano Music Museum's Pioneer Award. The City of Austin commemorated his contributions to the community in 2006 with this scenic overlook, and in 2008 he was inducted into the Austin Music Memorial. He was one of the ten inaugural inductees recognized for their contributions to the Austin Music Community. Ignacio "Nash" Hernandez was also a member of this first group of inductees.
On a sunny day, if you sit on the bench for awhile, musical notes will dance across the sidewalk.
Cover photo credit: Centro Esoterico via Flickr