The inspiration for Hot Town comes from the passionate and spirited acoustic music historically found in Austin and the Central Texas area. The musicianers playing these styles fully commit to their art with fiery enthusiasm and heartfelt emotion. And, through their commitment and deep love for their art and the histories and cultures they honor, those traditions live and breathe with vitality and joy; invigorating heads, hands, and hearts to grow, grieve, celebrate, and gather to form exuberant communities.



Playing ‘hot’ is found in artists throughout all genres. From early jazz to bluegrass, western swing to mariachi, irrepressible souls moved to sound their deeply felt gladness, sadness, devotion, and zeal.



Austin and Central Texas have never been in short supply of these ‘hot’ musicianers and their music, and Hot Town aims to illuminate them.





We couldn’t ask for a more fitting venue to host this event than the historic Doris Miller Auditorium in East Austin. It is a great honor to be presenting music on the same stage where so many musical giants and personal heroes performed - Fletcher Henderson, Jimmie Lunceford, Ella Fitzgerald with the Dizzy Gillespie Orchestra, Count Basie, Andy Kirk and his 12 Clouds of Joy, Nat King Cole Trio, Lionel Hampton, Louis Jordan, Louis Armstrong...


From the Austin Park’s Foundation:


“The auditorium was constructed in 1942 by the Civilian Conservation Corps for the recreation needs of the Armed Forces. The facility is named after Doris "Dorie" Miller, a hero at Pearl Harbor, and the first African American recipient of the Navy's highest honor, the Navy Cross. Miller was a Waco-native, but there are reports he spent time here in Austin before his Naval service. The building hosted black WWII servicemen from various bases who came to attend dances and see entertainment organized by the park staff in collaboration with the USO.


It also became a stop on the “Chitlin’ Circuit,” where African American musicians passing through Texas could play, before music venues were integrated or friendly to African American Musicians. Musicians like Ella Fitzgerald and Ike and Tina Turner graced the stage.


Later, the facility hosted the city’s first hip-hop shows where rapper Terrany Johnson a.k.a. Tee Double played one of his first gigs, a sold out show, with the group Dope Melody, that also featured Austin emcee Tigre Liu, ‘way before they would even let hip-hop downtown.’”




Our team of community builders came together energized by their joyous enthusiasm for hot music, their desire to share the excitement found in these musics, and their drive to nourish and acknowledge the communities, individuals, histories, and continuing contributions of these culture-bearers.


Each has studied in depth and immersed themselves in many of these genres over their careers as musicianers. Each is dedicated to enriching the lives of those around them through music. Each is compelled to bring awareness of the rich musical heritage found throughout ‘hot’ music in Austin.


-Colin Hancock, Lauryn Gould, Ryan Gould, Ryan Neubauer

Many thanks for our sponsors for the 2024 festival: