Last November, in Texas Monthly’s music issue, Michael Hall suggested Corpus Christi is helping reinvent cumbia and gave much of that credit to 38-year-old Horacio “El Dusty” Oliveira. The story documented how Oliveira is representing his hometown not just by helping revitalize downtown Corpus with a mixed-use music and art center, but also by marrying traditional cumbia with modern electronic dance music (EDM) and hip-hop. His “Cumbia Anthem” earned him a Latin Grammy nomination in 2016, and now he’s pushing even more boundaries with a just-released full-length album, Cumbia City. In our conversation, recorded in Austin, El Dusty deconstructs his unique take on cumbia, but also, just as importantly to him, how Corpus is fostering forward-thinking culture under the radar and against the odds.
Also, we talk all things grilled meat with Texas Monthly’s very busy barbecue editor, Daniel Vaughn. Last week, we launched the Texas Monthly barbecue podcast, Fire & Smoke. In Episode 1, Daniel explores one of the most beloved figures in Texas barbecue, the celebrated pitmaster at Snow’s, Tootsie Tomanetz. Plus, on June 9, he’ll host Texas Monthly’s second annual MeatUp in San Antonio, bringing together local pitmasters from our Top 50 BBQ Joints in Texas. And if you want to take the list with you on your summer travels, it’s now available on newsstands as a stand-alone issue that features a new round of Daniel’s statewide picks.