Spring training opened a couple of weeks ago for Major League Baseball. And while there was a large swath of ethnicities represented, the Mexican population was mostly absent. In fact, in 2014 there were only 9 Mexicans out of 853 total players. Yet Mexicans have a rich history with America’s pastime. Learn about this connection at the one-day program, “Los Peloteros: Baseball in the Tejano Community,” hosted by the Institute of Texan Cultures. The discussion will center on three regions in the state where baseball thrived among Texans of Mexican descent. There’s San Antonio, with Joe Sanchez talking about his family’s legacy of running the Spanish-American Baseball League, an independent amateur organization that formed in 1926 and disbanded in 2005. There’s the Rio Grande Valley, which Alberto Rodriguez, a history professor at Texas A&M University-Kingsville, will examine, putting into perspective how these leagues represented social mobility for Mexican Americans on the border. And finally, Gregory Garrett—researcher at the Institute of Texan Cultures, author of the forthcoming book Mexican-American Baseball in the Alamo Region, and organizer of the event—will consider other parts of South Texas, as well as New Braunfels, focusing on the community-building aspect that baseball provided in these areas. Uniforms, trophies, equipment, and scrapbook fodder will be on display, and the first fifty kids through the door will receive a free baseball from the San Antonio Missions double-A team.
The Institute of Texan Cultures, March 8, 2 p.m., texancultures.com
A Good Thing
Barbara Lynn, the rhythm and blueswoman from Beaumont, knocked it out of the park on her first try. Her debut 1962 single, “You’ll Lose a Good Thing,” which she recorded on one of Huey P. Meaux’s labels with session players including Dr. John, reached the Billboard Top 10. More than fifty years later, Lynn is still rocking at the age of 73, and you can see her sway Friday night at C-Boy’s Heart & Soul. Lynn is practically her own breed of musician. Not only was she the rare black female singer who wasn’t a back-up vocalist or in a girl group but she could also play a wicked, left-handed Stratocaster. In the liner notes to Light in the Attic Records’s 2014 reissue of her 1968 album, Here is Barbara Lynn, she is quoted as saying, “I decided that playing piano was a little bit too common, you know what I mean? You’d always see a lady or a little girl sitting at a piano. I decided I wanted to play something more unexpected, so that’s when I got interested in learning to play the guitar.” The decision paid off: Lynn’s musical prowess has earned her gigs with, among others, Chuck Berry, B.B. King, and the Supremes and inspired Aretha Franklin and the Rolling Stones to cover her songs.
C-Boy’s Heart & Soul, March 6, 10:45 p.m., cboysheartnsoul.com
Down on the Bayou
By the time you read this it will be too late to register to compete in Saturday’s forty-third annual Buffalo Bayou Partnership Regatta. Chances are, though, if you waited this long to enter the fifteen-mile canoe and kayak race through Houston, then this is probably good news. But it’s not too late to participate, whether as part of the slacker crew—unregistered contestants who are allowed to traverse the same stretch of water but must start five minutes after the last start for official racers—or as a cheerleader on the banks. This is a great opportunity to see hidden natural beauty in a concrete jungle. And the rewards at the finish line will affirm that you made the right choice to get up early on a Saturday: there will be food, drinks, and live zydeco music.
Buffalo Bayou Partnership Office, March 7, 7:30 p.m., buffalobayou.org
Piney Woods Palooza
The Big Nac Music Festival is part of a new trend in music festivals in Texas. Instead of enormous crowds trying to enjoy a mass amount of tunes in a major city, these affairs are relatively small and out of the way. Think Utopia Fest, in Utopia, or Viva Big Bend, serving far West Texas. It turns out the organizers of the latter are putting on the inaugural Big Nac, consisting of a mostly Texas lineup of 38 acts spread out over four venues and three days. Some of the big names worth stepping foot in Bigfoot country for include Joe Ely, Shinyribs, and Whiskey Shivers.
Various locations, March 6-8, bignac.com
Boy, Oh Boy
For fans of the filmmaker Richard Linklater who are still bitter about the way the best picture and best director categories at the Oscars played out, there is the fifteenth annual Texas Film Awards, where the induction of actors like Luke Wilson and Tommy Lee Jones into the Texas Film Hall of Fame will lead the way to that one shining moment when Boyhood receives its due with the Variety Creative Impact in Cinema Award, to be accepted by Linklater along with actors Ellar Coltrane and Patricia Arquette.
Austin Studios, March 12, 6 p.m., austinfilm.org
The Lovely Bones
Honor the women in your lives with “Mending Bones: Walking a Bone Labyrinth,” an International Women’s Day program that invites participants to take a meditative stroll through a garden of ceramic bones installed on the plaza of the Rothko Chapel by the Houston artist Jo Zider, an interactive work of art meant to call attention to endemic violence against women.
The Rothko Chapel, March 8, 10 a.m., rothkochapel.org