Houston Institute for Culture
A Gulf Coast Juneteenth

Houston Monthly

Event Information
A Gulf Coast Juneteenth - Houston's Juneteenth Celebration is scheduled to bring a stellar musical lineup to celebrate freedom and commemorate the abolition of slavery in Texas. Music fans will gather from across the region at Miller Outdoor Theatre, Houston's largest public outdoor theatre, on Friday, June 19, 2009, to hear performances by noted artists representing the rich African American musical traditions of the Gulf Coast.

Jazz, blues and zydeco will make up this dynamic roster. Headlining this year's program is New Orleans sensation, Trombone Shorty with his high-energy group Orleans Avenue. Known for their raucous and virtuosic performances, Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue will embody the exuberance and elation of this historical occasion. A force to be reckoned with, Trombone Shorty was a bandleader by the age of 6 and has since been hailed as "Performer of the Year" by the esteemed Offbeat magazine.

Recognized widely for his exceptional musical talent, Trombone Shorty has performed with Lenny Kravitz and U2. Critics write, "Every once in a blue moon along comes someone who can merge the forces of virtuosity and exuberance and unleash them on an unsuspecting public. The latest in this exclusive line of blue moon arrivals is Troy 'Trombone Shorty' Andrews." He is currently touring with iconic regional groups like Galactic and The Dirty Dozen Brass Band. Trombone Shorty is featured on the Grammy nominated Dr. John CD, "City That Care Forgot", nominated for Best Contemporary Blues Album.

Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue are thrilled to play in Houston for the nation's premiere Juneteenth celebration. The event also features renowned zydeco artist Keith Frank and the Soileau Zydeco Band, and Diunna Greenleaf with Houston blues legends I.J. Gosey and Earl Gilliam.

Juneteenth ("Emancipation Day"), with its roots in Texas, is a historical observance growing in popularity across the Gulf Coast and the United States. Officially observed in 26 states, Juneteenth is the most significant historic event that originates from the Houston-Galveston region. It is honored in many of the same ways as July 4th - with family get-togethers, cookouts, religious gatherings, and live music. Juneteenth began on June 19, 1865 when Major General Gordon Granger read General Order No. 3 in Galveston, more than two months after the end of the Civil War, proclaiming "Slaves are free."

Houstonians are urged to strengthen the tradition of Juneteenth by coming to Hermann Park early on Friday, June 19, 2009, to celebrate with family and coworkers. The park features 445 wooded acres with picnic tables and grills, along with fountains, gardens, statues, playgrounds for children and educational facilities, such as the Houston Museum of Natural Science and the Houston Zoo.

Miller Outdoor Theatre is located in Hermann Park at 100 Concert Drive, Houston, Texas, 77030. It is wheelchair accessible. MetroRail serves Hermann Park. Information can be found at www.ridemetro.org. Concert-goers bringing cars are encouraged to carpool.

A Gulf Coast Juneteenth - Houston's Juneteenth Celebration, is produced by Houston Institute for Culture with support from the City of Houston through the Miller Theatre Advisory Board and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Partner organizations include NAACP Houston Branch, Buffalo Soldiers National Museum, Community Artists Collective, Expressions-EWCOC, Houston Area Urban League, Houston Blues Society, Jazz Institute of Houston, and Talking Back Living History Theatre.




Miller Outdoor Theatre is located in Houston's Hermann Park. Plan your visit.
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Juneteenth is a celebration of freedom and commemoration of the abolition of slavery. It has been honored since 1865. LEARN MORE

Emancipation Park was established in Houston's Third Ward as a site for freed slaves and their descendents to celebrate Juneteenth. LEARN MORE

Frederick Douglass has been called "the father of the Civil Rights movement in the United States."

The Emancipation Proclamation was effective by authority of President Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1863. LEARN MORE

"Juneteenth Revisited" - Houston Press columnist John Nova Lomax recounts the history of the Juneteenth Blues Festival. LEARN MORE

Smithsonian Magazine, in its May 2008 issue, recommends Houston's Juneteenth celebration as the Number 3 "Hotspot" in the nation in "Destination America."

2008 Event Information


Get Involved Help spread the word about Juneteenth in Houston. LEARN MORE

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