Photo by Dave Pedley

In the words of Friedrich Nietzsche, “Without music, life would be a mistake.” In Austin, music is the glue that holds the city together. It reminds us of who we are and where we come from. Without music, Austin would not be what it is today. Music is the heart and soul of our city.

The CultureMap Social on Monday, June 29 celebrates organizations that play a key role in upholding Austin’s music community, creating support and advocacy for professional musicians and fostering the growth of aspiring musicians.

In honor of the event, we're spotlighting organizations that offer various opportunities to enrich lives through artistic expression and musicianship.

Kids in a New Groove
Research has shown that learning to play an instrument helps to develop the brain, impacting emotional development and maturity, social skills and the ability to handle several tasks simultaneously. Recognizing this, Kids in a New Groove (KING) provides free, in-home music lessons for the underserved youth in foster care.

Founded in 2009 by Karyn Scott, KING pairs foster children with a music mentor who can offer consistent guidance, so that foster youth involved in the program can walk away with a skill set, self-confidence and a healthy relationship with an adult. Through mentorship and music education, KING’s teachers aspire to help students succeed academically, emotionally and socially.

KING students recently performed at X Games Austin, providing an opportunity to perform among professional musicians, which directly ties in to the KING mission: “to show the world and, more importantly, youth themselves, what they can accomplish with passion and dedication.”

Austin Music People
Austin Music People (AMP) advocates for the “brands, bands and fans” that have laid the groundwork to create the rich music culture found in Austin today. The intent behind AMP is to not only uplift musicians and industry professionals but also demonstrate to the City of Austin the actual dollar amount contributed to the economy.

The organization identified a need in the community when high-rises started to spread like wildfire and the entertainment scene faced city restrictions on when and where live music could occur. AMP set to work to secure a voice representing the interests of musicians and the important creative and economic influence live music has on the city.

Working in conjunction with music industry businesses, musicians and supporters, AMP serves the music scene by participating in city and policy development, informing the public and representing live music interests in public and private forums.

By providing concrete numbers about Austin’s live music and music tourism sectors — such as the $1.7 billion generated for the Austin economy, the 18,148 permanent and seasonal jobs that are created and the $38 million contributed annually in city tax revenue — AMP is showing us why music matters not only to individuals but also to Austin as a whole.

Black Fret
To say it’s a struggle to be a full-time musician would be an understatement. As a tribute to the artists who contribute to the city’s designation as the “Live Music Capital of the World,” Black Fret gives opportunities to musicians to create and perform their art form.

By utilizing the symphony patronage model, membership-based Black Fret nominates local bands for the chance to win a grant. Last year, the Austin nonprofit awarded $100,000 in grants — $10,000 for 10 musicians — allowing winners to advance their careers.

The 2015 nominees include Tameca Jones, Not in the Face, Riders Against the Storm, Holiday Mountain, Shakey Graves, The Nightowls, The Digital Wild, Ruby Jane, Gina Chavez, Danny Malone, Shinyribs, Nakia, Mother Falcon, Migrant Kids, Max Frost, Jazz Mills, East Cameron Folkcore, Aaron Behrens, Casey McPherson and Dan Dyer. All of them will receive a grant this year. Once Black Fret reaches its membership goal, the organization will be able to select more than 40 artists each year to receive $25,000, keeping the Austin music scene alive and well.

Austin Music Foundation
Much like Black Fret, Austin Music Foundation (AMF) works to empower musicians through programs, events and initiatives aimed at strengthening the city’s creative economy. From business education as it pertains to music to bringing people together from all corners of the music industry (artists, managers, producers, executives, etc.), AMF aims to sustain the city’s diverse music community.

Recent news for the organization includes its fourth annual Music Industry Collaborative program, which helps music entrepreneurs with existing businesses acquire the resources and mentors needed to be successful. AMF has also partnered with the Circuit of the Americas for its Summer Series at the Austin360 Amphitheater, where AMF will curate local performances to open for national and international headlining acts.

Interested parties can get involved with free and low-cost musician consultations, monthly workshops and panels, and quarterly mixers that help unite the Austin music community. It’s programs like these that help instill faith for the future of Austin and its heart and soul, the music. The beat will go on.


Learn more about these organizations at CultureMap Social on the WET Deck at W Austin, June 29 from 6-8 pm. Listen to live music from Keeper and DJ BoomBaptist and sample summer fare from TRACE. Plus, treat yourself to a mini massage, channel your inner rock star with a look from the beGlammed beauty bar, and step into Smilebooth's Record Studio presented by Cadillac.

During the evening, you'll vote to decide which of the following music organizations — Kids in a New Groove, Austin Music People, Black Fret, Austin Music Foundation or Dub Academy — wins a $5,000 advertising package from CultureMap. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased here.

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4 Austin-inspired cocktail recipes to whisk you away from the Texas heat this summer


Now that summer weather has arrived in Austin, we can tell you’re thirsting for some new drinks to try. And with World Gin Day coming up on June 10, we’re sharing a few recipes from local Austin restaurants (and Austin’s favorite Topo Chico!) we hope you’ll enjoy.

The following recipes feature some of our favorite ingredients or mixers we’re loving at the moment. Whether your drink of choice is a cocktail or mocktail, we’ve gathered four bright and bubbly beverages to help whisk you away from the Texas heat. And if you prefer to drink them rather than make them, three of these lovely libations can be found on the seasonal summer menus at their respective restaurant.

Aba’s Rhubarb Rose Gin and Tonic
This cocktail was created by Senior Beverage Manager Thomas Mizuno-Moore.

½ oz lime juice
¼ oz honey syrup
½ oz Fruitful Mixology rhubarb liqueur
¾ oz Brockmans Gin
¾ oz Hendrick’s Flora Adora
2 oz tonic water
Rosebud tea, for garnish


  • Combine lime juice, honey syrup, Fruitful Mixology rhubarb liqueur, Brockmans Gin and Hendrick’s Flora Adora in a cocktail shaker. Add ice, shake until cold.
  • Add tonic water to the shaker, then strain over fresh ice in a double old fashioned glass.
  • Garnish with rosebud tea and enjoy!

Blueberry Sparkler Mocktail by Topo ChicoBecause everyone needs a good go-to mocktail recipe in their life.Photo courtesy of Topo Chico

Blueberry Sparkler Mocktail by Topo Chico
This beverage might not be gin-themed, but it does make a great refreshing mocktail. If you don’t have Topo Chico Sabores on hand, you can substitute it with sparkling water.

1 Blueberry Topo Chico Sabores
1 cup fresh blueberries
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
½ cup water
½ oz freshly squeezed lemon juice
Lemon slices and additional blueberries, for garnish

Blueberry Syrup Directions:

  • In a small saucepan, combine the blueberries, sugar, and water. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the blueberries are soft and the sugar has dissolved, about 5 minutes.
  • Remove the saucepan from the heat and allow the blueberry mixture to cool for about 10 minutes.
  • Once cooled, use a fine-mesh strainer to strain the blueberry mixture into a bowl, pressing on the solids to extract as much juice as possible. Discard the solids and set the blueberry syrup aside.

Mocktail Directions:

  • In a cocktail shaker, combine 1 ounce of the blueberry syrup, and lemon juice. Fill the shaker with ice and shake well until chilled, about 15-20 seconds.
  • Fill a glass with ice and strain the mixture into the glass. Top off the glass with Blueberry Topo Chico Sabores (or sparkling water) and give it a gentle stir to mix.
  • Garnish with lemon slices and additional blueberries, if desired. Enjoy your refreshing Blueberry Sparkler!

Tillie's seasonal summer cocktailThis colorful cocktail is a lively take on a gin martini.Photo courtesy of Tillie's at Camp Lucy

Empress Gin Martini by Tillie’s at Camp Lucy
This martini recipe was developed by Paolo Lazarich, the mixologist for Abbey Row Restaurant at The Old Bell Hotel in the United Kingdom. Fun fact: Camp Lucy owners Kim and White Hanks also own The Old Bell Hotel, which is rumored to be England’s oldest hotel.

3 oz Empress 1908 Gin
1 oz dry vermouth
Splash of lemon juice
Lemon and rosemary for garnish


  • Add the Empress 1908 Gin, dry vermouth, and lemon juice to a glass and stir gently.
  • Garnish with a lemon wedge and a sprig of rosemary. Enjoy.

\u200bSummertime Spritz by Dean's Italian Steakhouse There's nothing like a summer spritz.Photo courtesy of Dean's Italian Steakhouse

Summertime Spritz by Dean's Italian Steakhouse
This recipe is geared toward a mixologist who enjoys the little details that make a cocktail so unique, such as making their own oleo saccharum or curating the perfect flower as a garnish.

½ oz lemon juice
½ oz strawberry oleo saccharum
¼ oz Aperol
¼ oz Giffard Abricot
1.5 oz Zephyr Gin
2 oz Brut champagne
1 each cocktail flower


  • Combine all ingredients except Brut champagne into a cocktail shaker. Fill the shaker with ice and shake vigorously, about 15-20 seconds.
  • Fill a wine glass with ice and add the Brut. Fine strain the cocktail into the glass.
  • Garnish with the cocktail flower

Extravagant estate in West Austin hits the market for $4.25 million


An imperial estate in the Lost Creek neighborhood of West Austin has become the latest addition to the city's stabilizing real estate market. The property was listed at $4.25 million.

The magnificent three-story home was originally built in 2009, making great use of Austin's Hill Country views that can be seen from every single room. The home spans 8,215 square feet on just over two acres of land, surrounded by lush trees and enclosed with a private gated entrance.

Natural light floods the inside of the home, highlighting intricate details and complimenting the high ceilings. The home boasts five bedrooms, four bathrooms, and three half-baths. The primary suite is reminiscent of an upscale resort, containing its own spa-like bathroom, walk-in closets, and access to a private balcony.

In the kitchen, the 60-inch wolf range is an aspiring chef's dream. The area has plenty of space and storage with its rich brown cabinets, a sub-zero refrigerator, a cabinet-mounted wine rack, two sinks, and more.

8105 Talbot Lane in AustinThe 60-inch wolf range is an aspiring chef's dream.Photo courtesy of JPM Real Estate Photography

A few other highlights of the home include a game room, media room, terraces, and a resort-style pool deck with an accompanying hot tub, kitchen, and fire pit. The two-car garage also includes a guest suite above it, with a single bedroom, kitchenette, and half bath.

Looking into the property's history, it was listed in June 2022 for $4.9 million, which was reduced to $3.9 million by September. The home was reported as sold in October of that year before being re-listed for its current $4.25 million price in 2023.

8105 Talbot Lane in Austin

Photo courtesy of JPM Real Estate Photography

The estate is located at 8105 Talbot Lane in West Austin.

The estate is located at 8105 Talbot Lane, which is a brief 10 minutes from downtown Austin, and is zoned for the highly-esteemed Eanes Independent School District. The listing is held by agent Wade Giles of Douglas Elliman.

Uchi spinoff to debut "whisky omakase," bar pairings, and bao in Austin

Raising the Bar

Uchibā isn't a new concept, nor is it newly promised to Austin, but it's finally getting closer to becoming a reality. The bar and restaurant spinoff from Uchi (translated as "Uchi Bar") announced today that it is set to open in late summer in the Google Tower.

Hai Hospitality, the parent group of famous omakase restaurant Uchi, more casual sushi restaurant Uchiko, and drop-in Asian barbecue restaurant Loro, announced the idea in October of 2021, setting a launch date in fall of 2022. The intent was always to open the restaurant in the Google Tower (601 West 2nd St.), so the difference now is just timing.

The original Uchibā opened in Dallas in 2019, operating upstairs from Uchi, an Austin export. This exchange is now coming back around, blurring the lines of what's from which Texas city. Similarly, the lines are blurred between what each restaurant serves, since Uchibā does include some of Uchi and Uchiko's most popular dishes: hot and cool tastings, agemono (deep fried bites), raw fish rolls, yakitori, and more, including dessert.

Of course, there will be lots of menu items that are unique to Uchibā, especially when informed by the spirits behind the bar. Some of these food and drink pairings include the Hawaiian-ish spiced ham misubi with nori, rice, and tepahe, a fermented pineapple drink; and the vodka and caviar with olive oil, burnt butter, brioche, and chives. As well as these "duos," the bar will offer omakase flights for whiskey and agave spirits.

“At Uchi we combine flavors and textures to create what we call the ‘perfect bite,’” said Chef Tyson Cole, the James Beard Award-winning chef who started the Uchi brand, in a press release. “With Uchibā, we wanted to take that a step further by unifying food with cocktails and spirits. Our 'Perfect Pairs' and the whisky omakase play off this idea with intentional combinations of food, cocktails and the the amazing array of Japanese whiskies behind the bar.”

Some menu items aren't just unique to Uchibā; They're also only available at the Austin location, thanks to its chef de cuisine, Vaidas Imsha. His menu includes categories that don't appear at the Dallas location — "Buns + Bao" and dumplings — and a long list of items that could constitute their own menu independently. Among these are a Caesar salad with Japanese twists; a Wagyu beef bulgogi with radish kimchi; two fish crudos with refreshing additions like asian pear and cucumber aguachile; and the more straightforward karaage spiced up with kimchi caramel and yuzu pear.

Uchibā will operate Sunday through Thursday from 4-10 pm; until midnight on Fridays; and until 11 pm on Saturdays. Happy Hour will be from 4-6 pm Monday through Friday.

Uchiba Austin

Photo courtesy of Uchibā

Although Uchi is from Austin, Uchiba, the upstairs bar, has only existed in Dallas until now.