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Best tuneful picks for Fiesta, the city's big party

Photo: Courtesy photo, License: N/A

Courtesy photo

The Veer Union

A Taste of New Orleans

Forget about the offered menu of gumbos, red beans and rice, and alligator meat — the real treat in this three-day celebration (one of the highlights of Fiesta) is the music. Dixieland, zydeco, brass bands, soul, blues, and contemporary jazz are well represented this year with names like Andre Thierry & Zydeco Magic, Soul Track Mind, Europa, and many more. Check the Zulu Association's website for showtimes. $12 (children under 12 free), 4pm Fri, April 20, noon Sat, April 21, and Sun, April 22, Sunken Garden Theater, 3875 N St. Mary's, (210) 637-8328,

San Antonio Symphony
Fiesta Pops

Led by guest conductor and arranger Troy Peters, the SA Symphony is the main course in a musical extravaganza that features Tejano singer Patsy Torres, Mariachi Campanas de América, and the Guadalupe Dance Company. $8-$64.75, 8pm Fri, Apr 20, and Sat, Apr 21, Majestic Theatre, 224 E Houston, (210) 554-1010,

The Veer Union

The Vancouver hard rock band is touring behind Divide The Blackened Sky, their sophomore album released last month. Their major label debut, Against the Grain (Universal Motown), didn't sell as much as expected and the band was dropped. The new album is a raw, powerful, dark collection of songs depicting "all the hard times we have been through over the last couple of years," according to frontman Crispin Earl. The new album is a do-or-die for them, so expect a performance representative of the urgency of the situation. $18-$20 (two-day pre-sale $30; children under 12 free), 4:15pm Sat, Fiesta Oyster Bake, St. Mary's University, One Camino Santa Maria, (210) 436-3324,

Los #3 Dinners, Bombasta, Roberta Morales, Mitch Webb & Friends

The Fiesta Arts Fair at the Southwest School of Art & Craft has one of the best all-around lineups in all of Fiesta, but these four acts you can't miss: under different incarnations Los #3 Dinners (12:30p.m. Saturday) have been rocking out in San Antonio for almost five decades but still have the energy of their youth (that is, if they don't forget their oxygen tanks in the van); Bombasta (4p.m. Saturday) is a cumbia, reggae, hip-hop, funk, and salsa combo about to release its new album; and there's also two special treats: Roberta Morales (1p.m. Sunday, from the recently dissolved duo Sisters Morales) will be presenting her solo stuff, and Mitch Webb (minus his terrific Swindles,) will be having an acoustic set with some friends at 3 p.m. on Sunday. $10 daily ($5 daily for children ages 5-12, free for children under 5; $16 weekend pass), all-day festival starts 10am Sat, Apr 21, and 11:30am Sun, Apr 22, Southwest School of Art, 300 Augusta, (210) 224-1848,

Bonus pick: Brownout

This is not an official Fiesta event, but what could be more Fiesta than Brownout? The formerly all-instrumental alter ego of Austin's Grupo Fantasma will release Oozy, their amazing third album, on May 15. But you don't have to wait that long to enjoy their guaranteed-to-be-funky pinche pachanga: Check them out this Saturday at Sam's. $10-$13, 9pm Sat, Apr 21, Sam's Burger Joint, 330 E Grayson, (210) 223-2830,

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