A Tribute to my Austin Band, Illuminate…


The Making of a Band ~the soulful, seasonal music of Illuminate ~

I thought I’d write a little somethin’ about the band I was in, while living in the Austin area, from ’07-’10. It was a great experience & I never want to forget it. Since I live back in the NW now, there’s no need for an Illuminate Band “page” on my blog, so I changed it to a blog post instead, with the hopes that I’ll be replacing that band page with a new one. I love to jam. Love to write. Love to work with gifted musicians. I think that it’s just a matter of time before God leads the way for a new opportunity here in Oregon.

Three years with ILLUMINATE:

One month after moving to Austin in ’07, God put together our band, starting with acoustic guitarist & friend, Rene Ramos. The two of us were known as “Illuminate”. We got busy learning Christmas material, mostly songs that revealed the true nature & origin of the beautiful holiday.

In December ’07, we played our local Starbucks in Round Rock, Tx. & had a (short) blast – then took a (long) break. Much of ’08 & ’09 was spent writing original songs, but I don’t have quite enough written to go live in local venues, year-round…still a work in progress.

Christmas ’08, Illuminate joined forces a 2nd time, with new talent! On percussion, Elvis Lossa, on bass, Jason Kraft & on lead guitar, we had the humble Vincent “Lee” Flores.

We also added three more Starbucks locations to our schedule. Our hearts were really set on playing for a county jail, neglected kids at a children’s home, or a hospice facility…but apparently it’s a lot easier to get scheduled to play for the general coffee-sippin’ public than the oppressed. Either way, we’re booking early this year, & we’re more persistent. Illuminate ’09 consisted of:  Rene Ramos, Chelan Rene’ Russ, Lee Vincent Flores, Jason Kraft & Daniel Sadivar, our drummer.

We were able to do our thing at 7 diverse settings during December of ’09…

  • Sat. the 5th @ 4pm: The Querencia at Barton Creek (Austin’s premiere retirement community offering Assisted Living, Long-term and Skilled Nursing and Memory Support).
  • Sun. the 6th @ 4pm: SPJST (Taylor’s finest Rest Home providing medical, nursing and rehabilitative care, personal care & assisted living with programs that address social and spiritual needs of every resident).
  • Thurs. the 10th @ 5:30pm: The Top Drawer (as a non-profit thrift store, The Top Drawer supports Project Transitions, giving housing & hospice care for people in the Austin area dying with HIV/AIDS. Acoustic Night greatly helps to achieve  their mission).
  • 12th @ 7:30pm: Ricoco’s Latin Grill (family-owned by Richard & Coco. This place has the best Latin food in the greater Austin area. Fun for the whole family; definitely worth the drive to old town Taylor).
  • 18th @ 7pm: Blue Marble Java, supplying Pflugerville with the absolute best, freshest tasting premium gourmet coffees and service second to none. BMJ is proud to be as earth friendly as possible, showcase local musicians for a free & relaxing experience, and they provide free Wifi. What an artsy, roomy, & modern atmosphere!
  • 19th @ 1pm: Austin Recovery, where the healing begins. Austin Recovery has been providing “Affordable, Effective, Compassionate Alcohol and Drug Treatment since 1967″.
  • 22nd @ 7:30pm: Project Transitions, Roosevelt Gardens Housing Community, specializing in housing for those impacted by HIV/AIDS. For recorded live /streaming footage of this last show, go to illuminatelive.com/now. It was a 1st trial run using live streaming technology, so please excuse all the glitches! The show actually starts 20 minutes into the recording, the video freezes at about 37 minutes into it, but audio continues until the end.



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