Press Releases & Blogs

Houston First "Party on the Plaza" Virtual Benefit Concert

Houston • April 23, 2020

HOUSTON (April 23, 2020) – Houston First Corporation is pleased to announce the return of the iconic Houston concert, Party On The Plaza, Saturday, May 2, but this time audiences can experience the musical performances at home and give to those hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic. KHOU 11 and Houston First are partnering to create a virtual Party On The Plaza, benefitting the Houston Food Bank.

Celebrities and high-profile personalities including: Houston Astros 3rd Baseman, Alex Bregman; Scott McClelland, President of HEB; James Beard award-winning Chef Hugo Ortega; Rapper Bun B; Mayor Sylvester Turner and host Deborah Duncan will join a diverse musical lineup for an evening of entertainment, advocacy and community celebration.

The Houston Food Bank is America's largest food bank in distribution, leading hunger relief in 18 southeast Texas counties. Prior to the pandemic, the Houston Food Bank distributed 104 million meals through its network of 1,500 community partners in southeast Texas, feeding 800,000 individuals annually.

Currently, the Houston Food Bank is working at 150% distribution, increasing their daily distribution by half, and some days almost double. Right now, 750,000 pounds of food is distributed daily, as the food bank works to meet the growing demands of those in need during the pandemic crisis.

“Thanks to our partner KHOU 11 and some very talented musicians, Houstonians will have the opportunity to safely enjoy great musical performances, and also help their neighbors during this critical time by supporting the Houston Food Bank,” said Brenda Bazan, president and CEO, Houston First Corporation.

Artists Photos Available Here.

Graphics Package Available Here.

Party on the Plaza Virtual Benefit Concert 
Entertainment Lineup

Ryan Bingham

Ryan Bingham vaulted from obscurity to stardom in 2009 when he won an Oscar for co-writing "The Weary Kind" with T Bone Burnett.

The song was the centerpiece of “Crazy Heart,” a drama about a country singer that won Jeff Bridges the Academy Award for Best Actor, and it established Bingham as a troubadour, giving him the opportunity to pursue a career that walked the line separating country and Americana. Rolling Stone aptly compared Bingham's raw, scratchy voice to that of "Steve Earle's dad.”

St. Paul and The Broken Bones

St. Paul and The Broken Bones hits all the marks of a classic Southern soul band, complete with a fiery lead singer. The band formed in 2012, releasing their debut album Half the City in 2014 and the follow-up, 2016’s Sea of Noise, to much acclaim.

Those strong efforts helped place them on the national scene, and the band worked hard to prove they were no mere retro-soul band—from touring the world relentlessly, including being selected to open for The Rolling Stones and headlining two nights at the Ryman Auditorium, to TV appearances including The Late Show with David Letterman, Jimmy Kimmel Live, Conan, Austin City Limits and two appearances on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

Robert Randolph & The Family Band

Many musicians claim that they “grew up in the church,” but for Robert Randolph that is literally the case. The renowned pedal steel guitarist, vocalist and songwriter led such a cloistered childhood and adolescence that he heard no secular music while growing up. If it wasn’t being played inside of the House of God Church in Orange, New Jersey—quite often by Robert and members of his own family, who upheld a long but little-known gospel music tradition called sacred steel—Randolph simply didn’t know it existed. By the early 2000s, Randolph had begun applying his dazzling steel guitar technique to secular music, and from that grew the Family Band.

The group’s sound was so different than anything else around that they were soon packing New York City clubs. Their first album, 2002’s Live at the Wetlands, was recorded at the now defunct jam band haven, and was followed by four studio albums and another live set, each widening the band’s audience—they’ve long been regulars on the festival circuit—and broadening their stylistic range as well.

Hayes Carll

A singer and songwriter with a rock & roll heart and a country soul, Hayes Carll has won a devoted following in roots rock and Americana circles for music that honors the traditions of vintage country but with the swagger and swing of rock.

Born in Houston, the singer/songwriter received his first guitar at the age of 15 and almost immediately began writing songs influenced by the likes of Bob Dylan, John Prine, Kris Kristofferson.

In 2002 Carll released his debut album, Flowers and Liquor, which garnered him favorable comparisons to Townes Van Zandt. In 2005 his second album, Little Rock, reached the top spot on the Americana charts. Trouble in Mind was released in 2008. Carll released a second album for Lost Highway in 2011.

In 2016, Carll issued the single "The Love That We Need," co-written with Allison Moorer and Jack Ingram. The song was a preview of his fifth studio album, Lovers and Leavers which was followed by What It Is in 2019.

The Suffers

The Suffers are a gulf coast soul band from Houston that brings elements of clas- sic American Soul and rock and roll to crowds that love to dance. The band consists of Kam Franklin (lead vocals), Juliet Terrill (bass guitar), Kevin Bernier (guitar), Jon Durbin (trumpet), Michael Razo (trombone), Jose Luna (per- cussion), and Nick Zamora (drums).

The Suffers exploded onto the scene in 2015 with their dazzling EP Make Some Room, which was followed by their critically heralded self-titled debut in 2016. The Suffers’ released their latest record Everything Here on Shanachie Records in 2018. Everything Here is the band’s most bold statement yet. The band is working on a new music release, Fall 2020.

The Dip

Hailing from Seattle, The Dip melds vintage rhythm, blues and modern pop. The group gained momentum in the Pacific Northwest for their danceable live shows, noteworthy vocals from front man Tom Eddy (Beat Connection), and impeccably crafted, 60’s-steeped soul.

The band went from playing house shows to club gigs to bigger venues, growing organically putting out their first record in 2015. Their 2019 follow-up was more calculated, meticulously recorded in their own Central District studio, and with added guests (including backup singers, a string quartet, organist Delvon Lamarr, and guitarist Jimmy James of the True Loves). Rolling Stone gave the Seattle-brewed soul septet a song of the week shout-out and Relix hosted a video premiere, both for the doo-wop shuffling, role-reversal single "She Gave Me the Keys.”

Sir Woman

Sir Woman is the newest creation of Kelsey Wilson, co-founder of Wild Child and member of Glorietta. Wilson has been co-writing, singing, and arranging strings on over 15 albums and musical projects spanning all musical genres. The forthcoming album Party City will be her first solo release. She resides in Austin, Texas.

"Sir Woman became an outlet for me to work through my own stuff going on while I was touring and making music with all of the insanely talented people I get to create with. I had doubts about my own capabilities, fears about the world and my place in it. I’ve always personally connected

most with funk/soul/r&b and gospel, but I’ve never made any music like that before. Initially this music wasn't for anyone but myself, but after the first day in the studio I knew I needed to bring Sir Woman to life. People needed to hear this music just as much as I needed to make it. The tunes made us feel good. I had finally found my voice and I was ready to share the love." - Kelsey Wilson a.k.a. Sir Woman

Grupo Fantasma

The Austin-based Grupo Fantasma is a large, Grammy-winning jam band whose sound criss- crosses various Latin forms -- especially cumbia -- with R&B, soul, funk, rock, hip-hop, jazz, folk sounds, and more. They have established a well-deserved global reputation for incendiary live shows and wonderfully eclectic, always-danceable albums. The band has played and/or head- lined stages at SXSW, Bonnaroo, Austin City Limits, and North Sea Jazz Festival (Curacao and Rotterdam), among others, and have toured to entertain U.S. troops stationed abroad.

They started recording somewhat sporadically on their own, beginning with a 2002 self-titled and self-released LP which was well-received in Austin and throughout Texas. It eventually drew the attention of Prince, who enlisted them as his backing group for dates in Las Vegas and London, the ALMA Awards on ABC, the Golden Globes, and the CBS Super Bowl Bash. They have also backed artists like Fañia All-Stars' pianist Larry Harlow, Sheila E., Maceo Parker, Ruben Ramos, Spoon, and Los Lobos, to name a few.

2007's self-produced El Existential on Nat Geo Music was the album that broke them internationally; their reputation outside the U.S. became even more pervasive than at home, making them a traveling entity at large. They won a Grammy for El Existential in the Best Latin Rock, Urban or Alternative category. They hooked up with Los Lobos' keyboardist/saxophonist Steve Berlin to produce 2016's massively acclaimed Problemas.

Event:  “Party on the Plaza-Virtual Benefit Concert”

Presented By:  KHOU 11 and Houston First Corporation, benefitting the Houston Food Bank

Event Date: Airs Saturday, May 2 at 7pm on KHOU 11

Time: 7pm-8pm (with an extended digital stream beyond 8pm)

Event Hosts:  Deborah Duncan and Houston celebrities

Description: A star-studded virtual concert, to benefit the Houston Food Bank

Distribution: The first hour will be an on-air broadcast. The full program and any extended content will also be streamed on the KHOU YouTube channel and KHOU Facebook Page.