JEFFERSON — The sixth annual Texas Sounds International Country Music Festival is bringing more than a dozen performers and bands from several different countries to downtown Jefferson this week to compete for the festival’s biggest prize.
The four night country music festival brings together some of the world’s best country singers from countries like Austria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Eswatini, Hungary, Kenya, South Africa, Mexico, Spain, the U.S. and the United Kingdom.
Some of the performers are stepping on U.S. soil for the first time during Texas Sounds.
“Country music is extremely popular all around the world,” Texas Sounds Producer Preston Taylor said. “While country artists may acknowledge that Nashville is the business center for the industry, they treasure the idea that the origins of country music and the heart of country music is in Texas. Every country musician, from anywhere in the world, wants to perform in Texas.”
Despite their native tongue, the performers all sing in English and compete to see who racks up the most accolades for the Sunday awards show.
“Top independent musicians from all around the world come to perform and be judged for the Texas Sounds awards,” Taylor said. “Some have number one songs in their own nation, some have gold records and a few have platinum records. Some are emerging stars. This is a world-class show and a true performance-based competition, not a popularity contest.”
Some of the noted performers this year include El Capitan Elvis, from Kenya, billed as the “African King” of country music and Cleopatra Methula, also known as the “Queen of African” music.
The Country Sisters, an all female band from the Czech Republic, are making their first trip ever to Texas for the festival and have performed in 20 nations.
Representing local talent is Robert “Blind Dog” Cook, an East Texas musician who will perform as a special guest star.
Taylor said performing in the U.S., especially in Texas is a goal for most of the foreign performers.
“American country music is incredibly popular worldwide,” he said. “There are huge markets in the United Kingdom, Eastern Europe, Iceland, Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Spain, Mexico, and many other nations.”
The festival kicks off Thursday with gates opening at 5 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday and live music beginning at 6 p.m. Five musical acts will take the stage each night in downtown Jefferson and the awards show is set for 3 p.m. on Sunday.
The downtown stage is located at 119 W. Austin St. in Jefferson, under the Big Top tent.
Tickets are $10 per day or $35 for all four days. VIP tickets are available for $100. Tickets can be purchased at the door or in advance online at https://www.texassounds.org/
Texas Sounds is hosted each year by the East Texas Performing Arts, a non-profit organization which also produces dramas, comedies and Broadway musicals.
“We are expecting about 1,000 guests this year and Texas Sounds is almost certainly the largest income producing single event of the year for Jefferson,” Taylor said. “We have one act that has decided to stay 20 days here in Jefferson.”