16:06 PM

Thursday Night Concert Series: Houston Mellow and New Orleans Mardi Gras May 18


By Hayden Bergman

UHD Thursday Night Concert Series at Discovery Green continues on May 18! 

Settle in and mellow out with the opening act, Mind Shrine, one of the most original bands to emerge from the Houston music scene in some time. Their single “5 Long Days” is emblematic of their unique ability to put the listener in a great mood despite your circumstances, as their laid-back vocals and “bouncing guitar” inspire you to find the best in bad situations. The track tells the story of lead vocalist Jess Howard and the rest of the band—Richie Alejandro, Bradley DeAnda, and Brian Gonzales—being ghosted by another musician in LA and subsequently being stranded at LAX, having to make do in airport purgatory.

After that, the headliner, Cha Wa, will take the Anheuser-Busch Stage. PopMatters calls the band “a grand gumbo of singing, chanting, intoxicating rhythms,” while adding they use “some deep funk grooves that are simply impossible to resist." Their NPR Tiny Desk concert opens with the irresistible “My People,” a track that juxtaposes the melancholy of bearing witness to generational trauma with rhythms and horns that speak to resistance, survival, and defiance. The band comes to Houston via New Orleans, and you can hear it on every track, as well as see it in the Mardi Gras Indian garb worn (Mardi Gras Indians are the Black carnival revelers and “tribe” leaders in New Orleans). But Cha Wa’s music represents the strength of the entire Gulf region, and their lyrics represent, in part, the fierce urgency that comes from living on disappearing land near rising waters.

About the University of Houston-Downtown

The University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) is the second-largest university in Houston and has served the educational needs of the nation’s fourth-largest city since 1974. As one of four distinct public universities in the University of Houston System, UHD is a comprehensive, four-year university led by President Loren J. Blanchard. Annually, UHD educates approximately 14,000 students, boasts more than 66,000 alumni, and offers 45 bachelor’s degrees, 12 master’s degrees, and 19 online programs within four colleges: Marilyn Davies College of Business, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, College of Public Service, and College of Sciences and Technology. UHD has one of the lowest tuition rates in Texas.

U.S. News and World Report ranked UHD among the nation’s Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Applied Administration and Best Online Master’s Programs in Criminal Justice, as well as a Top Performer in Social Mobility. The Wall Street Journal/College Pulse ranked UHD one of the best colleges in the U.S. for its 2024 rankings, with notable distinctions: No. 1 for diversity (tied) and No. 3 for student experience. The University is designated as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, a Minority-Serving Institution, and a Military Friendly School. For more information on the University of Houston-Downtown, visit uhd.edu.