As one of the only schools in the United States to hold a golf cart parade, since 1993 UTSA has hosted our parade of golf carts during Homecoming Week. This is the ninth time we have held the Rowdy Rampage Fireworks Spectacular. This event combines a spirit rally, concert, and the Homecoming Golf Cart Parade, all in one. While times are approximate depending on the weather and sunset, there will be a concert at 7:00 pm. The Parade begins at 7:30 pm, the spirit rally at 8:45 p.m. Live music by Suite 709 will follow on stage after the fireworks. This year the UTSA Alumni Association will provide free hotdogs to those attending.
Jirod Greene, front-man of Austin,Texas-based Blues/Soul outlet Suite 709, knew from an early age he was meant to be a singer. After countless talent competitions, church performances, and being heavily influenced by the R&B legends who provided the soundtrack of his childhood, Greene channeled living-room performances of “Thriller” into a lifelong musical career. Citing many of the greats, Greene states, “My earliest influences were Luther Vandross, Whitney Houston, Boyz 2 Men, Jodeci, Otis Redding, James, Brown, John P. Kee, and of course Michael Jackson and Donnie Hathaway.”
Joining a band didn’t come into the cards until high school for Greene, who after growing up in small Lake Jackson, Texas, teamed up with former kindergarten classmate (and current Suite 709 guitarist) David Butler, to perform around Texas together until 2006. The two met keyboardist Dietrich Schmidt, a classmate of Butler’s at The University of Texas, and decided to focus their musical direction on the natural soul of Greene’s voice. The addition of Zach Boston on drums and longtime friend Drew Waters on bass rounded out the group. With the members fresh of out of college, Suite 709 was born in July 2009.
Suite 709 played their first public shows during SXSW 2010 with no recordings, press, or even band photos; yet, the band quickly received multiple accolades including “Top 10 New Bands of 2010″ from the Austin Chronicle Music Awards, “Top 35 Bands of 2011″ Do512.com, “Best Find at SXSW 2011″ from QRO Magazine, “Hot 100 Unsigned Bands of 2011″ from Music Connection Magazine, and most recently “Top 5 Soul/Blues Bands of 2011″ at the 2011 Austin Chronicle Music Awards alongside notable acts Gary Clark Jr. and Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears. Platinum Producer Dwight Baker (Kelly Clarkson, Bob Schneider, Blue October) caught wind of the band in early 2011, and fans quickly funded a Kickstarter campaign to record the band’s debut EP “Keys.”
The group continues to sell out shows in their hometown of Austin, Texas, and has developed a strong national and international following through their innovative use of social media outlets.
Greene’s ability to connect with audiences combined with the band’s blend of R&B, Soul, and old school Rock-N-Roll creates a sound is reminiscent of Motown’s mega-pop group The Jackson 5 to modern day R&B superstar John Legend, with a touch of James Brown’s flare. Together, Greene (vocals), Dietrich Schmidt (keys), David Butler (guitar), Drew Walters (bass) & Zach Boston (drums) bring a new flavor of soul to music lovers, young and old.