BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Nakia Reynoso, Founder and President
On season one of NBC's 'The Voice, Nakia quickly became a fan favorite using his big grizzly voice to transform pop songs into his own unique style. While producers focused on his relationship with his husband and his struggle to make ends meet as a blues singer, what they didn't show you on TV was just how much Nakia accomplished on his own prior to show. Long before Nakia was a semifinalist on CeeLo Green's team, he was a beloved member of the Austin music community, fronting bands, performing solo, and working with some music's biggest names.
Nakia moved from Chicago to Austin in 2002 and began performing solo original material with his piano before forming the electrifying southern soul rock band, Nakia & His Southern Cousins. This band shared stages with B.B. King and Willie Nelson, and performed at the Austin City Limits Music Festival where Nakia wound up dancing and singing with Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings. Jones took a liking Nakia and called him “the real deal," inviting him back to sing with her many times before her passing. Alt-country rocker Alejandro Escovedo heard him sing at a Rolling Stones tribute and invited him to join his band singing backing vocals alongside Bruce Springsteen and lan Hunter on Escovedo's “Street Songs of Love”. As the album cycle ended, producer Tony Visconti (David Bowie/Mott The Hoople) suggested to Nakia that he front his own blues band as a way to find the roots of the music he had been singing. Following that advice he formed Nakia and the Blues Grifters. Almost immediately the band was a hit in Austin, playing big shows to larger and larger crowds. In fact, it was Nakia's full-throated, soulful performance at one of those shows, which had been uploaded to YouTube, that subsequently found its way to television producer Mark Burnett. Burnett insisted on recruiting him for a brand new show no one had heard of yet that was scheduled to begin filming in February of 2011. Reluctant but hopeful, Nakia put everything on pause while he went out to Hollywood, where each week he wowed the show's four celebrity coaches and its weekly audience of 14 million worldwide viewers.
As the whirlwind of reality television started to wind down, Nakia placed his focus on writing songs for his 6-song EP, "Drown In The Crimson Tide" and the tour that followed. Four years later he recorded and released his acclaimed album, “Blues Grifter". After releasing his live EP, “Real.Live.Blues.”, Nakia began focusing on writing new original material and toured the country performing his new songs to fans.
Nakia is an active member of the Austin music community. He is an outspoken advocate for organizations such as HAAM, and The SIMS Foundation. He has served as the Chair of the Austin Music Commission and as a member of the Board of Governors for the Texas Chapter of the Recording Academy. Nakia is a two-time Black Fret artist grant recipient. He lives in Austin, Texas with his husband Robert and their Bouvier des Flandres, Baker, and is grateful to serve as President and Founder of Austin Texas Musicians.
Pat Buchta, Founding Vice-President and Executive Director
Pat has lived in Austin since 1991 as both a working musician and community service advocate. During an 11-year tenure as Cause Marketing Manager at KVUE-TV and then as Director of Programs and Events with BBB serving the Heart of Texas, Pat created ongoing community partnerships with SXSW, HAAM, Austin Film Festival, Mexic-Arte Museum and many other arts organizations. Pat has served on the boards of Catalyst8, the Creative Fund, HAAM Development Council, Any Baby Can Development Council, CASA Travis County Superhero Run and Lannaya Dance and Drum Ensemble.
When not crusading for creative causes, Pat enjoys composing, performing with Big Trick, the Misfit Toys and solo projects, as well as running and gardening. Pat is a proud liver transplant recipient after a lifetime of liver disease, and has found that the price tag for a second chance is a life of service. Pat is humbled and honored to bring his passion and experience to helping his longtime family of Austin Texas Musicians.
Sonya Jevette, Founding Secretary and Treasurer
Sonya Jevette brings a wealth of experience, determination and spirit to Austin's diverse music community. A brilliant songwriter, singer and guitarist, Sonya spent years entertaining audiences with her own brand of psychedelic soul music. Sonya now brings her exciting performances to people all across Austin, and around the world through the virtual stage of Second Life and other digital platforms.
Sonya owns Sound Byte Productions, serves as the Austin representative of the International Singer/Songwriter Association, produces the first live music series for Southwest regional Starbucks coffee locations, and teaches guitar. With a heart for giving, Sonya points to a favorite quote from Tom Brokaw: "It's easy to make a buck. It's a lot tougher to make a difference."