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SATURDAY, NOV 03 2018, 02:00 PM

From November 2-4, 2018, Jefferson, Texas will host the annual Texas Sounds International Country Music Awards. The festival and award ceremony prides itself on inviting bands from all over the world to compete for the awards, the number of participating nations increasing year by year (more than 15 by 2017). This year, bands from Mexico, South Africa, Argentina, Denmark, and Iceland are set to perform, to name just a few. The festival’s location gives it a unique, energizing flair. Worldwide, country music is closely associated with Texas, the birthplace of several country music stars and genres (including Western Swing, Boogie Woogie, Rockabilly, Red Dirt, and Outlaw Country). Texas Sounds aims to breathe new life into the genre that has melted hearts and made hips swing for so many years, meshing the traditional with the innovative, and the Texas-flair with international voices.

The Groovecake Factory is the first Austrian ensemble to be nominated for these International Country Music Awards. The band consists of Daniel Gutmann (aka Dazzling Dan; lead vocals, guitar), Andrea Benz (aka Awesome Andy; lead guitar, vocals), Julian Vana (aka Jazzy Jules; piano, vocals), Lilli Rollenitz (aka Rockalilly; double bass, bass, vocals), and Matthias Herrnegger (aka Magic Mat; drums, vocals). It will perform a concert during the festival and compete for the prestigious title. Groovecake Factory is known for its skillful melodies and catchy rhythms, combining influences such as European pop and American country, and thus creating an exciting contemporary take on what is traditionally associated with country music. The band has performed all over Austria and Germany and been nominated for multiple awards, notably the Austrian Country Music Federation Awards and the Country Music Awards in Pullman City, Germany.

Join Groovecake Factory in Jefferson for their concert on November 3, 2018 at 2pm for a unique taste of what international country music has to offer.


Daniel Gutmann 
The upcoming Austrian and Vienna based bass-baritone, Daniel Gutmann, is currently studying at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna (Master: Opera singing & Lied/Oratorium). At a very young age he started playing guitar and discovered his passion for singing and various music genres. But it was the music of Johnny Cash that prompted Daniel’s passion for country music and gave him the inspiration to found a country band with his original songs in 2013: The Groovecake Factory.  Furthermore, Daniel has a degree in Sport Science (University of Vienna), studied guitar and has concerts and opera productions as a classical singer, as well as performances with The Groovecake Factory all over the world (Austria, USA, Singapore, Germany, Switzerland, etc.). He has been repeatedly nominated for the best country singer of the year by the Austrian Country Music Federation, and won the Groovecake Factory the Austrian Country Newcomer Award 2014 and the Pullman City Newcomer Award in Germany 2015. Daniel also organized the 1st Country Music Festival in his small hometown Herzogenburg in April 2018.

Julian Vana
The son of a music teacher, Julian was born in Schärding, Austria. He started playing the piano at the age of six and later joined the school band and began playing the guitar. He studied Music Education and Piano Pedagogy at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna. Enhancing his musical knowledge in his studies, Julian Vana was able to further his abilities in choir conducting, teaching and playing the guitar, various styles of piano music playing, singing in both classical and popular style, playing the drums, percussion, and the mouth organ. Choir tours took Julian to places as far as Taiwan, Singapore, USA, Spain, Finland and Germany. In 2015 he joined the country band The Groovecake Factory as a pianist, occasionally switching to guitar, blues harp, or taking over the backing vocals. In addition to his performances with The Groovecake Factory, Julian works as a music teacher and choir conductor at a high school with a focus on choir and instrumental music.

Lilli (Elisabeth) Rollenitz
Lilli was born in Austria. After learning to play the piano and the electric bass she started to study double bass at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna with Prof. Josef Niederhammer. During her studies she played in several professional orchestras of Austria, Germany, and Switzerland, which took her on tour all over the world – to Japan, China, India and South America. She completed her master degree with honors in 2014. Soon after, she joined The Groovecake Factory. In December 2017 she became a member of the orchestra at the Volksoper Wien, where they play opera, operetta, musical and ballet. Lilli Rollenitz also founded the trio Melange Trio Wien, playing various styles of music (incl. kleymer, tango and Balkan) with an accordionist and a clarinet player.

Matthias Herrnegger
Based in Vienna, Austria, Matthias is a drummer and singer for bands in various styles. Matthias was born in Vienna in 1991, where he had the chance to learn multiple instruments from an early age. As a teenager, he played the drums and soon joined (rock) bands which led him to perform all over Europe. After eight years as a drummer for the metal band Sensylis, Matthias also started studying music education with drums as a main subject. Since then he enjoyed exploring different musical styles as a drummer as well as a singer, on stage and in the studio. Currently Matthias is member of The Groovecake Factory (Country-Pop), Offbeat (A cappella pop & jazz), Urban Vagabonds (Singer- Songwriter/ Acoustic Rock), Kill The Lycan (Metal), Drumatical Theatre (Drum- Show) and Moté (Electronic Pop).

Andrea Benz
Andrea grew up in Zurich, Switzerland. She started playing guitar at the age of 8 and was always surrounded by country music during her childhood. Her love for country music strengthened her passion for the guitar playing and so she decided to go pro from an early age. After high school, she lived in Australia for a few months where she had her first touring band. Back in Switzerland, she started touring with the country band cloudsilver where she was lead guitar player and singer for 8 years, winning the Swiss County Music Award in 2016. Over the years, Andrea worked as sub guitarist for various bands and had several special guest appearances. She has shared the stage with the likes of Nashville Star Buddy Jewell and Texan country singer Dale Watson. While she was in college at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, she often went to Nashville to study the country chicken pickin guitar style. In spring 2018 she joined The Groovecake Factory. She has a professional degree in music (jazz/pop) and when she is not on tour, she works as a guitar and music teacher.


Image Credit: Tobias Singer 

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119 W Austin Street, Jefferson, TX, 75657

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