The Sound of Our City

Jeremiah Bentley
Sep 19 · 3 min read

When Austin was granted the 27th franchise in Major League Soccer, our city’s musical history was an easy inspiration for the name of our Supporters Group — Austin Anthem. As the Live Music Capital of the World, music has always been an integral part of Austin’s DNA. As a supporters group that strives to reflect the diverse, multicultural traditions of the city, it is a part of ours as well.

Anyone who has seen a soccer match has undoubtedly encountered the iconic songs and chants supporters sing for the full 90 minutes in stadiums throughout the world. This non-stop, fervent passion has come to epitomize what it means to be a true soccer supporter for many. As we look ahead to the inaugural Austin FC season in 2021, one of the many ways Anthem has begun laying the groundwork for celebrating our city’s rich musical culture is by creating a vibrant atmosphere of song.

Having a “house band” is a necessity for a city renowned for its nonstop musical events (SXSW, Pachanga Fest, Austin City Limits, Levitation, etc.). Fortunately for supporters of Austin FC, some of the most talented musicians in the city have coalesced around their love of both music and soccer to form Zanate Musical Collective. The literal beating heart of our supporters section, ZMC will provide the soundtrack to the chants, songs, and other match day traditions that will last for decades to come.

Zanate Musical Collective is a brass & drum band steeped in the traditions of murga. Whenever you think of the pageantry of Carnival celebrations in South America, or the electric atmosphere and songs and chants at a fútbol match in Mexico or Argentina, chances are your mind is conjuring up the sights and sounds of murga. What originally began in Uruguay as a form of musical theatre has grown since the 1960s to represent the ultimate expression of fan support throughout the soccer stadiums of North and South America.

At its core, a murga band is comprised of brass instruments — typically trumpet and trombone — and various Brazilian and other Latin American drums. The most recognizable percussion instrument is the bombo, or bombo murguero — a colossal bass drum with cymbals (“platillos”) affixed to the top. The bombo is the star of the murga and leads the rhythm section, functioning as the backbone of every song and chant. Even by itself, the mighty bombo can inspire a crowd to chant, sing, clap and cheer with it’s tremendous resonance.

Complementing the bombo is the surdo, a Brazilian bass drum, the common snare drum, and the repique, another drum with Brazilian roots tuned to a higher tone that rings above the bass drums and snares to offer more improvisational elements and solo opportunities for drummers.

As one would expect from a band with Latin roots, our murga often plays with the dynamic, syncopated rhythms that many Latin American styles of music have become known for. While many of the songs and chants ZMC has already begun working on are inspired by the sounds of Mexico and the rest of Latin America, incorporating the vast array of musical artists and genres that have graced the stages of Central Texas is key to our mission. During any given match, you may hear the classic “Dale” chant segue into a Gary Clark Jr song, or a chant based off of Selena’s “El Chico Del Apartamento 512” could lead into a Stevie Ray Vaughan song. Zanate Musical Collective has already performed for crowds in Austin at local charity galas, University of Texas Soccer games and at the annual PRIDE parade.

Zanate Musical Collective is actively recruiting new members and is open to musicians of all levels and backgrounds. If you’re interested in joining the Murga, you can fill out this interest form. ZMC holds weekly rehearsals open for community members to watch, sing along, or play an instrument every Thursday evening at Mueller Hangar. Join us!

If you’d like to have the Murga perform at your show, event, or local festival, please reach out to Zanate Musical Collective on Twitter (@ZanateMusic), Instagram (@zanatemusic) or email murga@austinanthem.org and a member of the team will reach back out. ¡Vamos ATX!


Austin Anthem is the independent supporters group for Austin FC, the Major League Soccer club of Austin, Texas.

For more information, visit us online at AustinAnthem.org

Austin Anthem

The Official Soccer Supporters Group of Austin FC

Jeremiah Bentley

Written by

Austin Anthem

The Official Soccer Supporters Group of Austin FC

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade