Fine Arts Friday: New York guitarist entertains assembly

Sierra Walton and Dana Nichols

Brooklyn based electric guitarist Ava Mendoza performed February 26th at middle school assembly. She performed one song at Fine Arts Friday and four songs later in the morning for a larger group of students.

“I’m playing with lots of new people I’ve never played with before, so I’m looking forward to seeing what they’re like and seeing how we gel together,” Mendoza said on playing at festivals.

Ava Mendoza performing a song at Fine Arts Friday. Mendoza came down to Austin to play at the No Idea Festival, which took place from February 25-29th.
Ava Mendoza performing a song at Fine Arts Friday. Mendoza came down to Austin to play at the No Idea Festival, which took place from February 25-29th.

Inbetween songs Mendoza answered questions from the audience.

“Hearing things on the radio, hearing Jimi Hendrix play was a big one, I lived in Southern California as a kid, so I heard lots of great punk bands when I was growing up,” Mendoza said to the crowd.

One of her biggest fans was 7th grader Ana Luisa Murillo-Trejo, who has recently taken up guitar.

“I like that it’s a little challenging but at the same time really fun,” Murillo-Trejo said about her on-going guitar lessons.

Mendoza, like Murillo-Trejo, talked about her beginnings as a guitarist, and how it didn’t start off easy.

“I saved up and bought my own electric guitar, started doing my own thing on it, listening to records and trying to learn things off of them,” Mendoza said. “I worked in a coffee shop when I was sixteen, so it took a week of working there to save up.”

Mendoza reflected on what it’s like to play with other people and how she plays off of bandmates.

“Some people you play [improvised music] with and it feels like you can go anywhere, and [with] some people you’re like, ‘I don’t know if this is working.’”

Mendoza encouraged students to pursue their interests of playing instruments.

“Do it. Get lessons if you can. You can teach yourself a lot on your own if you can’t get lessons,” Mendoza said. “There’s so much information on YouTube now,  just absolutely do it.”