City Council member Kathie Tovo will proclaim Thursday, August 10, 2017, Anthony Ortiz Jr. Day in Austin, Texas, honoring the promising young accordionist who died on July 31 following a 10-month battle with cancer. He was 24.
Ortiz came from a distinguished line of musicians and played in the family band Mariachi Corbetas and the local country band Crooks. He picked up the accordion at 10 and rapidly mastered the instrument, finishing as a finalist in the statewide accordion competition the Big Squeeze in 2008 and 2009.
Through the years, he also taught accordion at summer camps at the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center.
“We will always cherish his memory and the invaluable impact he made at the ESB-MACC as an artist, teacher and friend,” the cultural center said in a statement after his death. “We are heartbroken.”
Tovo will make the proclamation at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday at Austin City Hall in the Council Chambers. The announcement will be followed by a musical performance by members of Ortiz’s family.
A GoFundMe page to help the family cover $15,000 in medical expenses has been created. Donations can be made at gofundme.com/47rjrm8.
UPDATE: This post has been updated to indicate that City Council member Kathie Tovo will be making the proclamation.