VisitDallas is excited to bring live music to the 39th annual St. Patrick's Day Parade with special guests, the Castro band. Led by former American Idol Star, Jason Castro, Castro is proud to perform a selection of songs in front of a hometown crowd!
But the music doesn't stop at the parade. VisitDallas is collaborating with the band to write a brand-new song which will be dropped at a special launch party later this Spring.
We sat down with Jason, Michael and Jackie Castro about their strong ties to music and why Dallas is the city you'd always play on repeat.
What do you love most about being born and raised in Dallas?
Jason: Growing up right across the way in Rowlett, we always came into town to shop, have fun and listen to live music. Now that I've traveled across the country and seen other cities, there's nothing like coming back home. You travel to other cities, you come home and you just feel proud to be from Dallas.
Before making it big on American Idol, music has always been a part of your life. How has music influenced you from growing up to today?
Jason: There was always music in our house. One of my earliest memories of music was when my Dad brought home a few albums by the Beach Boys and Elvis. He cranked up the speakers and we just listened and sang along with the family. When I started learning to play music it was an obsession. Today, I still enjoy how a song can change a moment, your attitude, all with just a sound. That's what I love about music.
What's your favorite Dallas neighborhood and what do you love about it?
Jason: Lately, I've been hanging in Downtown a lot. There are a few blocks that are just so full of life and alive 24/7.
Jackie: I'd say Greenville is the area that I visit the most. I love the atmosphere and the variety of restaurant options that cater to people's tastes, like mine, who are allergic to gluten. HG Supply Co. is probably my favorite place to eat when I'm there.
Where do you go to listen to live music in Dallas?
Jason: I would say the Kessler Theater is the best spot. I love the layout and the small balcony. It feels like everyone has a good seat and view of the artist. And the sound quality - you just can't beat it.
Jackie: I'd agree with Jason, the Kessler Theater is great! It's super intimate, too. Recently, I've seen Johnny Swim and David Ramirez. These were some of my favorite shows and a big reason why is because of the intimate setting and the incredible sound!
Dallas is known for its stellar restaurants. What are your favorite spots for dinner?
Jason: With three kids, our go to spots are all fast and casual. BBBop Seoul Kitchen on Greenville Ave is one restaurant our family loves! They make these rice bowls that are amazing and great for the kids. Flower Child is another one of our spots because it's all organic and healthy for my family.
Let's say you're heading out for an afternoon in Dallas with the kids. Where do you take them?
Jason: Going Downtown Dallas to visit Klyde Warren Park and the Perot Museum is always at the top of our lists. Klyde Warren Park is key with the splash pads, the playground, plus the food trucks are there for when you get hungry.
Spring is a great time to visit Dallas. What are some of your favorite outdoor activities?
Jackie: The Dallas Arboretum. I love going there, especially in the spring when they have special themed events.
Jason: Yes – the Dallas Arboretum is great! Bring a picnic or stay for one of their outdoor concerts that are always so popular this time of the year. And don't forget to enjoy a little sunshine at one of Dallas' great patios. Happiest Hour has an amazing patio and some of the best views in town.
What should a first-time Dallas visitor experience?
Michael: You have to try Five Sixty from chef Wolfgang Puck. We went there as kids and it's still such a cool place to visit. The 360-degree views inside Reunion Tower and the incredible food is something that always brings me back. It's one of those places that you rarely find anywhere else in other cities around the country.
What's something about Dallas that would surprise a first-time visitor?
Jason: I would say that Dallas is much more modern, diverse and sophisticated than people make us out to be. It's not until they visit that they realize how much fun and culture that Dallas has to offer.