Texas Expresso Staffer Makes Waves In The Music World

The Alumni Center became home to a local celebrity this week after one of our own, Texas Expresso barista Aisha Burns, was publicly spotlighted for her breakout music.

Aisha, BJ ’08, whips up lattes and cappucinos in the cafe by day. But her passion is her band, Balmorhea — a fusion of classical music, rock influences, and pop sensibility. She plays violin in the five-member instrumental group, which also includes guitar, cello, and upright bass.

A rave review of the Balmorhea’s new album, “Constellations,” was the centerpiece of the Austin American-Statesman‘s Wednesday Life & Arts section.

The reviewer called the band’s music “an unplugged, acoustic take on the kind of sweeping post-rock that’s made Explosions in the Sky famous” — with classical influences eased into the mix.

From the time she took up the violin at 10, Aisha had never played anything but classical until she started performing with a folk group in 2006. One of that group’s members, Rob Lowe, invited her in on his Balmorhea project the next year. 

With two European tours behind them, the group’s success has grown. Aisha doesn’t plan to get a journalism job related to her major anytime soon, she says. And now that her dad has newspaper clippings about his daughter’s band tacked up at work, he’s no longer after her about being a barista.

Balmorhea will make a quick U.S. tour next month, drive all night back from San Francisco in order to play the SXSW Showcase, and then leave for another month-long European tour.

But Aisha plans to come back to the Alumni Center. “I love working here, and I love coffee culture,” she says.

Aisha eats the cafe’s fare every day, and she hasn’t tired of it yet. “When we’re on tour, I’m thinking, ‘I want a caprese,'” she says.

Catch Balmorhea Friday at Central Presbyterian Church at 9 p.m. Or come by Texas Expresso anytime and say hi to Aisha.



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