EP Artist Billy Townes Plays For Oscar Winner Dame Julie Andrews
Local musician Bily Townes performed a private concert for Dame Julie Andrews, and we are stanning over their visit.
Billy Townes is a local El Pasoan, a jazz musician, music teacher, and filmmaker. Pre COVID-19, Townes was a staple around town, headlining shows at Speaking Rock, Cool Canyon Nights, Al Fresco Fridays, and the regional jazz festival circuit in El Paso and Las Cruces, NM.
Born in New York, Townes is a grad of Irvin High School who then went on to play in local bands while in college and then fulfilling his dream of becoming a jazz musician after that.
As a professor of music, Billy Townes enjoys helping to nurture and cultivate local, new young talent during his side gig as a music professor at El Paso Community College and UTEP.
Townes is also a filmmaker, having written and directed "Border Lords 1 and 2," low-budget, high energy crime-dramas set here along the border, and is currently preparing for the debut of the third film installment of the movie franchise.
So how does Billy Townes end up playing for the iconic Dame Julie Andrews, Miss Mary Poppins herself?
It turns out that one of Andrews's daughters has been friends with Billy's sister for years. This meet-up was in the works pre-COVID-19, but of course, due to the pandemic, it was postponed.
Until yesterday when Billy Townes shared a photo with Julie Andrews, both embraced in a hug and smiling after meeting for the first time in years.
Billy said that they talked as he played music by Duke Ellington and Billy Joel during a private mini-concert for her in her daughter's home out in the Hamptons.
Townes shared that the two talked about her movies, his Border Lords films, music, her love of Jazz, made him tea, and even called his goddaughter on the phone to say hello. He even mentioned that Andrews autographed her new book for him and also revealed that the only city she's ever visited in Texas is San Antonio and would love to see El Paso in the future.
Known for her beautiful singing voice and for portraying iconic characters such as Victoria Grant in Victor/Victoria, Mary Poppins, Maria Von Trapp in Sound Of Music, and Queen of Genovia in the Princess Diaries, Julie Andrews' extensive and impressive resume spans nearly eight decades on film and stage.
When asked what was his lasting impression after meeting Dame Julie Andrews, Billy said,
She was sharp as a tack, inquisitive, and one of the nicest, most genuine people I've ever met.
Without a doubt, Billy Townes experienced a once-in-a-lifetime encounter. While we all can't have the exact magical moment that he did, we can only hope that one day Dame Julie Andrews does make her way to our beautiful city of El Paso, TX, so we too get to revel in the presence of a Queen.