Let’s Go to the Movies: Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Bill Evans, and Omar Sosa

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I can’t hardly believe it’s been a month, dear reader, since we last met. In the interim, I traveled back east to visit my mom and then up to New York to hang with friends old and new. While in the city, I trekked out to Brooklyn on the F train for a concert at iBeam, a musician’s cooperative in Gowanus. The program featured three piano duos—Carol Liebowitz with saxophonist Nick Lyons, Kazzrie Jaxen with guitarist Adam Caine, and Virg Dzurinko with trumpeter Ryan Messina—and it was a night to remember. More than any other medium, music for me has the capacity to open doors deep in the psyche, and at iBeam that night, doors were swinging open left and right.

Which brings me to today’s subjects: Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Bill Evans, and Omar Sosa. Each of them has keys to those doors, and each is the subject of a film worth seeing and supporting. Continue reading

Local Don’t Mean Yokel (Part 3): Mark Weaver

Mark Weaver. Photo by Heather Trost.

Mark Weaver. Photo by Heather Trost.

The New Mexico Jazz Festival and the New Mexico Jazz Workshop’s summer jazz and blues series bring stellar talent to town. This year we’ve got the likes of NEA Jazz Masters Dave Holland, Charles Lloyd, and Dr. Lonnie Smith just for starters at the festival, and Brian Lynch and Matt Savage are among the stars lighting up the NMJW series.

The festival and summer series also offer top-drawer musicians in New Mexico an opportunity to perform in listening rooms and on stages where their music does not have to compete with bar chatter and the clink of silverware on china. This three-part series features ear-worthy local (or formerly local) acts stepping into the spotlight in the coming weeks. This final installment features tuba player/composer Mark Weaver and his UFO Ensemble, with original band member George Lane on trumpet, Micah Hood on trombone, and Rick Compton on drums. Continue reading

Local Don’t Mean Yokel (Part 2): Right about Now

IMG_0511cThe New Mexico Jazz Festival and the New Mexico Jazz Workshop’s summer jazz and blues series bring stellar talent to town. This year we’ve got the likes of NEA Jazz Masters Dave Holland, Charles Lloyd, and Dr. Lonnie Smith just for starters at the festival, and Brian Lynch and Matt Savage are among the stars lighting up the NMJW series.

The festival and summer series also offer top-drawer musicians in New Mexico an opportunity to perform in listening rooms and on stages where their music does not have to compete with bar chatter and the clink of silverware on china. This three-part series features ear-worthy local (or formerly local) acts stepping into the spotlight in the coming weeks. Second up is the Right about Now trio, with Lewis Winn (guitar),  Jon McMillan (bass), and John Bartlit (drums). Continue reading

Local Don’t Mean Yokel (Part I): Guitarist John Maestas

John Maestas

John Maestas

The New Mexico Jazz Festival and the New Mexico Jazz Workshop’s summer jazz and blues series bring stellar talent to town. This year we’ve got the likes of NEA Jazz Masters Dave Holland, Charles Lloyd, and Dr. Lonnie Smith just for starters at the festival, and Brian Lynch and Matt Savage are among the stars lighting up the NMJW series.

The festival and summer series also offer top-drawer musicians in New Mexico an opportunity to perform in listening rooms and on stages where their music does not have to compete with bar chatter and the clink of silverware on china. This three-part series features ear-worthy local (or formerly local) acts stepping into the spotlight in the coming weeks. First up is guitarist John Maestas (now residing in New Orleans), with his group Juán Tigre, with Stephen Lands (trumpet/vocals), Shea Pierre (keyboards), Max Moran (bass/vocals), and Alfred Jordan (drums). Continue reading

Scott and Johanna Hongell-Darsee and Kevin Herig: Songs Old and New

As much and as long as I’ve been praising the accomplishments of New Mexico’s musical community, I am still sometimes caught off-guard by the quality of the work. Here are two releases that did just that. On The Mountain King, Scott and Johanna Hongell-Darsee carry songs that are centuries old, laden with the mythic and supernatural, into the modern world, while on All You Can’t Control, Kevin Herig writes brand-new songs that get between the lines of everyday life, love, and loss. Continue reading