Featured Artists

Featured artists for June, 2018 Higher Ground Bluegrass

Higher Ground was founded in 1998 by Duke Weddington (banjo) and Jeff Forbes (fiddle), with Doug Porter (Guitar), Mark Smith (Bass) and Ron Lujan (Mandolin) rounding out the band membership. The music of the founding members included traditional, original and progressive styles of bluegrass. This original composition of the band would remain together for just over one year. Ron passed away unexpectedly in the fall of 1999. Duke wrote the song “Higher Ground” for the bands’ future album “Black and White – Faded and Torn” in memory of and as a tribute to Ron. Higher Ground has continued to evolve over the years, gaining and losing members in 1999, 2003, 2010 and 2011.The bands albums include “Bluegrass Classics”, “HGB V” and “CLANN” (Duke’s solo instrumental project). On April 15th, 2018, the band released it’s 7th independent album, HBG 20, to celebrate 20 years as musical ensemble. The album includes 8 original songs written by the band. This membership remains intact today and HGB has established itself as the premiere bluegrass band in New Mexico with tight harmonies and tasteful instrumental breaks. Come find out for yourself. For more info, go to highergroundbluegrass.com

Featured artists for May 2018-Mala Maña47634_10150106444340864_3513768_n.jpg

Nominated for a 2018 New Mexico Music Award in the Latin category, Mala Maña is New Mexico’s own Women’s Voice and Drum Ensemble. Drawing their inspiration from the rhythms of Afro-Colombia’s Atlantic and Pacific coasts, the group weaves into the mix Caribbean reggaton, African-American rhythms, Salsa, Mexican cumbia, and their own cumbia-inspired original compositions. Mala Maña consists of 7 women who share diverse backgrounds in African and Latin pop, flamenco dance, and Mexican norteño music. Their love for the rhythm-inspired music of Colombia’s coastal people brought this vision of diversely-talented women together to offer a unique and exciting tapestry of many voices and many drums. Mala Maña’s members are comprised of some of New Mexico’s best bands, with each member bringing their own unique perspective to the music. The band members are:

Chava (Chava and Paid My Dues Blues Band, Chava and SoMA, Guajira) Djembe, Vocals
Alyson Steinman (Wagogo, Chava and Paid My Dues Blues Band) Music Director, Vocals, Percussion
Lydia Garcia (Concepto Tambor, Joseph General) Cajon, Vocals
Maria Teresa Guevara (L@s Otr@s) Cuatro, Vocals
Carolina Acuña (Omeyocan, National Institute of Flamenco) Cajon, Congas, Percussion
Lupe Mendoza Vocals, percussion
Kiki Rodriguez Dunduns, percussion

For more on this incredible group of musicians, go to http://www.malamanamusic.com/

From their website:

Somos un grupo musical procedente de distintos ámbitos culturales y que busca compartir sus voces y talentos . Explorando distintos géneros, nuestro objetivo principal es llegar a un público transcultural, de todas las edades y con diversos intereses musicales. Fusionando armónicamente ritmos e interpretando canciones tradicionales con un toque moderno, utilizamos la música como un medio para sanar, empoderar y entretener. Mala Maña se basa en el amor y el respeto por la música y por cada una de sus integrantes, y en una pasión compartida por la justicia social y la verdad. Nuestro propósito es continuar tocando en eventos y al mismo tiempo producir y promocionar un sonido que inspire y represente una voz comprometida dentro de la sociedad.

Featured artists for April, 2018-The Albuquerque Jazz OrchestraImage may contain: 4 people, people on stage, people playing musical instruments and night

Founded in 1982 by Pancho Romero, the 18-member AJO has been delighting audiences throughout the Southwest for thirty-six years. For many years under the leadership of trombonist John Sanks, the band has performed with an impressive list of guest artists, including Toshiko Akiyoshi, Pete Christlieb, Jim Pugh, Scott Wendholt, Dick Oatts, John Fedchock, Wayne Bergeron, Bob McChesney, Jeff Coffin, Butch Miles and jazz trumpet legend and Albuquerque native Bobby Shew, who served as the Musical Director of AJO from 2007 to 2010. The band features professional and semi-professional musicians, and public school and university educators.

Musical Director Glenn Kostur has found a way to keep the music fresh. On the first Tuesday of every month the AJO performs at The Cooperage restaurant in Albuquerque, bringing their legendary talents to the stage with traditional and original arrangements of jazz standards, standout solo performances and New Mexico’s favorite vocalist, Hillary Smith as the guest artist. You have not heard jazz until you have heard this group of pros put it all together.

PERSONNEL
Woodwinds: Glenn Kostur, Aaron Lovato, Lee Taylor, Diantha Swoboda, Paul Blakey

Trumpets: Derek Warren, Brad Dubbs, Henry Estrada, Kent Erickson, Bruce Dalby.

Trombones: John Sanks, Ben Finberg, Chris Buckholz, Bill Austell

Rhythm Section: Jim Ahrend-piano, Michael Anthony-guitar, Colin Deuble-bass, and Andy Poling-drums.

Vocalist: Hillary Smith

One of the true musical gems of the southwest, the Albuquerque Jazz Orchestra, Incorporated is a 501(c)3 non-profit charitable organization. find out more or donate online at https://www.albuquerquejazzorchestra.org/

Featured artist for March 2018 Lara Manzanares

Lara Manzanares (pronounced LEHR-ah) is a bilingual singer-songwriter of Northern New Mexican heritage. In addition to singing the Mexican boleros, rancheras, and corridos of her sheep- ranching childhood, Lara also composes her own style of music in both English and Spanish. Through a combination of storytelling and songs both playful and sincere, Lara draws on her rural New Mexican roots and her experiences living in urban environments across the U.S. and abroad as she sings about love, loss, a sense of place, and her own connection to the land.

With a voice of focused intensity and pure tone, a rootsy folk-rock vibe and a Latin/Southwest sensibility, bilingual singer-songwriter Lara Manzanares’s debut original album Land Baby weaves a tapestry of geographical, emotional, and cultural landscapes, describing stories of passion and comedy that cut to the heart – and motivate your soul to move.

Lara’s new release, Land Baby, was written and co-produced by Lara and recorded at the Kitchen Sink Studios in Santa Fe by award winning producer Jono Manson. The album features Lara Manzanares (lead and background vocals, acoustic guitar and percussion), Jono Manson (lead electric guitar, background vocals), Mark Clark (percussion), Justin Bransford (bass), Jordan Wax (violin on Writing Letters), Char Rothschild (trumpet on El Poeta, accordion and trumpet on Borderlands), Rafael Herrera (cowbell on Lobito), Raquel Covarrubias (guiro on Lobito), Felix Peralta (lead electric guitar on Lobito)

Of her new album, Manzanares says ” Land Baby is about movement – not only physical and geographical movement, but also emotional and cultural. This movement – across land, across time, across cultures and languages, and through emotional space – is what this album is about. People still ask questions about my identity. I try to explain it with words, but my answer never stays completely still… and so I just sing it instead!”

Featured artist for February, 2018 Michael Moxey

Michel Moxey always looks so serious in his photos, maybe because he is so serious about his music? Oddly enough, though, Michael and his Easy Sinners band is one of the most rambunctious and fun bands around.

Michael writes and performs songs putting a contemporary perspective across a range of styles- from Americana to the Bakersfield sounds of the 60’s to 70’s Outlaw country. He performs with his band the Easy Sinners as well as solo. Michael’s latest album is entitled “Luck” and was recorded and produced by Michael Moxey and Matthew Tobias at Empty House Studios in Albuquerque.

                     Photo Credit: Matthew Thorson

While country music and Hee Haw were always around the house growing up, Michael’s musical tastes gravitated towards alternative rock and bands like Jane’s Addiction and the Smiths. In the late 90’s, his love of the Rolling Stones led him to the music of Gram Parsons, circling him back to the classic country of Haggard, Jones and Jennings.

Michael has one of the most unique backstories in music, including writing policy speeches for a Governor, a dozen years in radio hosting alt-rock morning shows in Austin (101X) and Albuquerque (the Edge, the Zone) and doing voice overs for television/radio commercials heard across the country.

Michael has shared bills with Dwight Yoakam , the Turnpike Troubadours, Lauren Alaina, the Thrift Store Cowboys (w/Amanda Shires), the Red Elvises, Mojo Nixon…and many others.

The rotating cast of the Easy Sinners onstage and in the studio includes Matthew Tobias- drums, production, Jon McMillan- bass, Alex McMahon- Pedal steel, lap steel, Scott Gaeta- B3 organ, clav, guitar, Jesse McDermott- Guitar, Leah Black- Backing Vocals, Adam Hooks- Backing Vocals
Mike Mares- Acoustic guitar, Sid Fendley- piano and Melanie Jean- Backing vocals

Want more Michael? Friend him online at https://www.facebook.com/Michael-Moxey-Music-1238262529593522/

Featured artist for January, 2018-Sleeping Dogs Lie

Sleeping Dogs Lie is songwriter Eric Guenette surrounded at various times by a cadre of musicians as nomadic as his music. Guenette has released eight cds (100+ original songs) since 1997 and was a 2015 New Mexico Music Awards – Best of the year finalist for the CD Mud & Sky.

Guitarist Guenette writes mostly alternative and indie rock songs and is always on the hunt for musicians to help him put his music together. Beginningn in 1996 in West Palm Beach, Florida with a Tascam 4-track, Alesis drum machine (credited as “Dr. Uma Chine” on several cds) and a $10 Realistic microphone, Guenette spendt a year of recording over 100 songs and released the music under the name of Sleeping Dogs Lie. He followed that recording with “Joy”. With no stable band line-up, Guenette continued to record and released album after album including the 12-song  “Slightly confusing to a stranger” (2000), which was more lo-fi and experimental than Joy, the 2002 stripped-down, acoustic CD, “Nude” and “Head first down the stairs”  in 2006, an energetic lo-fi indie rock vibe that is the best-selling Sleeping Dogs Lie CD. The “Swirl” CD (2007) was released with  12 remastered songs from the debut tape and 10 new songs. The sixth CD “Trieste” was an experimental recording made with only all-homemade and found-instruments released in April of 2009. “La Luz” followed  in 2010 with another experimental direction… This time, all ambient electronic experience reminiscent of Brian Eno.

100% of Sleeping Dogs Lie sales go to charity and are available at http://www.newmexicocreative.com/music 

Featured artists for December 2017-Merican Slang

Inspired by the Dictionary of American Slang, Merican Slang is Albuquerque’s premier Funk band. Described as experimental and unique, Merican Slang’s music has been likened to the JBs and the Meters. Their debut album, “Livin in Merica,” was produced in Albuquerque at Central Root Recording Studio, in 2015. The track, “Funky Feeding Frenzy,” features Hakim Bellamy, Albuquerque’s FIRST Poet Laureate.

Merican Slang tours the US performing at premier venues and festivals throughout the Southwest and has shared the stage with international acts ranging from Cody ChesnuTT, Thompson Square, Frank Hannon (Tesla), Morris Day and the Time, and One Be Lo.

The band is comprised of James Haynes (Guitar/Vocals). James  attended DePaul University and Columbia College in Chicago, IL, where he studied Music Business. Haynes was a band leader in New York, Chicago, and Albuquerque. Haynes also spends some of his free time teaching guitar in local Albuquerque Elementary Schools.

Bassist/vocalist Dave Pankuch is the son of Albuquerque saxophonist Peter Pankuch and has been playing music most of his life and been a part of the Albuquerque music scene for over 20 years. After high school, Dave marched in Drum Corps International sanctioned group, The Troopers, based out of Casper, Wyoming. In the two seasons, he played contra bass bugle at over a hundred different venues including sharing a bill with John Cougar Mellencamp and marching in Bill Clinton’s inaugural parade in Washington D.C.

His many musical endeavors has led him to sharing stages with world renowned talent such as Blue Oyster Cult, Cake, Bob Dylan, The Killers, Butch Miles, Gin Blossoms, and many others. He has also played music in a variety of venues and places, from Hawai’i to Belize and over 40 US states in between, as well as in such famous venues as The Whiskey A Go Go, The Rainbow Room, Mile High stadium, CO, and Gilette Stadium, MA.

Drummer Ricardo Sanchez is a native of New Mexico, from the small farming community of Tome. Ricardo has been playing professionally since age 17 when he met Rudy Jaramillo (“The Rudy Boy Experiment”) In 2005, Ricardo joined the blues band, Rudy Boy Experiment, where he met friend and band bass player, Dave Pankuch.

Ricardo has performed at The Whiskey A Go Go and The Rainbow Room in Hollywood, California and has also been fortunate to open for Bob Dylan, Blue Oyster Cult, The Gin Blossoms, Rehab, Tab Benoit, Eric McFadden, and Wynona Judd. In 2013, Ricardo recorded with Grammy Award winning producer, Pete Anderson in Los Angeles, California for tracks that went on the Rudy Boy Experiment Album The Way it is Now.

Performing several nights a week with two different bands, the Rudy Boy Experiment and Merican Slang, Ricardo is one of the busiest and most diverse musicians in Albuquerque.

Featured artists for November 2017-Hatrick Patrick

Performing medleys of three songs by one artist give the duo, Hatrick Patrick its name. Comprised of guitarist Patrick and vocalist M, the two performers play soft rock, pop and jazz by a variety of artists, from Adele to White Lion and everything in between. An accomplished guitarist, Patrick has been playing since the age of 14. As a journeyman performer, Patrick worked his way through clubs as a band guitarist in the 60s, 70s and 80s. In the 90s, Patrick decided to concentrate more on solo acoustic guitar. Once he relocated to Albuquerque, Patrick met M.

M arrived in the Duke City at the age of one. Although her family re-located a number of times during her youth, M returned to Albuquerque during her teen years where she attended Eldorado high school and honed her craft singing in the Gold Rush Show Choir and as a New Mexico All-State chorus first soprano all four years. M went on to study classical voice at Boston University where she earned her BA in Music. Together, Hatrick Patrick’s goal is to play entertaining live music.

Featured artist for October 2017-Chloé Nixon

We had the pleasure, recently, to hear a brief performance by Chloé Nixon. Chloé’s song “Free Fall” on Sound Cloud and YouTube is the first single from her debut album “Anomalous Soul”.  As a young artist, Chloé  is creating a fresh sound that combines elements from different genres including R&B, alternative, jazz-rock, dance, and classical.  Chloé  writes about things she’s passionate about including love, social justice, and just being a teenager. She is a strong supporter of self- expression and believes everyone has something beautiful and unique inside of them. Chloé  believes everyone’s soul should be expressed because it is a beautiful gift to the world. Chloé performed her original music, and an aria from an opera at TEDx ABQ in 2015, when she was only 12-years-old.  is Classically trained in voice, Chloé received a gold medal in the 2017 Golden Key Music festival for her performance of “Summertime” from the opera Porgy and Bess, which she performed at Carnegie Hall.  While Chloé  is still in school, you can often find her singing and playing her guitar at various venues, such as coffee houses, around Albuquerque. Hear more at http://www.chloenixonmusic.com/

Featured Artists for September 2017-Nosotros

Celebrating 23 years of making music in New Mexico, Nosotros is one of the most recognizable Latin bands, in the Southwest United States. They have twice been featured on NPR’s Alt Latino, twice been named winners in the prestigious John Lennon Songwriting Competition, been awarded 11 NM Music Awards and have shared the stage with some of the biggest names in music. Their most recent release is a collaboration with jazz greats Tony Lujan, Grammy nominee Otmaro Ruiz, Bob Sheppard and Asdru Sierra, singer of the multi Grammy winning band, Ozomatli.

This 9-piece, Latin music powerhouse, seamlessly combines Latin rhythms with elements of Rock, Salsa, Jazz and Cumbia creating an original sound that is unmistakably Nosotros. But M.E. Schenck of Hyperactive Music Magazine may have interpreted their sound best by saying “Nosotros’ music is not to be explained, it is to be felt in the pit of our souls.”

Nosotros has been drawing music lovers to their music for over 20 years. What began as a guitar trio in 1994, quickly took on a life of its own and developed and grew into something that no one could have predicted.

After releasing two albums they left their hometown of Las Cruces, NM, and relocated to the Albuquerque/Santa Fe area. They continued to make a name for themselves with a near non-stop performance schedule. They teamed up with producer Chris Trujillo to release their third album self titled “Nosotros”. Chris is best known for his work with Tom Petty, The Black Crowes, Rod Stewart and Toto. The album received numerous awards from the NM Music Awards including the highly coveted “Album of the Year” and “Producer of the Year” awards. This album marked a new beginning for the band.

The band was beginning to be placed on bills with some of biggest acts in music and Latin Jazz. Most notably was an appearance at one of the world’s largest Jazz festivals, The San Jose Jazz Festival.

The band’s sound continued to evolve. They teamed up with Grammy winning engineer Doug Geist to record their 4th Album. With the release of “Llena La Alma” the band gained some national attention when their song “Hermosa” was named as a winner in the prestigious John Lennon Songwriting Competition. The NM Music Awards, once again, awarded them a hand full of awards including “Best Latin Song” and “Best Arrangement”. Nosotros then made a second appearance at the San Jose Jazz Festival.

Nosotros continued to gig, tour and write material and eventually released their 5th studio album, a self-produced EP titled “Ver El Sol”. The song “Solo Un Dia” was featured on NPR’s Alt Latino and the NM Music Awards gave the song “Viboras” the “Best Latin Song” award. Soon after the release of “Ver El Sol” the band was invited to play the Telluride Jazz Festival opening for Jazz legends, Roy Hargrove and Victor Wooten.

In 2014, Nosotros celebrated 20 years as a band. To mark the milestone, Nosotros released an anthology CD simply titled, “XX”. The evolution of the band had never been more apparent than listening to this 17 track CD. The bonus song on the album was a previously unreleased song called “Aqui y Alla”, a collaboration with producer Luis Guerra. Once again, the band found themselves on NPR’s Alt Latino when they included “Aqui Y Alla” on their show. The song also won an award for “Best Latin Song” in 2015.

2016 saw the release of their 6th studio album titled “En El Mas Alla”. The album is written and dedicated to the many people that have touched the lives of Nosotros and are no longer here on earth. The album showcased the bands complex arranging and songwriting style. The title track was named as a winner in the John Lennon songwriting contest and the album was awarded “Producer of the Year”. The merengue, rock song “Olivdarme” was also awarded “Best Latin Song”. Both awards coming from the NM Music Awards.

May 2017 marks their most recent release, a single track titled “Tumba”. It is a collaboration piece with jazz great Tony Lujan and features Bob Sheppard, Grammy nominee Otmaro Ruiz, and Asdru Sierra of the multi Grammy winning band Ozomatli. “Tumba” was the recipient of the 2017 “Best Latin Song” award at The NM Music Awards.

Nosotros continues to perform and write music that is relevant to our ever-changing world. Through the years Nosotros has evolved, morphed and changed but one thing remains the same, their music will always be felt in the pit our souls.

Nosotros features Glenn Contreras (Lead Vocals), Carlos Fontana (Lead Vocals), Shane Derk (Guitar), Manuel Ramirez (Saxophone), Gilbert Uribe (Bass), Ricky Carrido (Congas), Jesse Joaquin Parker (Vibes, Percussion) and Dennis Javier Jasso (Drums).

Featured Artists for August 2017-Late Arrival

Late Arrival… two brothers. Hooked up in Albuquerque, New Mexico when Jeff Dunham was born. Tom Dunham (drummer) big brother snaked Jeff to play guitar because Tom wanted to be the drummer. A family move, up dusty I-25 to Santa Fe, New Mexico in 1968. With the vibe of a small mountain town and the knack to play what we call Southwest Rock & Roll our rhythms helped us create rockin songs. Zella Lavender, a girl from Ft. Wayne, Indiana completes the band with her solid bass playing between the brothers energy.

Late Arrival has been recording their music since 1997. Their first album is “Kick Things Over” in 1997, then “Freeks” in 2002, followed by “Machine” in 2007. The new album ORGANIZED MAYHEM is now available. Downloads/Physical. 7/20/2017

Northeast In-Tune Magazine’s Bob Donovan says: Interesting riffs throughout Late Arrivals music.  I really enjoyed the guitar work in each of their songs.  Not flashy, just straight forward good performance and playing.

GoGirls Music Review’s Georgia Moncrief says: Late Arrival’s sound is pure rock ‘n roll. It’s fresh and exciting. Their music takes me back to the fun times in high school…let the party begin!

Music Extreme Review’s Marc Don Vito says: This is pure rock´n´roll in its purest form. Full of hooks in the vein of AC/DC.

Westsidewill Radio Dueling CD Review’s Joey Champagne &  D’Michael Noogeman says: 12 tracks of solid rock. If anybody knows a thing or two about rock it’s this group. “Red Vest” this track is chalk full of rhymes and what not that will get stuck in your head.

Eugene Foley (consultant to the music industry) says: “Late Arrival is a 4.5 out of 5 points and I don’t usually rate bands over 3 points”.

Featured Artist for July, 2017-Cesar Bauvallet

An outstanding musical figure on the New Mexico musical scene. Renowned trombonist, percussionist (congas, bongos, timbales, batá drums, as well as drumset and hand percussion), singer, composer, arranger and bandleader César Bauvallet is most widely known as the leader of Albuquerque’s most popular 9-piece Salsa band, Son Como Son as well as the smaller group, Tradiciones. Originally from Cuba, César graduated from the renowned Amadeo Roldán Conservatory in Havana in 1981. He has been a music educator and professional performer for more than 30 years. He also teaches Outpost’s extremely popular Latin Music Classes for youth and adults.

This month enjoy his Cuban Jazz Project as part of the 12th Annual New Mexico Jazz Festival featuring a unique mix of talents including pianist, Jim Ahrend and tenor saxophonist, Kanoa Kaluhiwa. Also featured are Janet Harman (Son Como Son), bass; Victor Rodriguez (Salsa Suite, Son Como Son), bongos; César and Janet’s son, Danilo Bauvallet who makes his debut on drums; and special guest and longtime friend of Cesar’s, Raciel Tortoló (Team Havana), on congas. The project draws on each of its members’ diverse musical experiences ranging from bebop to timba as they perform Bauvallet’s inspired original compositions and dynamic arrangements of Cuban and jazz standards.

Featured artist for June 2017-Hillary Smith

The recipient of the 2017 New Mexico Music Awards Eric Larson Lifetime Achievement Award, Hillary Smith is a force to be reckoned with. Ms. Smith possesses a deep soulfulness rooted in the Gospel-driven churches of her youth, a classically trained vocal instrument that’s a natural wonder, and a God-given instinct for swinging a lyric. Hillary Smith has been electrifying audiences across the United States for more than 30 years.

A native of Hobbs, New Mexico, Hill first made her mark in the ’80s with gutsy performances of rockin’ blues and funk, and she’s fronted a number of popular bands in the Albuquerque/Santa Fe area over the years. Chief among the early groups was the multi-award-winning Strictly Taboo, whose debut album, Playing with Fire, got heavy rotation on local and international radio. In recent years, Hill has been digging deeper into the blues with guitarist Chris Dracup and bassist Marcus Casman in the Soul Kitchen trio—yet another award-winning, crowd-pleasing venture.

As comfortable with swinging jazz as she is with funky blues, Hill is featured on pianist/vocalist/composer Kevin Hayes’ 2007 recording The Dreamer, and she appeared with Kevin at the 2007 Gathering of the Vibes, along with Joshua Redman, Nicholas Payton, Peter Bernstein, and Bill Stewart.

Her 2008 release, No Easy Way, showcased her full repertoire—jazzy blues, big-band funk, Gospel-inflected R&B, and neosoul. The album carried off an armful of New Mexico Music Awards, including “Best of the Year,” and Hill gratefully acknowledges that a little help from her friends, including Grammy-nominated trumpeter Bobby Shew and legendary “funky drummer” Clyde Stubblefield, contributed to its success.

In 2010, a chance encounter with singer/songwriters Mandy Buchanan and Yvonne Perea opened an exciting new chapter in Hill’s career that recast her as not just a vocalist, but as a singer/songwriter. The three ladies found a sweet spot in their acoustic trio hONEyhoUSe, whose 2011 debut album, Sun, found its way to the podium as “Best of the Year” at the New Mexico Music Awards.

Hill credits Mandy and Yvonne with helping her discover her writing talent. Though she loves interpreting others’ tunes—from American songbook standards to the low-downest blues—she’s discovered that singing material that comes directly from her own heart offers a deeper satisfaction.

Medicine Lodge, hONEyhoUSe’s stunning 2012 release, found the trio making even more beautiful music. The album grabbed more hardware at the New Mexico Music Awards. For Hill, that’s a gratifying affirmation of a life dedicated to music. Still, she says, it’s not so much the number of ears that she reaches, but how deeply she reaches into those ears that matters most.

Featured artist for May, 2017-Tracey Whitney

Ray Charles didn’t need to meet singer Tracey Whitney to know she was his ideal back-up vocalist. Called to audition for The Genius of Soul’s background singers, The Raelettes, Tracey left her demo when Charles couldn’t make their meeting. Later that afternoon, his management called to say she’d landed the gig. “Ray just listened to my tracks and said, ‘She’s got it’,” Tracey recalls. “Four days later, I was onstage singing with him at the Hollywood Bowl. What a ride!”

Tracey, a sultry singer, prolific songwriter and passionate performer who, in the style of yesteryear, delivers R&B, Pop, and Jazz vocal stylings equally – was no stranger to the stage. Her musical history stretches all the way back to age 11, when at the famed Coconut Grove in Los Angeles, Tracey made her debut as part of The Whitney Family, a singing ensemble that included her mother Louise Whitney, brothers Glynn, Nick, Phillip and Ellis Ray (Ray-Ray), and sisters Cozette (Cookie) and Louise and Louanda (twins). Over the next 15 years, The Whitney Family toured the world, recorded albums for both United Artists and Warner Curb Records and made guest appearances on numerous TV shows, most notably Burt Sugarman’s The Midnight Special.

An entrepreneur, Whitney launched an independent record label, Babydoll Entertainment & Records in 2007, releasing her first solo album, Love…A Fable in 9 Acts. This was followed in 2012 with I Am Singing…Songs I Love. And Spring 2017 will see her third release, Live At The Outpost Performance Space, which has already been nominated for a New Mexico Music Award.

Whitney relocated from Los Angeles to Albuquerque in 2012 to pursue a lifelong dream of opening her own club, Babydoll’s House of Jazz & Blues, and, much to her delight, found the Land of Enchantment to be a jazz haven that she calls “The gift that keeps on giving!” She has a thriving performance schedule, and is routinely called upon to be the opening act when stars come to town for 103.7 The Oasis Radio + Cool Jazz Forever Productions concert series, allowing her the unique opportunity to perform with a host of touring contemporary jazz elites, including: Will Donato, Marc Antoine, Euge Groove, Darren Rahn, Julian Vaughn and Brian Simpson. Her concert performances have included both the New Mexico Jazz Workshop’s Jazz Under the Stars series “Women’s Voices Singing” and “Ladies Sing the Blues” at the Albuquerque Museum Amphitheater, two solo concerts at The Outpost Performance Space, The Santa Fe Bandstand, Leonard Tischler’s Freedom Work: Folk Forms and Variations, St John’s College Music On The Hill and the Gazebo at Old Town. She performed in the Albuquerque Film & Music Experience’s tribute concert to world-renowned bassist Nathan East at the KIMO Theater (he gave her a standing ovation!), and twice for the New Mexico Black Expo (opening for Shalamar member Howard Hewett). Tracey was thrilled to co-write, produce and perform the concert “A Dangerous Creation: A Tribute to Johnny Otis” with Zenobia Conkerite at the Albuquerque Museum Amphitheater in 2016. Coincidentally, both Tracey’s mother, Louise Whitney, and Aunt Mary Lee Whitney – who was a member of Stevie Wonder’s background singers Wonderlove, toured with Johnny Otis, an R&B pioneer, and gospel/soul legend and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Solomon Burke in the late 1960’s.

Whitney has performed her own blend of sophisticated jazz, classic soul and blues throughout the city in venues such as Vernon’s Black Diamond Lounge, the Santa Ana Star Casino, the Hyatt Tamaya Resort, the Isleta Casino (she was featured in their 2014 Embers’ Steakhouse TV commercial and website), Pappadeaux, Scalo, the Hyatt Regency, St Clair Winery, Casa Rondena Winery, and her “home base” the Hotel Andaluz, where she currently performs every 2nd and 4th Friday with her jazz/blues/soul band, Tracey Whitney & Babydoll.

She currently serves on the Board of Directors of both the African American Performing Arts Center Foundation and the Albuquerque Musician’s Association/Local 618 of the American Federation of Musicians. She’s a voting member of the L.A. chapter of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (the GRAMMY Awards), as well as a contributing writer/music critic for Smooth Jazz magazine, reviewing concerts and CD’s, and interviewing superstars including Earl Klugh, The Yellowjackets, Terence Blanchard and Arturo Sandoval.

Recently adding “Producer” to her list of accomplishments, Tracey produced the concert “Black Music Through The Ages: 1869-1969” for the African American Performing Arts Center in February 2017. She was nominated for the ABQ-based Weekly Alibi’s 2017 “Best of the Burque Music Showcase.” She’s also an Upper Merit graduate of the London-based The Voice College, with a Higher Certificate in Contemporary Vocal Teaching (Children & Adolescents). As her former boss Brotha’ Ray put it, “I was born with music inside me…It was a necessity for me; like food and water.” We couldn’t agree more….

Featured artist for April, 2017-Debo Orlofsky

Debo Orlofsky is a very much in demand vocalist and instrumentalist and has been a mainstay on the Albuquerque music scene for over 25 years. A veteran vocalist of both rock and world-beat bands, Debo’s honeyed alto has graced many Albuquerque, NM projects including the alternative sounds of Splinter Fish, the African dance music of Animal Opera, and the sweet country blues of Alpha Blue.

Debo’s passion is for bossa nova, singing with guitarist Tony Cesarano in the duo, Jazz Brasileiro, and the Brazilian band, Saudade, but Debo also enjoys playing klezmer accordion with The Rebbe’s Orkestra and with Tony Wilson on guitar, plays accordion for the group the Dust Devils which plays a mix of Southern and classic rock, with Irish and Cajun influences. Debo rocks with original electric folk outfit, The Temporary Tattoos and she sings straight ahead jazz with Frank’s Jazz heads featuring pianist Frank Fredenburgh, bassist Micky Patten and drummer Rick Compton.

In addition to all of that, Debo is the coordinator of the New Mexico Jazz Workshop’s Empowerment through Music program that works with kids through the South Valley Band Project in SW Albuquerque and the Digital Technology Project for incarcerated youth. Here is just a sample of the remainder of Debo’s performance calendar for April.

 

Featured artists for March 2017-Alchemiealchemie dark

Alchemie is Nancy Haubrich and Bob Danielson.

NANCY HAUBRICH (Keys, Lead and Harmony Vocals).

Nancy toured and played professionally in the Midwest prior to moving to Albuquerque; her song “Grandpa’s Tree” is the title track for the 75th Reunion of the Lancaster, Minnesota DVD.  She wrote, produced and recorded the “Postcard Home” CD with Bob Danielson, and recently wrote “Straight Outta Kittson,” a hip-hop song dedicated to her home county in Minnesota. She continues to perform original music, and “Postcard Home,”

 

ROBERT DANIELSON (Drums, Lead and Harmony Vocals).

Bob was previously based in San Francisco, California and has toured extensively throughout the United States, as well as playing extended musical engagements in England and Japan. Bob attributes his success in music to being a “team player” and to his enthusiasm for performing. He has a reputation for being a very creative musician.

Alchemie has worked with Beach Blanket Babylon (San Francisco, California), the longest running musical revue in theater history, premiering in 1975, celebrating over 15,000 performances, seen by over 6 million people from around the world. Bob was the principal drummer from 1990 to 2005. They have also worked with Michael Tilson Thomas, Music Director, San Francisco Symphony Nine-time Grammy Award nominee, Ledisi, Deborah I’yall, songwriter and Asien Pop star Sky Wu, Hong Kong star Susanna Kwan: Hong Kong Star and Blues and Rock artist Bobby Radcliff.

ALCHEMIE has just released its second album, “Dark,” the follow-on to “Postcard Home”. For more information on the band, go to alchemielab.com.

Featured artist for February 2017-DelphiaDelphia-30s_jazz-sepia006

An accomplished singer, songwriter and performer, Delphia has shared the stage with legendary performers including Leon Russell and Wishbone Ash to contemporary artists including Melody Gardot and has toured extensively throughout the US.

Her powerful, yet sometimes edgy vocals are a combination of Fiona Apple, Dusty Springfield, and Judy Garland. Flowing between the genres of alternative, pop, jazz, blues, soul and gospel with a modern flare, Delphia ties her work together by the common thread of her powerful, cathartic vocals, a pension for lush harmonies and ensembles, and lyrics that reveal the desperate emotions that make her vulnerability all the more believable. Her show has been described as ‘an intense introspective journey dealing with acceptance and rejection, transfixed by a backdrop of incredible vocals and well thought out arrangements.

For her current performances, she has surrounded herself with a group of incredible musicians including Bert Dalton, keyboards, Dimi DiSanti, guitar, Milo Jaramillo, bass and John Bartlit on drums.

            Delphia was picked as the ‘Women of Substance Radio’ performer for the SoCal Girl Fest in Chico, California in 2015.

            Her single, “Let You Go,”  was mixed by Brent Kolatalo [Ariana Grande, Jay-Z, Bruno Mars] and is available on iTunes or on her website: http://iamDelphia.com.

Featured artist for January 2017-Son of Hweeldison-of-hweeldi

Son of Hwéeldi  music is resistance rock! The indigenous peoples of the Americas have survived the onslaught of hundreds of years of assimilation and annihilation policies. We continue to resist and flourish. Songs of prayer, protection, joy, love, and victory have been sung and continue to be written and performed. Son of Hwéeldi aims to continue in that art of song making.

Son of Hwéeldi (formally Saving Damsels) had its beginnings in spring 2007 when lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist JJ Otero (Navajo/Hopi) strapped a guitar across his chest and put to music his all too common, tragic story of having wronged a good woman and eventually breaking up a home. Accompanied with more introspection and more songwriting, Otero soon had a collection of “earnest, honest, and original” songs and set about forming a band.

Through mutual friends and other connections, the band slowly began taking shape and today consists of members:

JJ Otero / songwriter, lead vocalist & rhythm guitar
Joe Pacheco / bass
Doug Bellen / keyboards, backup vocals
Pax Garcia / drums

Find out more at http://www.sonofhweeldi.com/home/

Featured artist for December 2016, Melanie Anne front-album-cover

Melanie Anne is an indie artist based in Albuquerque. She began playing piano at the age of 7, guitar at the age of 12 and was performing professionally by age 13. Melanie Anne composes all of her own music and has a true love for playing and performing. Although still young in her musical career, she is steadily gaining traction and exposure.

Melanie Anne released her debut EP, the self titled Melanie on November 4th, 2016 with the songs Fell For You, Ready Let’s Go, When You Hold My Hand, The Reason I Waited, and Life Is Fragile. With an hints of pop, rock, and acoustic, the EP takes you on a journey of deep thinking, remembering and just overall fun. The music video for Life Is Fragile was released on November 13th, 2016.

Melanie Anne’s next album is already in the works and has a tentative release date of winter of 2017. You can hear more of Melanie Anne at melanieannemusic.com

Featured artist for November 2016- Cali Shawcali-hs-guitar-2560x1920

Cali Shaw is fast becoming one of the most celebrated songwriters and performers across the Southwest. In June of 2016 he won a New Mexico Music Award in the Adult Contemporary category for his song Hold on to You and took top honors for best music video from the New Mexico Film office and Best Film Score at the 48 Hour Film Festival for the video of the same name.

His eclectic cross-genre conception is perfectly displayed on 2015 album, Under The Olive Tree, inspired by the time he spent living in Greece as a young boy, where an olive grove grew behind his house. Shaw employes instruments not normally associated with folk on the album, making them seem perfectly at home. Bolstered by rich vocal harmonies and intriguing arrangements, he creates a sound that showcases the strength of his songwriting, from a rootsy, earthy vibe to the almost magic and ethereal. His real-life lyrics and memorable choruses perfectly echo the album’s spirit.

Cali Shaw performs regularly as solo, duo or up to a seven-piece festival-ready ensemble; who’s dynamic and original performances captivates and embraces people of all generations.

Music, videos and show info available at: http://calishaw.com

Featured artists for October- 2016 Kid Dinosaurkid-dinosaur

Kid Dinosaur are 2016 New Mexico Music Award winners in the Indie Rock category for music from their current CD, Intergalactic Sabertooth Tiger, recorded in Albuquerque by multiple NMMA award winning producer John Wall. The band won in the same category in 2014 for their tune Bones and has had a pretty successful run in the Duke City as one of the favorite rock bands here. Current members include Brent Kelly -Keys & Sax, Craig Berry – Guitar and Vocals, Harlan Brown-Shaklee – Bass, Rex Nowacki – Guitar and Sam Blankenship – Drums.

Find their newest CD online  at https://kiddinosaur.bandcamp.com/releases and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/kiddinosaur/app/6452028673/

Featured artists for September of 2016- The Lost Howlin’ Coyotes

The Lost Howlin’ Coyotes are an Albuquerque, New Mexico based Bluegrass band. Steeped in traditional Bluegrass and gospel music, the Coyotes thelosthowlincoyotes_largedeliver a unique blend of original tunes, bluegrass standards, gospel favorites and plenty of surprises at every performance.

Band founders Tony Mora (mandolin, guitar and lead vocals) and Gordon West (guitar, lead vocals and harmonies) teamed up in 2005 as an acoustic duo winning several awards in local competitions and festivals. They have since added the talents of Randy Dupuy on banjo, Cat Rose Mora on bass fiddle, and Louis Blackwell on the fiddle.

The Lost Howlin’ Coyotes won “Best Original Bluegrass Song” with MORGAN JONES and best Bluegrass Recording with their new CD “MOONSHINE”, recorded at Sanctuary Sound in Albuquerque by Lee Padilla,  at the 29th Annual New Mexico Music Awards held this past June!

For more info, go to http://losthowlincoyotes.com/ where you can checkout their latest music and videos.

Featured artists for August 2016- Underground CadenceUderground Cadence 2

Underground Cadence is an eclectic group of musicians with elements of Rock, Blues, Latin, and Jazz. Fronted by singer / songwriter and vocalist Cynthia Becker , the band also features guitarist / songwriter D’Santi Nava, percussionist Alex Pidgon and bassist Brian Shannon. Underground Cadence often features guest artists such as the soulful vocalist and violinist Alma Castro.

The band’s creativity is on display off stage as well. Bassist Shannon is a gourmet chef who has trained with some of Santa Fe’s most notable chefs. Pidgon is an in demand audio engineer who studied sound in San Francisco at the College for Recording Arts and worked in the bay area as an audio engineer for 14 years before moving back to New Mexico. Nava is a prodigy of sorts, able to memorize almost any song after hearing it a few times. Cynthia Becker is a massage therapist who recently had her latest CD ,”I’m Coming Home” produced by Grammy Award winning Artist Larry Mitchell. Castro is a community activist songwriter.

You can hear the diverse influences in the band’s music, both covers and originals, from Hendrix to Zepplin, from Joplin to Joan Jett. For more on Underground Cadence including links to music, video and more go to https://www.facebook.com/Underground.Cadence/ or hit them up on YouTube.

Featured artists for July- 2016-Last Call

Last Call Band

They don’t look hip by today’s standards. In fact, they resemble the jazz musicians of old, responsible, middle aged men who most likely began their
music careers in high school band class, a totally un-cool thing back then, and went on to hone their craft to perfection. This describes Last Call, a jazz quartet out of Albuquerque. Headed up by bassist / vocalist Michael Druxaman, the group consists of Druxman, drummer Brad Yablonsky, Tim Sleigh on saxophones and Harry Weingardt, on guitar and sharing the vocals.

The band stays busy, performing throughout Albuquerque in venues like the Zinc Cellar Bar, the Marble Brewery Westside Taproom, downtown’s Standard Diner and the Sheraton Uptown Hotel. They play a variety of smooth, straight ahead standards and jazz infused R&B and blues. They share in the performance equally with each member contributing to the whole.

            Last Call’s recent CD, Nightfall, contains some great performances from this true jazz group. Check them out on Facebook or online on REVERBNATION.

Featured artists for June- 2016-Baracutanga

Baracutanga is a supergroup of journeyman musicians with members that have long been a staphigh-Bara-dancingle in Latin music in New Mexico. The group is comprised of lead singer Jackie Zamora,  Nicholas Adam Baker on vibraphone, drums and percussion,  Carlos Noboa on elecrtic bass, percussion,  and quena (a traditional Andean flute, master horn player Paul Gonzales on trumpet and surdos (a Brazillian bass drum, Kilko Paz on surdos, cajon, charango and drums, Randy Sanchez on electric guitar, the Cuban Tres (a half sized Cuban guitar), Micah Hood on trombone and Billy Lorne on additional percussion.

For years, these musicians have labored on the Albuquerque music scene, often playing together in the same bands. With its provenance as a group that featured Brazilian percussive rhythms Baracutanga, quickly found its one-of-a-kind identity in exploring and mixing the many danceable rhythms of South America.       Photo by Adrian Wills

The seven-piece band, representing four different countries, prides itself on arranging traditional South American rhythms in interesting ways, such as huayño and cumbia with Middle-Eastern derbuka or the Afro-Cuban bata and Afro-Peruvianfestejo blended with Andian zampoñas, among countless other rhythmic combinations. This kind of experimentation has resulted in an exciting and iconic flavor all its own.

The award winning band is much in demand. Check out their video Rumba de Burque and find the band online at http://baracutanga.org/

Featured artist for May- 2016-Kristina Jacobsen

New Mexico baseKristina Jacobsend singer-songwriter Kristina Jacobsen combines elements of honky tonk, western, Americana and roots music to create soulful, place-based songs. Inspired by time spent in Norway, Italy and the Navajo Nation, she performs on both acoustic and lapsteel guitars, joining expansive, yodeling melodies to lyrics delving into the beauty and pain of human experience. Drawing favorable comparisons to Gillian Welch, Lucinda Williams and Patty Loveless, Kristina’s songs are equal parts honest, playful and open-hearted. Kristina also fronts the all-girl honky tonk band, the Merlettes.

A music activist, Ms. Jacobsen features local songwriters in her showcase series as well as teaching at the University of New Mexico. Her debut release Three Roses  is available now online at http://kristinajacobsenmusic.com/

Photo by Luiz Ricardo Martinez Serra

Featured artist for April- 2016-Eryn Bent

Singer-songwriter Eryn Bent has been enchanting audiences since age 14, with her powerhouse vocals and honest, gritty songwriting.

Born and raised in Montana, Eryn has deep, Western roots that shine through her Americana, folk-style songwriting. She has played all over the West coast, forever planting her musical magic in the hearts of those who listen to her. Eryn is a trained vocalist with years of private training under her belt, which gives her the incredible range and ability to showcase her vocals in many evocative ways. She sings for you, and you’ll feel it in your bones.

She has independently recorded, written and released three amateur albums, with the first privately released in 2005. Most notably, Eryn completed her first studio album in early 2014 – “Firefly”, recorded by Jono Manson at the Kitchen Sink Studios. Featuring 11 originals songs and produced by Ms. Bent herself, “Firefly” does not disappoint. The album, released in May 2014, is a 2015 New Mexico Music Award Winner, with 4 nominations, including “Best of the Year”. The album currently is being played and distributed internationally.

Eryn plays full-time both solo and with her band around New Mexico and tours nationally promoting “Firefly”, “In the Gray” (a live solo album), and her latest release, “Wherever Red May Roam”.
Check out musc and performances online at  www.reverbnation.com/erynbentwww.soundcloud.com/erynbent and www.youtube.com/erynlbent and follow her online on FacebookInstagram  and on Twitter

Featured artist for March- 2016-Anna Rudolph

OpenMic@the Lizard Lounge
OpenMic@the Lizard Lounge

Anna Rudolph is a singer and songwriter from Placitas, New Mexico just north of Albuquerque. Her sultry voice and bluesy style give her music a captivating presence. She writes and sings from the heart. Few artists are able to connect with their audience the way that she does. She is a prolific songwriter writing in Blues and Americana styles and continues to record and market her music to film, TV and national artists. You can find her in some of Albuquerque’s more intimate venues and festivals. Her latest CD is Alter Ego. Check out her music and videos at annarudolph.com

Nocturnal Company
Nocturnal Company

Nocturnal Company is an Alternative Indie Rock band from Albuquerque, NM consisting of Gilead Davy McGahee  (guitar, vocals), Jacob Grey
(drums), Isaac Barba (keyboard) and Adeel Rae (bass). Check them out and like the band on Facebook athttps://www.facebook.com/nocturnalcompany

 

Cynical Bird

CynicCynical Birdal Bird is a Rock/Americana/Pop band from Albuquerque, NM consisting of Allan Esquibel (guitar, vocals), Terry Holbrook (bass), and Juan Duran (drums).

Check them out on ReverbNation at www.reverbnation.com/CynicalBird and like the band on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/CynicalBird or find them on myspace at  www.myspace.com/CynicalBird Photo by Nicholas Lucero and the Delbert Anderson Trio

JeeZ LaWeeZ

JeeZ LaWeeZ is an Eclectic, Humorous, Serious, and Fun band from Albuquerque, NM consisting of Katie Gill on guitar and ukulele, Amy Blackburn Jeez La Weezon violin, viola and mandolin, and Nancy Harvin on electric bass and percussion. Check them out on their websitewww.jeezlaweezmusic.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/jeezlaweezmusic.

“This fun and fabulous all-girl trio bends the rules of good taste with a batch of smart-alecky originals so tangy they’ll make your mouth water. Follow that up with tasty interpretations from Elvis Costello to Leonard Cohen to David Bowie and Bach again.”

BrokenRulesBand

One Foot In

ONE FOOT IN has a “rockin’ country blues” vibe and a sound that feeds the soul.  Band members include Mars Moran (Lead Vocals/Guitar), Ella Canterbury (Lead Vocals/Bass), and Sam Rodriguez (Back-up Vocals/Drums).  For information about ONE FOOT IN, check out their profile on ReverbNation and follow them on Facebook.

The Strange

Members: Justin Lindsey, Andy Diekmann, Braden Anderson, Daniel Murphy, and Andrew Davey(RIP)

Sounds Like: The Black Keys, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Queens of the Stone Age, Led Zeppelin, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Radio The StrangeMoscow, Black Sabbath

Born of blood, sweat and tears, The Strange is the culmination of many lives who have influenced what would become one of The Southwest’s most creative and hard-working true rock acts.  Described as “young outlaws” the members of The Strange have battled through many a hardship and hurdle in the process of bringing their brand of “desert rock” to the ears of the region.  The Strange has toured extensively across the Southwest, West Coast, and Texas as well as having landed some impressive gigs in their hometown of Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Entourage Jazz 

Entourage JazzEntourage Jazz specializes in performing standards to classic jazz favorites. Adored by audiences, Entourage Jazz is a favorite at such venues as clubs, restaurants, corporate events, private parties and wedding receptions.

http://www.entourageabq.com/

Facebook

Entourage Jazz consists of:  Emerson Susan Corley, Vocals; Arnold Bodmer, Piano; Lee Taylor, Winds; Bruce Dalby, Trumpet; Chris Buckholz, Trombone; Maren Hatch, Bass; John Bartlitt, Drums; with appearances by Scott Jacobsen, Mark Tatum, and Douglas Cardwell.

Christina Herr & Wild Frontier

E. Christina Herr & Wild FrontierWild Frontier spins Americana, Alt Country, Spaghetti Western, Singer Songwriter and old school Rock ‘n Roll into a soundscape they call Western Gothic.

The band ranges from the pure simplicity of two vintage acoustic guitars to the full blown dynamics of a 5 piece Band.

Members:
E. Christina Herr, Martin Rowell, Laura Leach, Jim Reid