Albuquerque has one of the most vibrant music scenes in the country with a variety of festivals, concert series, styles and genre’s of live music. Most national tours either begin or end their tours here and touring artists love the Duke City because of its southwestern location weather with over 300 days of sunshine a year and its proximity to great, historic communities like Santa Fe and Taos. There is more bang for your musical buck in Albuquerque. Concert ticket prices are a low as $20.00 for national acts. $200.00 will get you a front row seat at nearly any concert and the venues are modern and intimate, allowing you get up close and personal with the artists. Accommodations are among the most economical in the country for four and five star hotels and getting around the Duke city is easy. What you spend on concert tickets in any other large metropolis will get you front row seats, a nice hotel, transportation to and from the venue, dinner and drinks for two and you won’t have to stand in line for anything. In addition, Albuquerque is one of the top ten places for film and TV production.
Travel and Accommodations
If you are looking at a travel or wedding destination that involves music, Albuquerque is the place for you. easily accessible by air, train or car and with world class accommodations. Downtown Albuquerque has some of the most elegant hotels in the state all withing walking distance of some great music venues, clubs and restaurants. Withing a six block radius, you can hear Rock, Americana, Country, Jazz, Salsa, Blues, Latin, Dance and great original acoustic music. There is no place in Albuquerque that is more than thirty minutes travel time by car. For more on travel to Albuquerque contact the Albuquerque Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Venues range from the intimate to the spectacular and include Sandia Resort Amphitheater, Isleta Amphitieater, the historic Kimo Theater, the
Albuquerque Museum Amphitheater, the Outpost Performance Space, Popejoy Hall, the Kiva Auditorium, Legends Theater at Route 66 Casino and the Santa Ana Star Center. Some of the biggest names in music bring their shows here because they love it here.
Music is a constant in the hotels, clubs and restaurants in Albuquerque, featuring everything from elegant Jazz to raucous Metal. There is an abundance of Country, the best Blues, incredible singers and songwriters and spectacular Dance, Rock and R&B.
There are a number of groups dedicated to music including Chamber Music Albuquerque, the New Mexico Jazz Workshop, New Mexico Folk Music Society, Outpost Productions, The New Mexico Music Awards, the Music Guild of New Mexico, the Albuquerque Youth Symphony, the New Mexico Hispano Entertainers Association, the Southwest Traditional & Bluegrass Music Association and the New Mexico Philharmonic. Each of the organizations host their own concert series, educational programs and stand alone events.
Concert Series & Festivals
You’ll find concert events and festivals year round in New Mexico. Every winter and spring brings the Outpost Performance Space concert series, presenting some of New Mexico’s best artists in concert as well as great Jazz, Folk and Blues artists from around the world.
Every April the largest Pow-Wow in North America, the Gathering of Nations takes place in Albuquerque. This home grown event, established in 1983, brings together the largest gathering of Native American artists, dancers and musicians for a weekend of performance and celebrations that includes the Miss Indian World competition. The event takes place this April 26th-28th, 2018 at Tingley Coliseum @ Expo New Mexico.
Spring and summer the New Mexico Jazz Workshop’s Salsa, Jazz and Blues Under the Stars concert series with great Salsa, Cumbia and Bachata dance bands every Friday and live Jazz and Blues artists every Saturday night. Some of the artist presented during this concert series over the past 40 years include Kevin Eubanks, Diana Krall, Ramsay Lewis, Clark Terry, The Cookers, Nena Freelon and many more.
The Albuquerque Film & Music Experience festival combines the best in current and classic films along with great music events that feature the award winning artists in performance throughout the week. The 2018 AFME Festival takes place from June 4th-10th, 208 in Albuquerque. Featured artists in the past have included Jeff Bridges, T-Bone Burnett, Thomas Dolby, Mitch Frohman, Dave Eggar, Chuck Palmer, and Steve Smith.
Spring through summer the City of Albuquerque’s Cultural Services Division produces a variety of events that feature everything from Flamenco music and performance to Broadway musicals. The Albuquerque Wine Festival features acts from around Albuquerque and New Mexico. The Summerfest series brings in talent from around New Mexico and around the world to perform on summer nights in communities around the city. This year’s Summerfest events take place June 9th, July 21st, August 4th and August 18th. Every Thursday during the summer there are performances from New Mexico’s best musicians Summer Nights at the Albuquerque Botanical Gardens June 9th-August 18th, Friday nights bring local and national acts to ZooMusic at the Albuquerque Zoo Amphitheater June 10th-August 6th. There is music every weekend at the Railyards Market and the Downtown Growers Market. Every 4th of July, Freedom Forth is a night of music and fireworks to help families celebrate our nation’s birthday and this year features Country music star Jo Dee Messina.
In May, the annual New Mexico Music Awards program honors those artists who have excelled in recorded music in New Mexico over the previous calendar year. The program celebrates its 31st year in 2018.
Every June the Albuquerque Folk Festival attracts Folk and Americana acts from around the world. In the past, the festival has featured legends like Ramblin’ Jack Elliot and Peter Yarrow (Peter, Paul & Mary).
The entire month of July is dedicated to Jazz as the New Mexico Jazz Festival brings world class musicians to the Duke City and Santa Fe. This is a do not miss events and fans from around the world attend.
The second week in July is a week of workshops and performances by world class Mariachi groups of all ages at the Mariachi Spectacular. This is the largest gathering of Mariachi musicians in the world. Legends of this incredible music teach students of all ages the nuances of Mariachi music and a master class is held for those exceptional students from around the world. The whole week culminates with a series of concert performances from established groups like Mariachi sol de Mexico and Mariachi Reyna de Los Angeles and student recitals.
The Edgewood Arts & Music Festival presented by Wildlife West brings the best in Folk and Americana Music to the mountain community just east of Albuquerque.
Globalquerque! brings World Music to New Mexico every September for two days with a wonderful mix of music from all five continents in all styles including Native American, African, Eastern European, Aboriginal, South and Central American and American Roots music.
In October, the morning skies over Albuquerque are filled with hot air balloons and the evenings are filled with music during the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. The hottest acts from around the country and from New Mexico perform nightly at this most photographed event in the world.