“Finding Neverland,” The Musical, Comes to Popejoy

The musical “Finding Neverland” will be at Popejoy Hall for six performances. They are at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 13 and Friday, Dec. 14, at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 15 and at 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 16. Popejoy is located in the UNM Center for the Arts.

Tickets are available at www.unm.tickets.com, at www.popejoypresents.com, by calling 925-5858, at ticket offices the UNM Bookstore and at The Pit (Dreamstyle Arena). For groups of 10 our more inquire at groups@popejoypresents.com.

By David Steinberg

The second national tour of the Broadway musical “Finding Neverland” flies onto the Popejoy Hall stage in mid-December. The musical tells how Scottish playwright/novelist J.M. Barrie found the inspiration for his 1904 play “Peter Pan or The Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up” and its famous title character.

The character of Peter Pan is based on a real boy – Peter Llewelyn Davies – and his brothers. Barrie spent hours with the young boys, and their mother, a beautiful widow.

The family is happy to have the charming Barrie at their home, but the children’s grandmother, Mrs. du Maurier, dislikes Barrie and is displeased with the arrangement.

“At the start of the show, Barrie is a married man and he’s hanging out with my daughter, Sylvia, who has been a widow for a year. She needs to find a husband to take care of my grandkids. Now all of society is talking about my daughter as a promiscuous woman,” Emmanuelle Zeesman, who portrays Mrs. du Maurier, said in a phone interview.

“Really, du Maurier can be harsh but she is completely motivated by the love for her family.”

There’s one scene, Zeesman said, where du Maurier tells her daughter that she’s worried about her health, her reputation and her boys being raised properly to become men.

“She wants to do everything right for them,” Zeesman said of her character.

Zeesman has two songs that explain du Maurier’s changing attitude.

In Act I, Zeesman sings “Circus of Your Mind.” In it, she is telling Barrie to stay away from the family for the sake of the children and for the sake of Sylvia.

“Then by Act II, Barrie is divorced. So I start understanding him more and seeing the benefits he’s having on my family. I sing the song ‘The Neverland Reprise,’” she said.

Zeesman has been with the current national tour since rehearsals began in early September. The tour production previewed in Elmira, N.Y., opened Oct. 2 in Hershey, Pa., and runs through June 23.

The tour company will give six performances of “Finding Neverland” at Popejoy from Dec. 13 through Dec. 16.

Zeesman has living the life of a touring performer for about a dozen years.

Two years ago, for example, she played Aunt Em and understudied the Wicked Witch in a national tour of “Wizard of Oz.”

In a touring production of “Guys and Dolls” she portrayed Adelaide, a lead character.

“I love touring because I get to tour with my husband, David Hersh,” Zeesman said. “Once I did a tour without him at the beginning of our relationship. I said ‘No. I’m not happy.’ So we figured it out.”

Hersh is not a performer. He works in off-stage positions. For “Finding Neverland,” Hersh is the merchandise manager. For ‘Wizard of Oz’ he had the same position, and for ‘Guys and Dolls’ he did assistant props.

She loves being on the road but she also needs to maintain rituals that keep her grounded. Otherwise she feels unsteady moving from one city to the next.

“I write in a gratitude journal every day. I try to find a coffee shop in every city I’m in where I drink tea and read whatever book I happen to be reading. i also listen to classical music and light a candle before bed every night,” Zeesman said.

A native of Montreal, Zeesman grew up in Ottawa where she began performing in a children’s theater company.

“I was nine and completely fell in love with musical theater. My first role was Riff in ‘West Side Story.’ Yes, at age nine. At 10, I played Tevya in ‘Fiddler on the Roof,’” she recalled.

She continued doing musicals at a performing arts high school and at the University of Windsor.

“Finding Neverland” is based on the Oscar-winning film of the same name and on Allan Knee’s play “The Man Who Was Peter Pan.”

Music and lyrics are by Gary Barlow and Eliot Kennedy, original choreography by Mia Michaels and book by James Graham.


“Wicked,” the Tony-Winning Musical is Back at Popejoy Oct. 17-28

The second national tour of the hit Broadway musical “Wicked” is at Popejoy Hall for 16 performances Oct. 17-Oct. 28. Tickets start at $42 and are available at www.unmtickets.com, by calling 925-5858 or by visiting box offices at the Dreamstyle Arena (The Pit), at the UNM Bookstore and, 90 minutes before curtain, at the Center for the Arts box office.

There is a day-of-performance lottery for a limited number of orchestra seats being held for “Wicked.” This is how the lottery works: At two and one-half hours before each performance, people who present themselves at the UNM Center for the Arts box office will have their names placed in a lottery drum. Thirty minutes later, names will be drawn for a limited number of seats at $25 each, cash only.

The lottery is available only in-person at the box office, with a limit of two tickets per person. Lottery participants must have a valid photo ID when submitting their entry form and, if picked, when purchasing tickets.

By David Steinberg

Mili Diaz’s first musical was a junior version of “Guys and Dolls.” That was fourth grade.

The next year she auditioned for and got into the children’s choir of a high school production of “Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.”

When she was in high school in Rockville, Md., Diaz sang in musicals, in choirs and played in the orchestra.

“I was very involved but in high school I was never a lead in a musical, always in the back,” Diaz said in a phone interview.

“I was always very shy. And I was told my voice wasn’t musical-theater-esque and I should probably stop.”

She rejected that advice, and is she every happy that she did.

In community college Diaz realized she couldn’t stay away from musical theater. So she moved to New York City to study at Case University’s performing arts program. Diaz graduated last year.

Diaz has already performed as Nina in “In the Heights” at the Olney(cq) Theater and at the Fulton Opera House; as Maria in “West Side Story” at the Woodstock Playhouse and as Mimi in “Rent” at the Clear Space Theatre.

Now she’s a lead in a famous show that’s taking her across the country – the national touring production of the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical “Wicked, The Untold Story of the Witches of Oz.”

And not just any part. Diaz has the role of Nessarose in this production, which opens Wednesday, Oct. 17 at Popejoy Hall in the first of 16 performances.

The role and the show are special for her. “This is one of my dream roles. It was the first musical theater album I ever listened to,” the native of Peru said. “To be in this show is a dream come true.”

Nessarose is the younger, physically handicapped sister of Elphaba and graduates to the Wicked Witch of the East.

“I love Nessa. She has a beautiful arc of her journey,” Diaz said. “She changes a lot and I find that intriguing. She’s very complex. What’s really interesting is that in most the show she’s in a wheelchair.”

As a performer who’s a dancer as well as a singer and actor, Diaz explained that “it’s hard to do a show watching every dance and sit there not express yourself with your body and join in the fun. It’s frustrating but it helps with my character. She wants love and friendships.”

A review of “Wicked” by ReelRoy Reviews said “…Mili Diaz as a Nessarose for the ages whose heartache and heartbreak toxics in the most haunting sibling rivalry I’ve seen in any given production of this show.”

The story of “Wicked” centers on sister Elphaba and her unlikely friendship with Galinda. Elphaba, who is intelligent, passionate but misjudged, is born with emerald-green skin. The musical is also about society not accepted someone who is different. Elphaba becomes the Wicked Witch of the West, while the blonde, beautiful, popular Galinda transforms to Glinda the Good Witch of the South.

“Wicked,” a prequel to “The Wizard of Oz,” opened on Broadway 15 years ago this month.

The show was nominated for 10 Tony awards and won three – for Best Actress in a Musical (for Idina Menzel), Best Costume Design and Best Scenic Design. It also won a Grammy for Best Musical Show Album (Original Broadway Cast Recording. Stephen Schwartz wrote the music and lyrics.

The musical is based on Gregory Maguire’s novel of the same name.

Música Antigua de Albuquerque Returns for its 40th Anniversary Season

Música Antigua de Albuquerque opens its 40th anniversary season with paired concerts titled “”Charming the Beast: The Love of Music in the Middle Ages and Renaissance.” The concerts are at 4:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 30 at Christ Lutheran Church, 1701 Arroyo Chamiso, Santa Fe and at 4:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 7 at St. Michael & All Angels Episcopal Church, 601 Montaño NW.

Tickets are $20 general public, $15 seniors and $10 full-time students. For reservations and more information on the Música Antigua season call 505-842-9613 or email musicaantigua@comcast.net.

By David Steinberg

Compositions that praise the joys of performing, the art of music and the lives of musicians are on a diverse program that Música Antigua de Albuquerque will present for its 2018-19 season-opening paired concerts.

There’s a special reason for this program: It celebrates the early music ensemble’s 40th anniversary.

“The concerts themselves I hope are celebratory,” said Art Sheinberg, a founding member of the ensemble. The paired concerts are Sunday, Sept. 30 in Santa Fe and Sunday, Oct. 7 in Albuquerque.

Each section of the program has different themes.

The first section is about the nuts and bolts of making music, Sheinberg said. One piece is “Fammi Una Canzonetta Capriciosa from Renaissance Italy. In it are the first notes of the scale “do re mi.”

The second section is about critics and patrons. For example, he said, there’s a piece from 14th century Italy that’s taken from Francesco Landini’s work “Musica Son Gia Furon Ciascun Vuoli (“Music Am I and Weeping I Regret”). That’s the translation of the work’s first line.

The piece, Sheinberg said, states that some people criticize some composers for not writing authentic music. “However that which is composed should be authentic and should be about the virtues of music because it makes everything better. Music is praised as a virtue,” he said.

Another set called “Soothing the Savage Breast,” was corrupted to “Savage Beast.” The phrase was taken from Frances Pilkington’s work “Music Dear Solace to My Thoughts.” Pilkington was a 16th century English composer.

In another set, “The Musician’s Life,”  there is a piece by the 16th century German Leonhard Lechner titled “A Musician Wanting to Be Happy.” “The song says his music would be even better if he had more wine and more money,” Sheinberg said.

The following set, “Musicians Immortalized,” contains a work by F. Andrieu(cq) that memorializes Guillaume Machaut, whom Sheinberg said was the most important French composer of the 14th century. “He was prolific and wrote in a variety of styles that were groundbreaking. His music was inspired and wonderful. And he was a renown poet,” he said. The piece memorializing Machaut as the noblest bard is “Armes Amours.”

The last set, “Music Among Friends,” has a work by 17th century German composer Paul Peuerl titled “O Music You Noble Art,” and it’s about singing, dancing and skipping, which together fill our hearts with joy, Sheinberg said.

“We have cherished our loyal audiences,” he said. “Some audience members have been coming all these 40 years. We feel very lucky to have been able to bring this music that nobody around does and we’re glad people love hearing it. It’s been  very rewarding for us to share these experiences with our audiences.”

Placitas Artists Series Begins Sunday, Sept. 23 with Willy Sucre and Friends Concert

Willy Sucre and Friends play string quartets by Joaquin Turina and Ludwig van Beethoven at 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 23 at Las Placitas Presbyterian Church in Placitas. it is the opening concert of the 32nd  season of the Placitas Artists Series. For tickets in advance visit www.placitasartistsseries.org, at The Merc Grocery Store, Homestead Village Shopping Center, Placitas and Under Charlie’s Covers in Bernalillo or at the door. Single tickets and season and half-season subscriptions are available.

All PAS concerts are at a 3 p.m.

By David Steinberg

Joaquin Turina’s dramatic “La Oración del Torero” – “The Toreador’s Prayer” – opens the first concert of the Placitas Artists Series’ 2018-19 season.

Violist Willy Sucre said he chose the Turina and Beethoven’s String Quartet Opus 59 No. 1 because they reflect the intense dedication of the two composers.

“Turina,” Sucre said, “translates a beautiful story into musical notes about the toreador before he goes out to fight the bull.”

The toreador has 15 minutes by himself praying, thinking about facing death when he comes out to meet the bull.

“It’s a tremendously spiritual (few minutes). Turina captures that sentiment perfectly. It’s very short, but extremely intense and well-written,” Sucre said.

He said it was originally composed for four lutes. But it’s become so popular that it has been transcribed for various instrumental configurations and it shows incredibly tasteful writing, Sucre added.

The same comment about composition canbe  said about the Beethoven work, one of the “Razumovsky” quartets from the composer’s middle period.

“What is wonderful about this piece is the fact that you begin to see a Beethoven with new ideas, the technical improvement in his writing,” Sucre said. “It is a very challenging piece for any group to play. All four parts have important roles.”

It’s about 40 minutes, long for a chamber work of that period, but it has more depth, and new dynamics that are well-expressed, he said.

Performing the two pieces on the program with Sucre are violinists Kevin Connolly and Justin Pollack and cellist James Holland.

Connolly thinks of Beethoven as a special composer who had said that music “is always going on in the atmosphere and it just happens to become audible when you write it down. I always thought that was pretty neat.”

The Beethoven string quartet the ensemble is playing, Connolly noted, “really shows a mature yet young and vivacious man who hasn’t yet faced some of the hardships of his life, like deafness and disappointment with his mistress.”

The other four Willy Sucre and Friends concerts on the season are Nov. 25 (piano quintets by Dohnanyi and Dvorak); Jan. 27 (horn quintets); March 17 Sucre with La Catrina String Quartet (music of Heitor Villa-Lobos and Beethoven); and May 19 (string quartets by Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky and Bela Bartok.)

PAS has announced that the 2018-19 season is the last one for Willy Sucre and Friends in the Placitas Artists Series.

PAS president Alan Firestone said the board wanted to increase the non-Willy Sucre and Friends concerts from four to five and that would mean reducing Willy Sucre and Friends concerts by one from five to four.

“It gave Willy a chance to look at other opportunities,” Firestone said. “We’re looking at it as a time to explore new stuff next season, a chance to maybe broaden the music a little bit. …But our basic goal, our primary focus is on chamber music.”

Sucre said that he agrees with PAS wanting to “perhaps try something new. That was fine with me.”

However, Sucre said, the PAS decision to reduce the Willy Sucre and Friends concerts was made without consulting him. “I understand why they’re doing it but I don’t agree with the way they did it,” he said.

That prompted him to turn in a letter of resignation to PAS effective the end of the 2018-18 season.

The other four concerts in the season are Oct. 2 with violinist Eunice Kim, who has performed at Music From Angel Fire, Music@Menlo and the Marlboro Music festivals; Dec. 16 with classical guitarist Irina Kulikova (music of Bach, Barrios, Gallardo del Rey and Vassiliev); Feb. 17 with pianist Antonio Chen Guang, winner of the first Olga Kern International Piano Competition; and April 14 The Anderson Trio (reeds and guitar (classical jazz and new works).

Albuquerque Chamber Soloists Opens New Season Sunday, Sept. 9

The Albuquerque Chamber Soloists opens its 2018-19 season with a concert at 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 9 at St. Paul Lutheran Church, 1100 Indian School NE. Music of W.A. Mozart, Franz Schubert and Christopher Theofanidis.

Tickets are $15 general public, $12 seniors, $5 students. Advance tickets are available online at www.brownpapertickets.com, at http://www.abqcs.com, and at PianoWerkes, 4640 Menaul NE, (cash or check only) or at the door.

There’s a pre-concert reception and chat at 2:15 p.m.

By David Steinberg

The Albuquerque Chamber Soloists start their 2018-19 season on Sunday, Sept. 9 at St. Paul Lutheran Church with a couple of upbeat pieces.

The first is W.A. Mozart’s Quartet for Piano and String Trio in E-flat major.

“It’s incredibly genial, warm and lyrical. It’s endlessly flowing with uncomplicated melodies,” said James Holland, the ACS artistic director.

The role of the piano is prominent in it but the strings are integrated as equal partners, Holland added.

“Mozart’s piano quartets are the first great piano quartets. He wrote them in the mid-1780s. … The piano as an instrument was first invented in 1700,” he said.

Performing the E-flat major quartet are Tzu Feng Liu on piano, Joel Becktell on cello, David Felberg on violin, and Kimberly Fredenburgh on viola.

Following the Mozart on the program is Christopher Theofanidis’ jaunty Summer Verses for Violin and Cello.

Particularly fun is the movement called “Robert,” which Holland said is “kind of slapstick for the cello.  I’m the cellist so I get to be silly. The violinist (wife Megan Holland) gets to be exasperated with the cellist.”

The movement is named for cellist Robert DeMaine. 

Theofanidis and DeMaine were schoolmates and buddies of his at the Eastman School of Music.

“I’m excited to play that piece. I think it will be a real hoot for the audience,” Holland said.

“Chris has become successful as a composer. He’s on the faculty at Yale. He has an orchestra piece called ‘Rainbow Body” that’s become so popular. It’s by far of his best known piece,” he added.

Closing the concert is Franz Schubert’s String Quartet No. 14 in D minor, known as “Death and the Maiden.”

The reason for the nickname is that Schubert wrote a song called “Death and the Maiden,” and the second movement of the quartet borrows from that song as a theme and variations, Holland said.

“When he wrote the quartet it was a low time in his life. He was in poor health, in considerable pain. He knew he was dying,” he said.

“So there’s this desperate energy throughout the quartet. At least three of the four movements give you the (sense) that the composer is feeling a kind of foreboding, trying to escape the inevitable.”

The final movement has a galloping rhythm, “as if you’re riding a horse as fast as you can to get away from. It could be death. …Every now and then there are a few moments of rays of hope, of reflection, but largely it’s a very driven piece.”

Music From Angel Fire’s 35th Season Begins Aug. 17 in Taos and Aug. 18 in Angel Fire

By David Steinberg

The adventurous summer festival known as Music from Angel Fire returns Friday, Aug. 17 with a season-opening concert in Taos.

The 7 p.m. concert at the Taos Center for the Arts features music of Native American flutist Robert Mirabal and W.A. Mozart.

“Robert Mirabal  has such a such a positive aura about him,” said festival artistic director Ida Kavafian.

“The last time we had him he made a speech about the festival that brought tears to my eyes. “He spoke about how much he enjoys being  part of the festival…He has a spiritual feeling with everything he does.”

Mirabal will be joined by festival musicians.

Because this is MFAF’s 35th season and because Mozart died at the age of 35, the festival is presenting a number of his chamber works, Kavafian said.

Three Mozart pieces are on the opening concert program at 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 17 at the Taos Center for the Arts. They are his Duo in G minor for Violin and Viola, his Sonata in B-flat major for Bassoon and Cello and his Sonata in F-flat major for Violin and Piano.

The festival will have a second opening concert at 7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 18. This one will be in the Angel Fire Community Center.

The program has Mirabal and festival musicians playing his compositions, a Mozart Trio for Piano and Strings and a work for woodwind quintet  by Andrea Clearfield, the festival’s composer in residence.

“We have a rich history of wonderful composers that have been part of our program and Andrea adds her unique style to a formidable group,” Kavafian said.

The Clearfield work, “Compass Kaleidoscope,” was written in 2015 on a commission by the Pennsylvania Quintet. “It’s based on Amish quilt patterns. The patterns affected me structurally but also with their colors,” Clearfield said.

The Triacanthos Quintet, a Young Artists ensemble, will perform it.

“The festival’s Young Artists program has become such an integral part of the festival. I think we’ve done Young Artists for maybe 15 years. This year I am trying to incorporate them a little bit more in our program,” Kavafian said.

The 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 19 concert at Angel Fire Baptist Church is “Fanfares and the Sublime Viola Quintets by Mozart.” It is the first of three festival concerts carrying that title. Each will have two of the six Mozart viola quintets and a festival commission by different composers from 2003. There’s a 2 p.m. musical conversation with Jonathan Coopersmith.

The world premiere of Clearfield’s work “Earth Door/Sky Door” will be performed at the 7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 22 concert in the Angel Fire Community Center. The ensemble Opus One and young flutist Emma Resmini  will perform it. The festival commissioned the work; the commission was made possible by the Bruce E. Howden American Composers Project.

Clearfield explained in a phone interview the genesis of the work: “The idea that spurred the creative process is the Tibetan earth door/sky door. It is similar to the Native American dream catcher. It’s an item that draws in negative energy so that the positive can pass through. I though this idea would be fascinating for a chamber music piece.

She said the same idea could apply “to the creative process and how an artist may have many ideas but only certain ideas make it through those doors and be the seed for the piece.” For her, the “doors” open to different colors and textures, sounds and spaciousness.

Clearfield hopes that they will take listeners on their own journey.

On the same program are a Mozart Quartet for Piano and Strings and Dohnanyi’s Quintet for Piano and Strings.

“Earth Door/Sky Door” is also on the 7 p.m.  Thursday, Aug. 23 program at the Taos Center for the Arts. But this time a group of MFAF Young Artists will perform it.

“ thought maybe it would be good for people to hear it twice or have two opportunities to hear it once. That’s a new thing,” Kavafian said.

On the same program are a Mozart Quintet for Piano and Winds, Debussy’s Syrinx for Solo Flute and Ian Clarke’s “The Great Train Race” for Solo Flute.

The 7:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 24 program has Part 2 of Fanfares and the Sublime Viola Quintets of Mozart. The fanfare is Douglas Lowry’s Five Minutes at a Very High Altitude” and Mozart’s Quintet in C minor for Strings and his Quintet in E-flat major for Strings.

The concert, which is at the United Church of Angel Fire, is preceded by a 7 p.m. musical conversation with Coopersmith.

Another Andrea Clearfield work will be performed at the 3 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 25 at the Taos Center for the Arts. Titled “Tse Go La,” it translates from the Tibetan as “At the Threshold of This Life.” The 2012 work was inspired by melodies she heard in treks she made to a remote Himalayan region of Nepal to document indigenous Tibetan music.

In a pre-concert lecture and demonstration, she will discuss the treks and will also play audio and video from field recordings she made. Clearfield will also sing and play piano in the chamber arrangement of the work made for this concert.

(After her MFAF residency, Clearfield will be in Santa Fe for the month of September, the recipient of  a fellowship from the Women’s International Study Center.

Beginning in October and through next spring, she will be composer in residence with the Philadelphia Chamber Orchestra.)

Also on the Aug. 25 program are Mozart’s Concerto No. 20 in D minor for Piano and Chamber Ensemble and selections from a “West Side Story” suite for violin and piano. Aug. 25 is the anniversary of Leonard Bernstein’s birth.

Here are the remaining MFAF 2018 concerts:

—3 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 26 at Ilfeld Auditorium, New Mexico Highlands University, Las Vegas. Music of Mozart, Barber and Brahms.

—7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 28 at Shuler Theater, Raton. Music of Mozart, Beethoven and Bruce Adolphe.

—10 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 29 at the Taos Center for the Arts. Free Youth and Family Concert.

—10 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 30 at Eagle Nest Elementary School, Eagle Nest. Free Youth and Family Concert.

—7:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 30 at United Church of Angel Fire. Part 3 of Fanfares and the Sublime Viola Quintets of Mozart. The fanfare is by Bruce Adolphe. He wrote “Angel Fanfare” under a 2003 MFAF commission. Coopersmith will host a pre-concert musical conversation at 7 p.m.

—2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 1 at the Angel Fire Community Center. It is the annual Salon Concert. Program to be announced from the stage.

It’s Back: The New Mexico Jazz Festival. Runs July 11 Through July 30 in Albuquerque and Santa Fe

By David Steinberg

Drawing more than 50,000 people Route 66 Summerfest in Albuquerque is probably the largest annual musical event in the state. And it’s free.

This year’s street party – one of the highlights of the 13th annual New Mexico Jazz Festival – will be on Saturday, July 21 in Nob Hill between Girard and Washington. Headliner is Irma Thomas, the Soul Queen of New Orleans and famous for the song “Ruler of My Heart,”  She is likely todo all of her greatest hits. Opening for Thomas will be Ranky Tanky, a South Carolina band that interprets the music of the Gullah culture.

Throughout the day, before the headliners, there will be music on four stages along Central Avenue provided by many local bands. They include Dogbone, Fat City, Rodney Bowe, Oscar Butler, Max Gomez, Doug Lawrence, Le Chat Lunatique, the Memphis PTails.

“Route 66 Summerfest has been one of the major events of the festival since 2007. The first three years Summerfest was on Civic Plaza,” said Tom Guralnick, the festival’s artistic director.

This year’s festival  runs from Wednesday, July 11 through Monday, July 30.

Festival concerts and related events are presented in venues in Albuquerque and in Santa Fe.

Here is a list of the festival events:

—9:30 a.m. July 11. John Lewis Project Youth Jazz Clinic at the African American Performing Arts Center, 310 San Pedro NE $5 registration fee.

—8 p.m. July 12. Tootie Heath Trio at the Outpost Performance Space, 210 Yale SE. Heath is the youngest of the three jazz-performing Heath brothers. $30 and $35.

—7 p.m. July 13. Spanish Harlem Orchestra at the Amphitheater of the Albuquerque Museum, 2000 Mountain NW. In conjunction with the New Mexico Jazz Workshop. $25 with discounts available.

—7:30 p.m. July 14 and 15. Blues guitarist Eric Bibb. The July 14 concert is in the John Lewis Theatre of the South Broadway Cultural Center, 1025 Broadway SE and July 15 at the First Presbyterian Church, 208 Grant Ave., Santa Fe. $30 and $35. Bibb was the nephew of the late John Lewis, who grew up in Albuquerque and was a member of the Modern Jazz Quartet.

—2 p.m.July 15. Inpost Artspace Reception: Musicians Making Art, at the Outpost Performance Space. Featured is art by New Mexico musicians – drummer Cal Haines, bassists Terry Bluhm, Susan Holmes and Christine Nelson, brass players Mark Weaver and Jonathan Baldwin, and guitarists -vocalists Armando Ortega, Claudio Tolousse and Mark Weber.

—6 p.m. July 18 and 8 p.m. July 20. Ranky Tanky. The July 18 concert is at St. John’s College,  Camino Cruz Blanca, Santa Fe and July 20 at the Outpost in Albuquerque. $15. Discounts available.

—3-10 p.m. July 21. Route 66 Summerfest.

—2 p.m. July 22. Pianist-composer Dave Grusin. Preview and discussion of the documentary film  “Dave Grusin: Not Enough Time” and solo concert with Grusin playing film and TV themes he wrote. Lensic Performing Arts Center, 211 W. San Francisco St., Santa Fe. $25, $35 and $45 with discounts available.

—6 p.m. July 24. Albuquerque Jazz Orchestra with vocalist Hillary Smith on the Santa Fe Bandstand, Santa Fe. Guitarist John Maestas and poet Hakim Be open. Free. 

—July 25 and July 26. Charles McPherson  Quartet. The 7:30 p.m. July 25 concert is at SITE Santa Fe, 1606 Paseo de Peralta, Santa Fe. The 8 p.m. July 26 concert is at the Outpost in Albuquerque. $35 with discounts available.

—2 p.m. July 27. A.B. Spellman and Dee Dee Bridgewater: Meet the NEA Jazz Master. Lensic. Free but reservations suggested.

—7:30 p.m. July 27. Dee Dee Bridgewater Quartet. Lensic. $25, $45, $60 with discounts available.

—7:30 p.m. July 28. Cuban pianists Chucho Valdez and Gonzalo Rubalcaba. Lensic. $30, $50, $65. Discounts available.

—7:30 p.m. July 29 and 30. Alicia Hall Moran and Jason Moran. The July 29 concert is at the African-American Performing Arts Center, 310 San Pedro NE. The July 30 concert is at SITE Santa Fe, 1606 Paseo de Peralta, Santa Fe. $35 and $45 with discounts available.


Festival tickets are available at the Lensic Performing Arts Center box office, 211 W. San Francisco, Santa Fe, at the Outpost Performance Space box office, 210 Yale SE, Albuquerque, online at TicketsSantaFe.org or at http://www.newmexicojazzfestival.org. Or call 505-268-0044 or 505-988-1234.

Salsa Under the Stars with Calle 66

By David Steinberg

Albuquerque salsa band Calle 66 will have a special guest for its Friday, June 22 Salsa Under the Stars concert at the Albuquerque Museum Amphitheatre.

The guest is Francisco Arroyo.

“It is always wonderful to have Francisco play congas with Calle 66.  He is from Puerto Rico and has a beautiful singing voice as well,” said Jackie Zamora, the band’s lead vocalist.

Zamora said Arroyo will be singing a variety of tunes, some recorded by Sonora Ponceña and Cheo Feliciano.

Aside from those, Calle 66 will be performing salsa from South America, including music from Colombia’s Grupo Niche, Argentina’s Rafaga and Peru’s Son Tentacion, said Zamora, who was born in Lima, Peru.

“My main influences have always been salsa and traditional Peruvian music,” she said. “They have inspired my song-writing skills and music selection. I’ve been listening to salsa music as long as I can remember. Peru is a country that listens to salsa above any other popular music style.”

Cuban timba style had the most influence on salsa in Peru, Zamora said.

Calle 66 has picked up a few of the timber arrangement for its concerts.

“This year we’ll be performing some of our originals and inviting a few surprise guests from other Latin bands to join us on stage,” she added.

With Zamora and Arroyo on stage on Friday are pianist Steve Figueroa, trumpeter Paul Gonzales, tromponist Micah Hood, saxophonist Glenn Kostur, timbal player Camilo Quiñonesand bassist Colin Deuble.

The 7 p.m. concert is in the Albuquerque Museum Amphitheatre, 2000 Mountain NW.

Tickets are $15 general public and $12 seniors and students. Tickets are available in advance at www.nmjazz.org, at holdmyticket.com, and at the door. Those 12 and under are free.

“The King and I” at Popejoy Hall Is a Beauty – To See and To Hear

Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “The King and I” is at UNM’s Popejoy Hall at 7:30 p.m. today (Thursday, June 21), at 8 p.m. Friday, June 22, at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday, June 23 and at 1 p.m. Sunday, June 24. Tickets are at www.popejoypresents.com, at ticket offices in the UNM Bookstore and at The Pit, at the UNM Fine Arts box office, or by calling 925-5858.

Review by David Steinberg

Think of “The King and I” as a musical that is a teller of beautiful love stories. They are stories that seamlessly intertwined and they’re encased in a rich story and melody-filled sentimental songs.

At its heart is a rough-edged friendship that softens  between the King of Siam and Anna. Anna (Elena Shaddow) is the British schoolteacher the king (Jose Llana) brings in to teach his many children English and Western ways. If the king pushes, Anna pushes back. If the king makes a promise to her, she insists he keeps that promise.

Pretty gutsy for a single mother and widow in the year 1862. And pretty gutsy for a woman and a foreigner who is a guest in a far-off kingdom ruled by a polygamist. Anna and her son Louis try to make themselves at home; they sing “I Whistle a Happy Tune.”

Late in the second act, Anna and the king, come together emotionally and culturally in the charming number “Shall We Dance.”

There is the deep maternal love that Anna and the flock of royal children have for each other. The kids have their own personalities, rather than being nameless little people. That relationship is expressed in the song “Getting to Know You.”

There is the romantic love that the young couple Tuptim (Q Lim) and Lun Tha (Kavin Panmeechao) have for each other. Tuptim is struggling with the fact that she is a gift from  the King of Burma to the King of Siam, (the song “My Lord and Master”) and is expected to share the king’s bed. She has her own ideas.

Tuptim and Lun Tha have two of the musical’s nest full of memorable songs – “We Kiss in a Shadow” and “I Have Dreamed.”

Early in the show, Anna, aware of the coupling of Tuptim and Lun Tha, thinks back at her own youthful days in the song “Hello. Young Lovers.”

Another minor, and past, amorous connection is between Anna and Sir Edward Ramsey(Baylen Thomas), who renews his interest in marrying her.

And there’s the quiet, protective love of Lady Thiang (Joan Almedilla)  for the king  that is expressed  through suggestions she gives Anna in her dealings with the king.

A highlight of Act II is the captivating Siamese-flavored ballet “The Small House of Uncle Thomas.” It is based on Harriet Beecher Stowe’s abolitionist novel “Uncle Tom’s Cabin.” It has special meaning for Tuptim, who wrote and narrated the ballet. Tuptim interprets the ballet’s story as her own hoped-for escape to freedom with her lover.

Michael Yeargan’s sets, Christopher Gattelli’s choreography (based on Jerome Robbins’ original choreography), and Catherine Zuber’s period and ethnic costumes are all eye candy.

The touring company presentation at Popejoy Hall is the Bartlett Sher-directed production that won the 2015 Tony Award for Best Musical Revival. It was the second time a Broadway revival of this musical won this award.

“The King and I” first came to Broadway in 1951. It stayed for three years. The music is forever.

Jazz … and More Under the Stars Saturday night at Albuquerque Museum Amphitheatre

By David Steinberg

The  Saturday, June 23 Jazz/Blues Under the Stars show is organized with the idea of using on-stage singing to get the off-stage audience members dancing.

“The whole evening is designed to get people to dance,” said Stevie Springer, the Albuquerque singer-actor who curated the concert, which is titled “Men’s Voices: 12 Bars of Groove.”

The singers will be as diverse as the musical styles of the songs they will present.

Springer himself will open the concert with a Stevie Wonder tune.

The other vocalists and their styles are Cesar Bauvallet (salsa), Vicente Griego (Flamenco with Afro-funk overtones), Michael Herndon (jazz and R&B), Jody Vanesky (blues), Isaiah Barkley (pop), Andrew Cooper (funk) and Terry Diers (blues).

Springer said each singer will have about 15 minutes to solo.

All the singers are back by a band that Springer brought together for the concert.

“I chose artists who are active in the community with a band or with projects that are in different styles of music,” he said.

“I think this concert is considered one of the most diverse shows so far this year (in Albuquerque.)”

The band members are Bauvallet on trombone, Steve Figueroa keyboards, Claudio Tolousse guitar, Ryan Montaño trumpet, Chris Cushman tenor sax, Paul Palmer drums and Artha Meadors(cq)

The 7 p.m. concert is in the Albuquerque Museum Amphitheatre, 2000 Mountain NW.

Tickets are $15 general public and $12 seniors and students. Tickets are available in advance at www.nmjazz.org, at holdmyticket.com, and at the door. Those 12 and under are free.