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.