Music has been a constant in Rodney Bowe’s life.
Whether it is listening to the music he grew up with or playing upright bass, music has an important role in his life.
In fact, Bowe is currently pursuing his master’s degree in music at the University of New Mexico.
Before that happens, Bowe was asked to curate the “Afriquerque” music series, which helps celebrate Black History Month.
“The asked me to curate the events because I’ve been around the area for years,” he says. “It’s been fun because we wanted to showcase the diversity in music.”
Bowe’s event is called “Bringin’ the Funk,” and it will take place on Saturday, Feb. 18, at the African American Performing Arts Center, at Expo New Mexico.
The performance will be a ’70s dance party, highlighting hits by Stevie Wonder, The Commodores, Earth Wind & Fire, Marvin Gaye and others from that era.
The performance will include guest vocalists, who will also delight the crowd during the high-energy 90-minute non-stop show.
“People don’t really understand the gems we have in this community,” he says. “People come back to Albuquerque because they love the climate and the mixture of culture. It’s been amazing to plan this event, because it does showcase the diversity.”
Bowe has been performing music since he was 17, and he will be 59 this year.
He’s also heavily involved in the community.
His work as the director of the Men of Color Initiative at the University of New Mexico is important, because he helps young men of color navigate and problem-solve their way around the college scene at UNM, so that they beat the odds and cross the finish line and graduate.
The program is designed to improve graduation rates among minority male students at the university.
“It’s about being involved in your community and trying to make a difference,” he says. “Music helps me make that difference as well.”