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Party in the park: Squirrel Nut Zippers headlines Heights Summefest

It’s not every day Jimbo Mathus gets an opportunity to remove a 4-foot-long water moccasin from the property he manages in North Carolina.

But he does it with ease.

“The water moccasins are bad this year,” he says in a recent interview. “They are extremely aggressive, and my landlady is 73. If this gets her, she wouldn’t make it.”

Mathus is the driving force behind the jazz band Squirrel Nut Zippers, which began in the mid-1990s.

The band has sold over 3 million albums and is back with a new album called “Beasts of Burgundy,” released on March 23.

Mathus began writing the album in July 2017, and it was finished by September.

“We picked out about 10 songs or so,” he says. “The process is pretty easy for me. I’ve been writing original music since 1984 and I’ve stuck to it. The process gets easier each time. I have a talented group of musicians working with me on this album. It’s turned out great.”

Squirrel Nut Zippers will headline the Heights Summerfest on Saturday, June 9, at North Domingo Park in the Northeast Heights. The event runs from 4 to 10 p.m.

Also on the bill are Concepto Tambor, The Noms and Nathan Fox and His Band.

The free community event is put on by the city of Albuquerque.

According to organizers, attendees will be able to browse a local artisan market with products ranging from pottery to soap.

Those over 21 – and with valid ID – can enjoy the microbrew garden, which will feature 17 local breweries.

There will also be food trucks on site, as well as fun activities for children.

The younger ones can enjoy activities including free face painting, inflatable courses, slides and games, and a 25-foot rock climbing wall presented by the city Parks and Recreation Department.

Free parking will be available at La Cueva High School, with free shuttles taking eventgoers from La Cueva parking lots to North Domingo Back Park throughout the event.

Those on two wheels can take advantage of a free bike valet provided by Esperanza Bicycle Safety Education Center. The bike valet drop-off will be on Corona NE.

The rain-or-shine event is free, and pets on leashes are welcome.

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