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Hispano Chamber gala will honor NM musicians

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — “The Voice” winner Chevel Shepherd crowns the program at this year’s “La Noche Encantada,” the Albuquerque Hispano Chamber of Commerce’s annual gala and fundraiser, on Saturday.

Farmington native and winner of NBC’s “The Voice,” Chevel Shepherd will perform at “La Noche Encantada,” the Albuquerque Hispano Chamber of Commerce’s Saturday gala. (Courtesy of NBC)

Shepherd will perform three songs at the celebration, AHCC communications director and event producer Luis Hernandez said.

The celebration starts at 6 p.m. with cocktails and dinner at the Albuquerque Convention Center at 401 Second NW.

After dinner, an all-star lineup of local musicians and a 16-piece band will honor the work and lives of musicians, producers and promoters who made an impact on New Mexico, Hernandez said.

Those included in the program, and their New Mexico connection, are:

• The legendary Buddy Holly, who recorded at Clovis’ Norm Petty Studios.

• The Rolling Stones, the legendary British band who performed with New Mexico native saxman Bobby Keys. Keys played nearly every sax solo on the Stones’ hits. His parents lived in Belen.

“When he came here, he visited his mother and father quite often and sat in at the clubs,” Hernandez said.

• The late drummer Randy Castillo, who played with both Ozzy Osbourne and Motley Crue. Castillo attended Albuquerque’s West Mesa High School.

• The Jackson 5, who were produced by Albuquerque’s Tom Bee, who worked at Motown. Bee also was influential in the creation of a Native American category at the Grammy Awards.

• Glen Campbell, who lived in Albuquerque as a teenager and played in the band Dick Bills and the Sandia Mountain Boys.

• Producer Jeff Bhasker, who worked with Bruno Mars, Alicia Keys and Jay Z ” – the entire Uptown Funk catalog,” Hernandez said. “He was raised in Socorro.”

• The Fireballs, a Raton-based late ’50s band that reached Number One with “Sugar Shack” in 1963.

“They recorded at Norm Petty Studios,” Hernandez said.

• El Chicano, a Los Angeles-based ’70s group helmed by New Mexico songwriter David Nuñez. “He’s actually going to be performing one of their songs,” Hernandez said.

• The musicians also will play tributes to traditional New Mexican music, specifically the offspring of Bennie Sanchez. Sanchez was a promoter and the mother of Al Hurricane, Tiny Morrie and Baby Gaby.

“She brought the national spotlight to Albuquerque,” Hernandez said. “She, in his heyday, brought Elvis Presley to the Albuquerque market. She brought Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Grand Funk Railroad, Fats Domino, Chubby Checker and Selina.”

When the program ends, revellers can dance the night away to the groove of Andrew Cooper and Soul Official.

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