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Premieres highlight Jazz Under the Stars

Benny Green will perform as part of New Mexico Jazz Workshop’s Jazz Under the Stars series June 15. (Courtesy of Don Dixon)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The curation of a music series takes a lot of time.

For the New Mexico Jazz Workshop, its annual Jazz Under the Stars series is shaping up to have plenty of premieres.

The series begins June 1 and runs through Aug. 3. Tickets are on sale starting today.

“The creation of the program is booked for specific reasons and was not done overnight,” says Markus Gottschlich, NMJW executive director. “There is some incredible routing that work out for us and many of them are New Mexico premieres.”

French jazz vocalist Cyrille Aimée will make her New Mexico debut June 8.

Since arriving at the organization in September, Gottschlich has wanted to add more to the experience of attending NMJW events.

With the Jazz Under the Stars series, there will be panel discussions, Q&A’s and master classes with many of the guests.

Of course, the organization is mixing some old and new.

The Albuquerque Jazz Orchestra will open the series on June 1.

“They are doing a Roaring ’20s tribute,” he says. “The orchestra is very popular, and swing dance is popular. The orchestra is working on arrangements specifically for the show.”

The New Mexico Jazz Workshop has also teamed up with the city of Albuquerque for its June 7 event with Pandemonium and the Odara Dance Ensemble.

Gottschlich says the two entities will hold a procession through Old Town for the June 7 event.

“This is a First Friday celebration, and we’re letting people know that live music is happening,” he says. “The procession will end at the Albuquerque Museum Amphitheater. It’s something that never happened before and creates a bigger experience for guests.”

On June 8, French singer Cyrille Aimée will perform with her quartet.

“Cyrille is really at the top of the game when it comes to jazz vocalists,” Gottschlich says. “She’s headlining every festival, and her career has taken off. This will be a New Mexico debut. Her music speaks to all age groups. She is performing at the Las Vegas Jazz Festival after the performance here, which is how we were able to get her.”

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