“When we first got together with Sandia, they wanted to do a concert in memory of my father, Al Hurricane,” said his son, Al Hurricane Jr. “So they said they wanted to honor my father with Hurricane Fest and wanted to do it every Cinco de Mayo, just honoring my father. Everywhere we go, it’s a must. (Fans) ask for his songs all the time. Of course they ask for my songs too, but they want to hear his music. He had such a great legacy, so people want to hear it all the time, so we do make it a point to play his songs.”
The two-day event begins on Saturday, May 4, with Tower of Power, War and special guest Al Hurricane Jr. at the Sandia Resort & Casino Amphitheater. Hurricane and Hurricane Jr. previously performed with both of the bands before Hurricane’s death in 2017.
“They’ve been around for years, and Tower of Power is also one of my favorite groups, so it’s like an honor to play with them,” Hurricane Jr. said. “We have performed with War in the past, and we have performed with Tower of Power in the past. I’m looking forward to playing with them both. It’s going to be a great night.”
Hurricane Fest wraps up on Sunday, May 5, with a showcase of New Mexico music headlined by Hurricane Jr. and supporting acts Darren Cordova y Calor, The Blue Ventures and Cuarenta y Cinco.
It will be hard for audiences to stay seated during this lively, energetic show that will have attendees dancing in the aisles. Hurricane Jr. is putting together a set list that will take concertgoers down memory lane with a mix of music he played with his father and his solo work.
“I’ll be doing a mix of just what we have done throughout the years, playing a variety of music,” Hurricane Jr. said. “I will be doing what he has taught me throughout the years, what we’ve done together, all the time we were together. I’ll just try to do the same thing. The only thing missing will be him.”
Eventgoers might notice some new faces in Hurricane Jr.’s band.
“We’ve got some good musicians in the band now,” he said. “We’ve got some young musicians, and they’re keeping the traditions alive also, playing the songs and learning the songs. It’s a lot of fun, so we just want to go out there and have a lot of fun.”
Hurricane Jr. is unsure how the term “New Mexico music” came about but knows it is something that has been a part of him his entire life.
“It’s just something I grew up with,” he said. “It got labeled New Mexico music. I don’t remember how that happened. When you let other people hear it, they think it’s like Tejano, kind of, but it’s not Tejano. It is music that is native here.”