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Enchanted evening: Jerry Dean blends music, comedy onstage in ‘A New Mexico Christmas’

Christmas New Mexico style is at the heart of a musical by Jerry Dean.

Steven Michael Quezada stars as a magical snowman in “A New Mexico Christmas” on Dec. 22 at Sandia Resort & Casino. (Courtesy of Jerry Dean)

Dean, son of “The Godfather” of New Mexico music, Al Hurricane, has been around music his entire life. He joined his father’s band at age 13 and has not looked back. At 53, he continues to sing, produce and write songs. The storyline for his musical “A New Mexico Christmas” stemmed from a 2008 compilation CD, “Christmas in New Mexico,” that he recorded with his siblings and his father. A performance of the musical will take place on Sunday, Dec. 22. Dean wanted more than just a concert with New Mexico artists singing Christmas songs, so he wove in a story about a boy and a girl who are each granted a wish by magical Christmas snowmen. The snowmen are played by actor, comedian and Bernalillo County Commissioner Steven Michael Quezada and radio personality and comedian Anthony “Animal” Garcia. The boy and girl are played by artists Christian Sanchez and Maiya.

“The story plays out with two comedians having a little beef with each other but at the same time they’re giving the boy and a girl a wish,” Dean said. “Along the way, as they go through the crystal ball, we’re traveling through New Mexico. We’ve got the artist singing the songs that are part of the story, and then it all comes together where we have the happy Christmas message and everybody’s happy at the end. So I think it became a really unique story, because it’s a musical but it’s also a concert, so it plays out like a Broadway show.”

Performances by Dean and New Mexico music artists Chevel Shepherd, Steve Chavez, Cuarenta y Cinco (Ernie Montoya), Grupo Mezcal (Ernie Marquez), Eva Torrez, El Gringo, Chelsea Chavez, Jeremy Sanchez, Anita, Brenda Ortega and Marisol, and Antonio Reyna will be woven into the storyline.

Being part of a musical family helped Dean develop relationships with the performers who agreed to be part of the show.

“Along the way, I’ve developed a good relationship with artists, actors, comedians, musicians, and, you know, it is the magic words, ‘Ask and you shall receive,’ ” Dean said. “I’ve never been shy about asking people to be on the show or whatever I have. Last year was the first show.”

The response from local artists who wanted to be part of the show exceeded Dean’s expectations.

“Unfortunately, I have about 10 other artists who want to be on the show, but I can only do so much, so hopefully, we can get some of those artists changed around next year,” he said.


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