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Jazz swings through ABQ, Santa Fe

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Old Town, Nob Hill, areas, venues bebop to Brazilian rhythms

FOR THE RECORD: This story gave the wrong date for a concert by the Lionel Loueke Trio. The trio actually will give two concerts, at 8 p.m. July 24 and July 25 at the Outpost Performance Space, 210 Yale SE.

In Albuquerque and in Santa Fe the many sounds of jazz will light up the nights – and the days – of the New Mexico Jazz Festival.

Those sounds include swing, bebop, straight-ahead, Latin, jazz fusion, African-blended jazz and Brazilian.


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Trio da Paz kicks off the eighth annual festival on Friday, July 12 at the Outpost Performance Space mainly with its band of jazz fused with Brazilian rhythms. Rhythms, plural.

“Brazil has more than the bossa nova,” Brazilian-born trio guitarist Romero Lubambo said in a phone interview.

“We play baiano, afoche and maracatu – many different rhythms – but with the atmosphere of jazz improvisation. … And since we’ve played together for such a long time, it feels very natural for us.”

And Lubambo and his two colleagues, bassist Nilson Matta and drummer Duduka da Fonseca have been playing together since Lubambo moved to the United States from Brazil in 1985.

The trio’s concert will be filled with original tunes as well as compositions by such famous Brazilian composers as Antonio Carlos Jobim, Egberto Gismonti and Hermeto Pascoal.

Trio da Paz opens the New Mexico Jazz Festival on Friday at the Outpost Performance Space.

Trio da Paz opens the New Mexico Jazz Festival on Friday at the Outpost Performance Space.

“We play acoustic instruments but the trio has a lot of energy on stage. It’s Brazilian energetic music,” Lubambo said.

The festival shifts to the Old Town Plaza where singer Catherine Russell will perform Saturday afternoon, July 13.

“The music particularly of the 1920s, ’30s and ’40s appeals to me and moves me. I love the sound of those old recordings,” Russell said in a phone interview.


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Russell’s voice and the sonority of her ensemble invoke the feel of the songs of those decades. Her latest album, “Strictly Romancin,” has such cuts as “Ev’ntide,” “Wake Up and Live” and “Under the Spell of the Blues.”

Given her heritage, it’s easy to understand Russell’s affinity for that music.

Russell’s father was popular band-leader Luis Russell, who also was music arranger for Louis Armstrong. Russell’s mother is Carline Ray Russell, who performed with pianist Mary Lou Williams and was a member of the all-women band the International Sweethearts of Rhythm in the 1940s.

“I come from high-achieving parents,” Russell said.

The Dan Dowling-John Griffin Duo opens for Russell in Old Town.

The festival returns to the Outpost on July 18 when Arlen Asher and Straight Up – all New Mexico jazz musicians – will perform.

The next three days of the festival have jazz concerts that bookend the Route 66 Summerfest, which will be held July 20 on Central Avenue between Girard and Washington.

In terms of patrons, Route 66 Summerfest is the festival’s biggest event. Last year it drew an estimated 45,000 people, said Tom Guralnick, a festival co-director.

“In a sense it has become a great thing for the jazz festival. We have this huge free event in the middle of the festival,” he said. “It’s great for the city to get people out. It’s great for the jazz festival to offer a free event. And it’s great for the Nob Hill Main Street Association because it’s the best day of the year for all the merchants on the street.”

The bands Red Baraat and The Relatives headline Summerfest’s main stage, but there are a total of 20 bands on three stages along Central.

One of Summerfest’s bookend events features the veteran jazz fusion group The Yellowjackets on July 19 at the Hiland Theater.

On July 21 there will be three jazz brunches as the other bookend of Summerfest.

Most of the events in the festival’s remaining week will be in Santa Fe.

Bassist Stanley Clarke, known for his work with the fusion band Return to Forever and his collaborations with Al DiMeola and Jean-Luc Ponty, is on the stage of the Lensic Performing Arts Center in Santa Fe on July 21.

Larry Mitchell and The Mil-Tones play the Santa Fe Plaza on July 23, African-born guitarist Lionel Loueke is at the Outpost on July 24. The next night Loueke joins prominent trumpeter-film score composer Terence Blanchard at the Lensic in Santa Fe.

Recently named NEA Jazz Master Eddie Palmieri, a pianist long associated with salsa and Latin jazz, is in conversation on July 27 at the Lensic with A.B. Spellman and that evening Palmieri will be in concert at the same venue.

The festival closes out July 28 with New Orleans pianist Tom McDermott at the Outpost.

For more information on the festival visit

For advance tickets to festival concerts go to or call the Outpost at 268-0044 or the Lensic at 505-988-1234 or go to the Outpost, 210 Yale SE, or the Lensic box office, 211 W. San Francisco, Santa Fe.

Besides the concerts there are two other festival events:

• At 4 p.m. July 14 there is a reception for the exhibit of Mark Weber’s photographs titled “Jazz at Half Moments.” The exhibit, which is up now through Aug. 30, is at the Inpost Artspace at the Outpost, 210 Yale SE.

• At 6 p.m. July 14 there will be a screening of the Carol Chamberland film “The Legend of Bop City.” Chamberland recorded the memories of the jazz musicians who had performed at Jimbo’s Bop City in San Francisco, Calif., in the 1950s. The screening is followed by a discussion. The screening is at the Outpost and is free and open to the public.