Las Cafeteras to headline the return of Route 66 Summerfest - Albuquerque Journal

Las Cafeteras to headline the return of Route 66 Summerfest

Los Angeles-based Afro-Mexican band Las Cafeteras will headline Route 66 Summerfest in Nob Hill on Saturday, July 23. (Courtesy of Hector Flores)

Hector Flores is excited to get back to New Mexico and perform.

With Las Cafeteras, he has performed in both Albuquerque and Santa Fe.

This time around, the band will be the headliner for Route 66 Summerfest.

The annual community event is back after a hiatus due to the pandemic. It will run 5-10 p.m. Saturday, July 23, along Central Avenue from Girard Boulevard to Washington Street.

Las Cafeteras spend much of the pandemic holed up writing new music.

The band has released a handful of new singles and played a few smaller shows. The band will perform at 8:30 p.m. on the main stage.

“We’ve been dipping our toes into live shows again and this will be a big one,” Flores says. “I’m looking forward to getting to Burque to see the red sky, the humid summer weather, cafe de piñon and Christmas chile.”

The band’s next single is called “Thinking About You” and Flores says the song was a chance for the band to reminisce.

“We’ve been at this for a good portion of our adult life,” he says. “We’re in our late 30s to early 40s. We have a different outlook on life and the songs we’re writing now reflect that.”

Since Las Cafeteras are certain to bring out the community, the city of Albuquerque has spent months planning the event.

Bree Ortiz, the city’s community events division manager, says the event is back in full force for the first time since 2019.

Though visitors will see a bit of a change.

“We have four stages for musical performers,” she says. “There’s also our shops which will have 32 local artisans. We have two areas with food trucks and free activities for kids along the way. The layout has changed a little bit, which has allowed us to add more for the community.”

Ortiz says the lineup for all four stages are local musicians with the exception of Las Cafeteras.

“We love to reach out to local bands and hire them,” she says. “This helps us showcase the city in many facets.”

Ortiz is excited for Route 66 Summerfest this year because there are new businesses in Nob Hill for visitors to see.

Because it is a city event, Ortiz says there is a free park and ride service from the southwest corner of Lomas and University boulevards. The buses run from there to the lot near Johnson Field. There is also paid parking in the surrounding area.

There will also be a bike valet at the Nob Hill Business Center, at the corner of Central Avenue and Carlisle Boulevard.

Ortiz says the event is free to the public. Pets are welcome on leashes and the event is rain or shine.

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