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Local jazz universe pulls pianist back in

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Jazz pianist and vocalist John Proulx lives in Los Angeles and performs in prestigious concert halls and clubs across the country. But Proulx has been making a habit of coming to New Mexico — Albuquerque and Santa Fe in particular — to play.

What’s the attraction of the Land of Enchantment? Proulx cited several reasons.

“Definitely, it’s the musicians. Bobby Shew is a real plus,” he said in a phone interview.


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Shew is a veteran Corrales-based trumpeter with a national reputation as a player, teacher and composer. Their constant rhythm sidemen are drummer Cal Haines and bassist Michael Glynn.

“And the audiences are very receptive to this kind of music. They’re very cultured and smart,” Proulx said.

He suspects that the audience members’ knowledge of jazz has something to do with their appreciation of the arts in general.

Proulx and Shew will be part of a quartet in concert Dec. 30 at Congregation Nahalat Shalom in Albuquerque. With them will be Haines and Glynn.

For that concert, Proulx said he and Shew will each bring tunes they want to play.

Proulx said he’ll suggest some of the songs from his most recent CD, “Baker’s Dozen,” because they have trumpet parts. Among those tunes are “I Fall in Love Too Easily,” “Old Devil Moon” and Gerry Mulligan’s “Line for Lyons.”

Proulx said the quartet also will play some of his originals, such as “Stuck in a Dream” and “Before You Know It.”

Proulx, Haines and Glynn will perform as a trio in what is billed as an all-ages New Year’s Eve daytime concert at the Santa Fe Center for Spiritual Living.

“It’s not a kids’ show. It’s a family show,” Proulx said. “We’re going to be doing some Disney music and some other kids’ theme jazz tunes, but it’s not purely a kids’ program.”

The Albuquerque concert is at 7 p.m. Dec. 30. Congregation Nahalat Shalom is at 3606 Rio Grande NW. Tickets are $20 in advance at or at the door.

The Santa Fe concert is at 2 p.m. Dec. 31. The Santa Fe Center for Spiritual Living is at 505 Camino de los Marquez, Santa Fe. Tickets are $10 general public, $5 kids in advance at or at the door.