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Guitarist John Maestas returns to New Mexico to share his New Orleans sounds

Just four years ago, guitarist John Maestas left Albuquerque for New Orleans. Since then, he’s made a big splash there.

Maestas has been playing with many musicians, has his own band called Juan Tigre and has started a record label.

Now he and the band are in the Duke City doing a series of seven gigs and a July 30 master class at Grandma’s. The first gig is tonight at Scalo Northern Italian Grill.

Guitarist John Maestas started his own band, Juan Tigre, in New Orleans.

Guitarist John Maestas started his own band, Juan Tigre, in New Orleans.

“I love coming home and seeing everybody, but I love New Orleans. It’s been nothing but nurturing for me,” Maestas said. “I found such a great, great community of musicians and even better friends. I love how people celebrate life with music there.”

He will lead his band at most of the gigs. In one – an outdoor concert Tuesday, July 26, at the Santa Fe Plaza – Maestas will be part of bassist Max Moran’s New Orleans ensemble, Neospectric.

The concert is part of the New Mexico Jazz Festival and Santa Fe Bandstand. The same New Orleans musicians are in Juan Tigre and in Neospectric.

“Neospectric does a mix of jazz, of funk, of original stuff,” Maestas said.

“Juan Tigre is much more electric and rock, but we still do R&B, jazz and our own spin on music of Brazil.”

All of the gigs and the master class are free.

For a complete list of Maestas-organized events in Albuquerque, visit