Albuquerque Concert Band Free Concert: April 6

March 30, 2014 by  
Filed under Art & Entertainment, Concerts, Live Performances, Music

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If you’re looking forward to the free outdoor summer concert series by Albuquerque Concert Band, then we’ll keep you posted on those nearer the time. Meanwhile my lovelies, you’ll be pleased to hear they’ve got a free concert coming right up.

The next Albuquerque Concert Band free concert is on Sunday April 6 at 3 pm.  It will be a combined concert with the Mesilla Valley Concert Band from Las Cruces. It will also feature tuba soloist Derek Manteufel, the 2014 winner of the Bruce Kroken Memorial Scholarship. Young Derek is a senior at at Eldorado High School, and he’s been the principal tubist of the Albuquerque Youth Symphony, the New Mexico All State Symphonic Band, and the New Mexico All State Symphonic Orchestra. That’s a lot of achievement. Way to go Derek!

The concert will be held at Volcano Vista High School, 8100 Rainbow Boulevard NW.

Here are some free audio samples from the Albuquerque Concert Band recordings to get you in the mood. The band usually plays a variety of music from big band classics to Scottish dances and rousing symphonic marches. The Albuquerque Concert Band has been entertaining Albuquerque for more than 40 years, and I so love this band and the music they play!



Albuquerque Philharmonic Free Christmas Concerts

December 17, 2013 by  
Filed under Concerts, Live Performances, Music

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Albuquerque Philharmonic Orchestra gives two free concerts before Christmas, so if you can’t make one evening, go to the other!

The two free Albuquerque Philharmonic Orchestra concerts are on December 20 and 22, both at 7:30 pm.

Both classical concerts feature the same program of the popular Peer Gynt Suite by Edvard Grieg, Samuel Barber’s Violin Concerto, and Symphony No. 4 by Robert Schumann.

The violin soloist will be David Felberg, who is usually the Albuquerque Philharmonic conductor. As we have the pleasure of hearing Mr Felberg fiddling this time, the guest conductor is Thomas Shoebotham, formerly Music Director of the Palo Alto Philharmonic, and guest conductor of the St. Peter’s Chamber Orchestra of Redwood City and the San Francisco Concerto Orchestra. He’s also done quite a few stints with the Albuquerque Philharmonic before, so his baton will feel quite at home here.

The free Albuquerque Philharmonic Orchestra concerts take place:

  • Friday December 20, 2013 at 7:30 pm at Immanuel Presbyterian Church, Carlisle & Silver SE.
  • Sunday December 22, 2013 at 7:30 pm at St. Andrew Presbyterian Church, 5301 Ponderosa NE.

I went to one of the Albuquerque Philharmonic Orchestra concerts in October and it was a real knockout. It was beautiful to hear this incredible music in a relatively intimate setting – so close that you can feel just about every vibration in your body.

Thank you very much to the Albuquerque Philharmonic for giving us the chance to hear such wonderful classical music by such accomplished musicians – not even on the cheap, but totally free!



Albuquerque Concert Band Free Holiday Concert

December 3, 2013 by  
Filed under Art & Entertainment, Concerts, Live Performances, Music

Albuquerque Concert Band plays holiday musicThe Albuquerque Concert Band has been entertaining Albuquerque for more than 40 years, and they’re staying true to form with a free concert of holiday music.

The  Albuquerque Concert Band free holiday concert is this Sunday December 8, at 3 pm, at the KiMo Theatre. I love holiday music and I had a wonderful time at this free concert the last time I went with friends.

It’s all very rousing and jovial, with plenty of family favorites to tap your toes to. The Albuquerque Concert Band and conductor even wore different festive headgear to accompany each song. I can’t guarantee they’ll be doing the same this year, but I can guarantee that they are terrific entertainment.

Short of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer crash-landing on my head, I’ll be there first in line!
Doors open at 2:30 pm and it’s wise to arrive promptly as it’s a pretty full house in my experience.

Here are some free audio samples from Albuquerque Concert Band recordings to get you in the mood.

The KiMo Theatre is located at 423 Central Avenue NW.



Albuquerque Philharmonic Free Concerts October

October 16, 2013 by  
Filed under Concerts, Live Performances, Music

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Albuquerque Philharmonic Orchestra gives two free concerts this month, featuring Dvorak’s always-popular New World Symphony.

The two free Albuquerque Philharmonic Orchestra concerts are on October 25 and October 27, 2013. Both classical concerts feature the same stirring program entitled Expressions of American Optimism.  (Boy, do we need some of that at the moment.)

The performance kicks off with Antonin Dvorak’s New World Symphony #9. That is followed by the contemporary composition The Dharma at Big Sur, by Pulitzer Prize–winning composer John Adams. Debra Terry joins the orchestra as soloist on electric, six-string violin. Very cool!

The conductor is David Felberg - he’s the assistant director of the UNM Symphony Orchestra, has also conducted the New Mexico Symphony, and he’s performed with just about every New Mexico orchestra worth mentioning.

The free Albuquerque Philharmonic Orchestra concerts take place:

  • Friday October 25 at 7:30 pm at St. Therese Church, 3424 4th Street NW
  • Sunday October 27 at 4 pm at Immanuel Presbyterian Church in Nob Hill, Carlisle & Silver SE. (Note, at time of writing the orchestra website shows the time as 2 pm. But I’m assured the concert has been pushed back to 4 pm, and the website will no doubt be updated soon.)

We plan to go to the Sunday one, so maybe I’ll see you there!  Thank you very much to the Albuquerque Philharmonic Orchestra for giving us the chance to hear such wonderful classical music – not even on the cheap, but totally free.  Although they do of course accept donations :-)



Sipapu Free Music on the Rocks Concert

August 20, 2013 by  
Filed under Concerts, Live Performances, Music, Weekend & Day Trips

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The Music on the Rocks festival twangs up its guitar strings on Saturday August 24, 2013. It’s free for all and family-friendly.

Sipapu Ski and Summer Resort hosts the free Music on the Rocks festival, featuring live music from a host of performers including headline acts Ryan McGarvey and the Sean Healen Band.  Lots of dancing!  And it’s cooooool in them there mountains, in every sense of the word. They also reckon they’ll have some kind of art happening in the meadow, although I went to Music on the Rocks in 2012 and I don’t remember the art so much. Then again, I might not have been looking in the right direction. I’m usually not.

Even though it was rainy last year, the music was fab and we all had a good time dancing. I had mud up to my knees and I loved every minute of it! Mr Cheap and I filled up on some pretty good food too. It was casual fare, but very tasty and reasonably priced. 

Music on the Rocks 2013 runs on Saturday August 24 from 10 am  – 10  pm, and the headline acts at the free concerts are Ryan McGarvey and the Sean Healen Band. Other performers at the event are Main Street Garage Band, Pawn Drive, Jeromino Keith, Eric George, Prudy Dimas, Steady Rollers, and Jenne McIntosh.

Sipapu is about a 2.5 hour drive from Albuquerque via Santa Fe, 20 miles southeast of Taos. Get directions to Sipapu Ski and Summer Resort.

If you want to stay over, Sipapu *may* still have some lodging available. Lodging is a mere few steps away from the festival stage, so it’s very convenient to run back to if you get overwhelmed by too much partying.

You might also be able to take advantage of the Sipapu lodging deal  to stay two nights and get the third night free with the promo code: ULTIMATE FREE FAMILY VACATION. That 3rd night free deal is available on hotel rooms, cabins, suites, and lodge rooms until October 17, 2013, with some blackout dates. Call 800-587-2240 for lodging info.



Free Amp Concerts: Wagogo, Mala Mana, QTango

July 31, 2013 by  
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The community series of free AMP Concerts gives everyone the chance to hear some great live music from local and touring bands not just on the cheap, but without paying a single cent. Reservations are usually required in advance and it’s easy to book online.

On the current lineup of free AMP Concerts, August and September 2013 brings a several familiar and popular names to play for our pleasure. Book a space at the concerts via the above link.

WAGOGO: August 5

The Albuquerque band Wagogo performs on Monday August 5 at 12:30 pm at the N4th Theater, 4904 4th Street NW. The group mixes up Chicano and Mexican influences with the spirit music of Zimbabwe.

MALA MANA: August 10 and 17

Mala Maña perform in two free concerts on August 10 and 17.  The Albuquerque-based all-female percussion band plays music from merengue to reggae, and mixing up the Latin, African and global music styles.

The Mala Maña concert on Saturday August 10 is held at 12 noon at East Mountain Library in Tijeras. (Nice and cool up there!) The concert on Saturday August 17 will be at 12 noon at Taylor Ranch Library, 5700 Bogart NW.

Sounds like a very pleasant way to groove it out on a Saturday afternoon. (Yes, I’m very old. That’s why I say things like “groove it out”.)

QTANGO: September 5 and 7

QTango from Albuquerque (could ya guess it by the name?) plays authentic Argentine tango music of the Golden Age of tango. The first of the two QTango concerts is on Thursday September 5 at 5:30 pm at the Special Collections Library, 423 Central Avenue NE.  The second is on  Saturday September 7 at 1 pm at the Ernie Pyle Library, 900 Girard SE.  I do love the Ernie Pyle Library, it’s one of my most frequent haunts to pick up and drop off my books. The house is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and designated a National Historic Landmark.

The organizers request that music-lovers reserve a space at the free AMP Concerts online in advance.



ABQ Downtown Summerfest: August 3

July 30, 2013 by  
Filed under Concerts, Events, Freebies, Kids, Live Performances, Music

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Albuquerque Downtown Summerfest offers great family entertainment this Saturday August 3, 2013, and all the fun is free!

Albuquerque Downtown Summerfest returns to Civic Plaza this Saturday August 3 from 5 pm – 10:30 pm.  We can look forward to live music concerts including the headline act Ozomatli, an “urban-Latino-and-beyond” band from Los Angeles – they’ve actually got an official day named after them by the City of LA. The group has starred several times at the Hollywood Bowl, and been named U.S. State Department Cultural Ambassadors. From the Hollywood Bowl to Albuquerque Civic Plaza, huh? They’re going UP in the world :-)

As well as the free live music and dancing, expect food vendors, an arts and crafts market, and free kids’ activities. You can also hang out and chill out in the Microbrew Garden with Broken Bottle Brewery, Bosque Brewing, La Cumbre, Il Vicino and Santa Fe Spirits Distillery.

The Summerfest program on Saturday August 3 is:

  • 5 pm:   Brown Sugar
  • 6:20 pm:   The Blue Ventures
  • 7:40 pm:   Sabor
  • 9 pm:   Ozomatli

And did we mention the concerts are all FREE?

Transportation and parking are always an issue with downtown events, so here are some suggestions:

  • Parking is available for a flat fee of $6 per vehicle at both the Civic Plaza and Convention Center lots.
  • Use the free bike valet at the event if you want to go on two wheels.
  • Take ABQ Ride bus and exit at the stop at 2nd Street and Marquette, one block from Civic Plaza.

Albuquerque Downtown Summerfest takes place at the Harry E. Kinney Civic Plaza in the heart of downtown Albuquerque.



Stories in the Night Sky & Albuquerque Concert Band Free Concert: July 24

July 24, 2013 by  
Filed under Attractions, Concerts, Events, Kids, Live Performances

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Albuquerque Concert Band and Stories in the Night Sky

Here’s a reminder that if you haven’t been to one of this summer’s Stories in the Night Sky and Albuquerque Concert Band concerts, the next in the series is tonight, Wednesday July 24.

The Albuquerque Concert Band has been entertaining Albuquerque for more than 40 years, and the Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum does a pretty good job of entertaining us all too :-) Put the two together and you’ve got a recipe for some fun evenings with the concert band PLUS Stories in the Night Sky. And it’s all free!

The events run on selected Wednesdays in summer 2013, and the remaining ones are on July 24 and August 7.

The Albuquerque Balloon Museum hosts Stories in the Night Sky at 6 pm, followed by an Albuquerque Concert Band concert. Gates open at 5:30 pm.

Admission is free, and the July 24 Stories in the Sky segment features Tall Paul’s Famous Magic Show.

The Stories in the Night Sky segment will run from 6 – 7 pm. The Albuquerque Concert Band concerts will run from 7 – 8 pm.

You’re also welcome to take a picnic to enjoy on the lawn. (Welcome? You couldn’t stop me!) If you don’t want to prepare a picnic, food providers will be on site to serve up something yummy.  Of course, you can also go just for the concert or just for the stories.  It’s all free so what the heck?

The band usually plays a variety of music from big band classics to Scottish dances and rousing symphonic marches, and no doubt people will be having a dance, so don’t be shy to strut your stuff.

Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum is located at 9201 Balloon Museum NE.



Route 66 Summerfest: July 20

July 17, 2013 by  
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There’s nothing like a street festival to make the most of summer – and is there anywhere better for a street festival than old Route 66 herself? We think not. Join the Albuquerque Route 66 Summerfest party on Saturday July 20, 2013, for free live entertainment, car cruise, and more…

Route 66 Summerfest in Nob Hill kicks off at 2 pm through 10:30 pm on July 20, and the free festivities include a car show, live music and dancing, kids’ activities, an arts and artisans’ market, tours of Nob Hill, and sidewalk sales.  Some highlights:

  • New Mexico Route 66 Association’s Car Show all afternoon on Central between Carlisle and Montclaire, with the annual Neon Cruise starting at 8:30 pm.
  • The KidZone offers performances by and for children and teens, and a climbing wall, face painting and inflatables, on Central Avenue between Wellesley and Tulane.
  • Summerfest music (in partnership with the New Mexico Jazz Festival) starts at 2:45 pm on the main stage (Central & Girard) and at 2:30 pm on the East Stage (Central & Washington). A great line-up of performers including Main Stage headline acts The Relatives (7:40 pm) and Red Baraat (9:20 pm). The headline act on the East Stage is Gregg A. Smith at 8:40 pm.
  • Route 66 Cork & Tap has its own stage and beer garden, with local breweries on site, a food truck rumble, and music including Max Gomez, Felonious Groove Foundation and headliner Larry Mitchell Band, all at Central and Montclaire.
  • Mother Road Art and Artisan’s Market showing local arts and crafts between Dartmouth and Bryn Mawr.
  • Free Group Wedding at 6 pm by A Celebration of Love Wedding Chapel, with the county clerk present to issue marriage certificates, at the Main Stage (Central and Girard).
  • Free trolley rides courtesy of ABQ Trolley Co along Central Avenue from 2-6 pm, as a shuttle to save your aching feet!

Check out the full schedule of Route 66 Summerfest events and times. They also have a very handy map so you can see what’s where.

If you download the Summerfest Program PDF, you’ll also find coupons with discounts on Nob Hill businesses during Summerfest. The coupons I spy are:

  • 15% off Tres Boutique
  • $5 off a $25 purchase at Ooh! Aah! Jewelry
  • 10% off your purchase at Gertrude Zachary Jewelry (either location, Central or Lomas)
  • 20% off Izzy Martin menswear
  • 10% off Golden Eagle, home of West of Santa Fe



Albuquerque and New Mexico Fourth of July Free Events 2013

July 1, 2013 by  
Filed under Freebies, Holiday Events, Kids, Music, Parades, Weekend & Day Trips

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New Mexico Fourth of JulyTime to celebrate our freedom with these Independence Day events in and around Albuquerque. Plus some New Mexico Fourth of July events if you feel like going on a trip…

The big 2013 Freedom Fourth party at Balloon Fiesta Park is indeed FREE! (Although there is a parking fee – check out the details below).

Other New Mexico Fourth of July freebie celebrations are in Rio Rancho, Corrales, Madrid, and further afield around the state.  So let’s (erm) go forth: Bring on the fireworks, flags, and fun!


Freedom Fourth – Albuquerque - Thursday July 4, 2013

  • Gates open at 3 pm with free admission for all! Freedom Fourth is held at Balloon Fiesta Park, and live entertainment includes the headline act country music star John Michael Montgomery at 8 pm. Leading up to that main stage event you can hear Summer XO (4 pm), Burnin’ Bridges Band (5:15 pm) and Bartender 4 Mayor (6:30 pm). At 7:50 pm, opera singer Ida Huber Mitchell will perform the national anthem.
  • Other Freedom Fourth fun includes a car show, kids’ activities, and a cultural stage with performers ranging from Japanese folk dancing, Irish dancers and Flamenco dance.  A microbrew beer garden and food vendors will keep everyone refreshed. Of course, this all culminates in the fireworks display after dark.
  • Parking is $10…  You could save cash (and possibility your sanity) by taking the Park & Ride for $1 round trip; 35c for seniors and children. Kids aged 9 and under ride free.  Take exact change and bus passes aren’t accepted for Park & Ride. Westside pick up is St. Pius High School, eastside is  Coronado Center at the northwest corner on San Pedro, starting at 3 pm until 8 pm to go to the event.
  • There are quite a few “thou shalt nots” at Freedom Fourth - such as don’t take alcohol (although alcohol is available to purchase), so check the City of Albuquerque Freedom Fourth page for the event schedule and info on what you can and can’t take.

Rio Rancho Holiday Parade and Fireworks - Thursday July 4

  • Bike Decorating Contest registration starts at 9 am – open to kids and adults with prizes for the kids contest only (natch!) for best decorated, most patriotic, and most original bikes! Register free at the Bank of America parking lot, 3101 Southern Blvd, then join the parade (children must wear a helmet).
  • The Rio Rancho Holiday Parade starts at 10 am, heading east from Country Club Drive down Southern Boulevard, and concluding on Pinetree Road near the Esther Bone Memorial Library and the Rio Rancho Veterans Monument Park.
  • A Declaration of Independence ceremony follows at the Veterans Monument Park, starting at around 11 am.
  • Free fireworks at the Rio Rancho High School football stadium start at around 9 pm – but the stadium opens at 6 pm and pre-firework entertainment includes a free outdoor movie.
  • See all the details on the Rio Rancho Fourth of July events.

Madrid Fourth of July Parade on the Turquoise Trail starts at noon on July 4, and if you want to watch a baseball game first, get to the Oscar Huber Memorial Ballpark for 10 am.

Corrales Fourth of July Parade and Fun Day starts with the parade at 10 am (from Target Road) and ends at La Entrada Park for the fun day till 2 pm. The water fight this year will be held at the Corrales Community Pool at the Rec Center. (It’s not happening during the parade – keep your water to yourself!) The water fight starts at noon at the pool with free admission, and continues till 3 pm. That’s some water fight!

Other New Mexico Fourth of July Events:

If you’re planning to travel around the state, check out these other mostly free New Mexico Fourth of July celebrations.  See each link for more details. (Please bear in mind that with the current awful fire season, all firework events may be subject to change. Call ahead before setting off on a long road trip.)

  • Alomogordo America the Beautiful Fourth of July Parade starts at 10 am, with Freedom Faith fireworks in the evening.
  • Cloudcroft Parade at 2 pm on July 4, and a street dance on July 6 at 7 pm.
  • Clovis Smoke on the Water fireworks display follows music concerts in the afternoon
  • Farmington Freedom Days run from July 2 – 7. Highlights for July 4 are the Electric Light Parade at 9 pm, and day events including Party in the Park entertainment, a pizza-eating contest, water balloon fight, ice cream social, and a skateboarding competition.
  • Las Cruces Electric Light Parade on July 3 at 9 pm, with a Street Fest and fireworks on July 4
  • Red River 4th of July Parade at 10 am, followed by live music in Brandenburg Park, with activities for kids and the annual Egg Toss & family games.
  • Santa Fe Fourth of July fireworks in Santa Fe will sparkle from a different venue this year: The Santa Fe Municipal Recreation Center (205 Caja Del Rio Road) instead of the usual Santa Fe High School. The event starts at 5 pm with musical entertainment, and they request a $5 parking donation.  The Santa Fe Pancakes on the Plaza fundraiser event ($7, or $6 for advance tickets) takes place as usual in the Plaza from 7 am to noon, with kids activities and, yes, pancakes.
  • Silver City Parade at 10 am on July 4, followed by an Ice Cream Social, free games for kids, a cakewalk, and live music concerts.
  • Socorro Free Fourth of July festival and entertainment including Al Hurricane & Al Hurricane Jr., El Gringo, and Clan Tynker, all followed by fireworks.
  • Arroyo Seco and Taos The Fourth of July Parade in Arroyo Seco starts at around noon but arrive in good time, you may have to park a little away from the village.  The evening fireworks in Taos may or may not take place in 2013; the Town of Taos will assess fire danger on the day itself and make the decision.
  • Taos Ski Valley Fourth of July Parade starts at 2 pm, the annual Rubber Duck Race is at 3 pm, and the Taos Mountain Summer Music Series from 3.30 pm to 6.30 pm offers music from Last to Know, the Revolving Door Circus, a bouncy castle for kids and free popcorn.

Plenty of places to celebrate a very New Mexico Fourth of July…. completely free or on the cheap! Happy Independence Day!



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