“The New Mexico Jazz Festival, now celebrating its 10th season, continues to evolve with two new collaborations. The festival has hooked up with St. John’s College to co-present Lavay Smith and Her Red Hot Skillet Lickers in the Music on the Hill series on July 15. And it’s teaming up with AMP Concerts to bring Esperanza Spalding to the Lensic Performing Arts Center on Aug. 6.
This stretches the festival to a program of 13 concerts over 27 days in Santa Fe and Albuquerque. “The last few years we’ve had three big shows at the Lensic,” said Tom Guralnick, one of the festival’s directors. “But this year, fortuitously, AMP Concerts got Esperanza Spalding a week after the festival, and we decided to make it part of the festival and work on it together. So this year we have four at the Lensic: Christian McBride, the Count Basie Orchestra, Kenny Barron, and Esperanza Spalding.”“