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Music, sweet music: 2018 summer/fall music guide for Taos, Enchanted Circle


Michael Hearne’s Big Barn Dance Music Festival (Sept. 6-8)

Join the fun for this year’s 16th annual Big Barn Dance that brings together some of the most well-respected names in country, Americana, and folk music as well as up-and-coming singer-songwriters. The weekend festival is produced and hosted by Michael Hearne, an impeccable guitarist and singer-songwriter whose heartfelt manner will make you feel like you’re one of the family.

Bluegrass and Old Time Music Festival (Sept. 13-16)

Southwest Pickers and Red River Bluegrass present the 43rd Annual Southwest Pickers Bluegrass and Old Time Music Festival. The festival includes bluegrass, old-time and Americana bands, instructional workshops, dancing, food, a beer garden and vendors. Held in Brandenburg Park in the historic town of Red River, north of Taos.

PianoTaos (Sept. 23)

Join PianoTaos for its third Taos Fall Arts Festival program “Americana: Stories & Legends,” which includes works to fit the theme in the beautiful historic Taos Museum of Art at Fechin House, located a few blocks from Historic Taos Plaza on Paseo del Pueblo Norte. Each local pianist will play a selected piece inspired by a work of art in the museum. Free parking. Free admission.; (575) 758-2690

Previous events included: 

Roots & Wires Presents (throughout the summer)

If you love roots music, look for concerts by Roots & Wires Presents. This summer’s concerts include North Mississippi Hill Country Bluesman Bill “HowlNMadd” Perry and his daughter, Shy Perry (May 12); Tinariwen from the Sahara Desert (Aug. 21); and CJ Chenier and The Red Hot Louisiana Band for live Zydeco (Aug. 24). Concerts take place at the Taos Mesa Brewing Mothership. In addition, Roots & Wires partners with AMP Concerts to bring Michael Franti & Spearhead with the Original Wailers (June 9) and Voodoo Threauxdown and Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue (Sept. 22) to Taos’ Kit Carson Park. Visit Roots & Wires Presents on Facebook.

Celebrate Seco

Enjoy Mokoomba from Zimbabwe (June 13) performing live in the heart of the village of Arroyo Seco. The show is free to the community, but donations are welcomed, and needed, to keep the love flowing.

Taos Mesa Brewing Mothership (throughout the summer)

Check out what’s happening at the Mothership this summer. Enjoy great food, handcrafted beer and music festivals such as Planewalker EDM Fest (May 18-20); Music on the Mothership (June 1-3); Big Sam’s Funky Nation (June 16); Tribal Vision Fest (June 9-July 1); Motet Weekend (July 27-28); Blues, Brews, & Bikes Weekend (Aug. 3-4); Fish Out of Water Festival (Aug. 10-11); and Jumpsuit Family Records Gathering and more.; (575) 758-1900.

Mother’s Day Festival (May 11-13)

LMNOC Broadcasting, Inc. celebrates mothers with its 17th annual Mother’s Day festival. The three-day weekend at Kit Carson Park brings together families, friends, and neighbors in honor of our mothers and celebrates the culture and music of Northern New Mexico.; (575) 758-4491.

Taos Plaza Live (May 31-Aug. 23)

Every Thursday night (6-8 p.m.), all summer long, the Taos County Chamber of Commerce brings the best of Taos’ musicians to the historic Taos Plaza stage. Concerts are free and family-friendly.; (575) 751-8800.

Taos Opera Institute (June 1-June 30)

An intensive, holistic program for the serious young vocal professional, Taos Opera Institute draws some of the most distinguished faculty and up-and-coming young professionals from around the country to teach and learn at the beautiful Taos Ski Valley. A series of uplifting operatic concerts are held for the public during the month of June.; (806) 236-5159.

Festival Eclectica (June 16)

An inaugural festival/fundraiser during Balloons Over Angel Fire Father’s Day weekend to benefit Angel Fire’s Shuter Library. The festival will feature renowned Zydeco accordionist, singer/songwriter and Grammy-nominee, Dwayne Dopsie with his group the Zydeco Hellraisers, Taos singer/songwriter, Max Gomez, the award-winning pan-Latin group Baracutanga, and other exciting acts. Held at the balloon venue, Colfax County Airport, Angel Fire. For more information, see

Taos School of Music (June 17-August 5)

The roots of Taos School of Music go back to the 1950s, but the internationally known chamber music school officially opened in 1963. The school faculty includes three renowned String Quartets (the Borromeo, Miró and Brentano) along with pianists Robert McDonald and Thomas Sauer. Student and faculty performances are held at the Taos Community Auditorium and the Hotel St. Bernard in Taos Ski Valley.; (575) 776-2388.

Dog Days of Summer (Aug. 11)

For the ninth consecutive year, Molly Dog Productions presents a benefit concert for Taos’ Stray Hearts Animal Shelter. The headliner for this year’s event is the acclaimed duo The Secret Sisters with more acts to be named. The third LP from The Secret Sisters, “You Don’t Own Me Anymore,” is nominated for a 2018 Grammy award in the “Best Folk Album” category. Performance held at KTAOS Solar Center from 5-9:30 p.m. For updates, visit

Music from Angel Fire (Aug.17-Sept. 1)
Andrea Clearfield is composer-in-residence for the Music from Angel Fire’s 35th season. This year also brings back Opus 35 for an in-depth look at Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, who lived to the age of 35. The festival also presents works that were written when Bach, Beethoven, Brahms and other great composers were 35 years old. Performances take place in Angel Fire, Taos and throughout Northern New Mexico.; (575) 377-3233.

— Ariana Kramer is a freelance music writer for The Taos News Tempo arts and entertainment magazine.


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