Summer is free-music season in Santa Fe, with concerts at the Plaza bandstand nearly every night starting June 23, featuring popular local acts in all flavors of the New Mexico music scene. Jazz fans can head to Music on the Hill at St. John’s College, now in its ninth year. Shows take place Wednesday nights from June 11 to July 25, with food and beverage available for purchase or picnicking on the field. Also free to the public is the third annual Make Music Manana, an outdoor festival at the Railyard that coincides with events taking place in 400 cities worldwide on the summer solstice (June 21).
Buy tickets now for the hottest national bands visiting Santa Fe this summer, including Xavier Rudd (June 11) performing the sounds and stories of the Australian aborigines; Grammy Award-winning songwriter Rodney Crowell follows on June 17. The global music sensation Playing for Change (June 24) is on a mission to connect the world through music, and the Greatful Dead-esque Chris Robinson Brotherhood (June 25) stops by on their Phosphorescent Harvest tour. Rounding out the midsummer dates are alt-country mavericks the Old 97s (June 29) and the iconic on-the-lawn festival Soulshine (July 5), featuring Michael Franti & Spearhead at The Downs.
The big jazz event of summer is the annual New Mexico Jazz Festival (July 11-17), with a lineup that includes NEA Jazz Master Jack DeJohnette with Ravi Coltrane and Matthew Garrison, Tootie Heath, Ethan Iverson, the Ben Street Trio, Omar Sosa, Arrested Development, and a slate of events across two cities and six venues.
The big story in classical music is, of course, the Santa Fe Opera, which opens with everyone’s favorite, Carmen (June 27), and Don Pasquale (June 28) ushering in eight weeks of elegant tailgating and five productions that include a double billing. Check out the lineup and book your tickets now. Also for vocal music lovers, the Santa Fe Desert Chorale explores The New World, Spanish Mystics, the Mozart Requiem and Brahms in its summer program of select choral works (July 10-Aug 14). The Santa Fe Women’s Ensemble presents “Songs of the Spirit,” (June 7-8), featuring the world premiere of a commissioned work by composer Emma Lou Diemer.
Out & about
Santa Fe is known for its big summer art festivals, including Art Santa Fe (July 10-13), now in its 14th year of attracting contemporary art galleries from around the world, opening with a big gala party (July 10). The International Folk Art Market (July 11-13), already the largest event of its kind, grows larger every year. View and buy artwork from 150 master craftsmen from 62 countries, part of a week of events including a free community celebration July 10 and opening party July 11.
A relative newcomer, the growing Currents 2014 New Media Festival is in its fifth year of bringing multimedia, interactive, and video art to Santa Fe (June 13-29) in a series of free performances and programs. Also free is the annual self-guided Santa Fe Studio Tour (June 27-29), with a preview party at the Santa Fe University of Art & Design. Don’t forget the last Friday artwalk in the Railyard Arts District (June 27), where ten contemporary galleries and SITE Santa Fe open their doors for the evening. The Railyard is also the place to be on Saturday and Tuesday mornings for the Farmers Market and weekends for the Artisan Market.
Cowboys appreciate their own style of performance art at Rodeo de Santa Fe, in its 65th year (June 18-21). World Champion cowboys and classic rodeo entertainment compete with a carnival midway and annual kickoff parade in downtown Santa Fe (June 14). Rhinestone cowboys have the Santa Fe Pride parade (June 28), which has added reason to celebrate this year, thanks to a New Mexico Supreme Court decision opening the way for same-sex marriage in our state.
At the museums
Among the highlights are the Herb & Lavender Fair (June 21-22), Santa Fe Wine Festival (July 5-6), and ¡Viva Mexico! festival (July 19-20) at El Rancho de las Golondrinas living history museum; the folk art of Brazil and sculpted wooden animal toys at the Museum of International Folk Art; and a new exhibition exploring Images of Mary in the New World (June 29) at the New Mexico History Museum, with works from Peru, Mexico, and New Mexico. The history museum also hosts the Young Natives Arts & Crafts Sale (July 12-13), showcasing work from the children and grandchildren of the artists at the Palace of the Governors Portal.
Plan a revitalizing retreat in the spectacular red-rock setting of Abiquiu, where Ghost Ranch offers a comprehensive selection of weeklong workshops, including stone carving, silversmithing, fused glass, drawing, mosaics, metal sculpture, weaving, clay, photography, poetry, and yoga, to name just a few.
The Santa Fe Culinary Academy is headed to the opera with the Foods of Classic Operas (June 26), where Chef Rocky will serve up a Basque-themed menu inspired by Carmen and Don Jose. Or join the chefs for Saturday morning Southwest cooking classes paired with local wines at Estrella del Norte Vineyard.