The Jazz is Happening: Nine Acts to Perform at Annual Mesilla Jazz and Wine Festival


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Manny Flores
The days of jazz and wine and mellow times on the Mesilla Plaza have become a classic autumn tradition for the Mesilla Jazz Happening.

Now celebrating its seventh year, the MJH will again offer live jazz and a wine garden showcasing vintages from New Mexico wineries next weekend on the Mesilla Plaza from noon to 9 pm Saturday and noon to 7 pm Sunday.

The MJH musical lineup is being coordinated by the Mesilla Valley Jazz and Blues Society and Bob Burns of Bob Burns Productions, according to Kathleen Foreman, president of the Old Mesilla Association.

“This year, everything will be on the Mesilla Plaza, but we're working now on efforts to join the “two Mesillas' and are encouraging walking tours between the Mesilla Plaza and the Mercado de la Mesilla, where Jazz Happening performances Advertisement have been held in the past. We hope to have events in both places again next year," Foreman said.

Saturday's lineup will start with the jazz duo of vocalist and keyboard artist Chris Sanders and Bob Hull on guitar and other stringed instruments; followed by native El Pasoan Mack Goldsbury on saxophone and flute; El Patio regulars the Border Jazz Quintet with Roman Chip; and keyboard artist Billy Townes, known for his bands Modern Sessions and Noteworks. Last up Saturday evening will be Ritmo Caluroso, described by Burns as “an eight-piece band under the leadership of Dr. James Helder, who also writes most of the arrangements for this band of mostly horns and Latino rhythms. Salsa, cumbias and merengues are among their specialties," so MJH aficionados might want to come prepared to bust a few smooth moves.

Sunday performances begin at noon with the Manny Flores Quintet.

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