It may not be late night, but Santa Fe does have a vibrant nightlife
On just about any night of the week, all of Santa Fe's a stage. Across the city, theaters, nightclubs, restaurants, bars and other performance venues throw open their doors to audiences eager to see world-class music, plays, dance, comedy and other performing arts.This steady offering is enough to prove that one of the country's major visual art centers is also a premiere place for the performing arts. To add to the drama, many of these venues hold events outdoors, in warmer weather, against the backdrop of a magnificent sunset or beneath a star-studded sky.
Now is the perfect time to see Santa Fe's exciting entertainment events, before summer's sell-out crowds arrive. To discover what's happening in Santa Fe's vibrant entertainment scene, read on, then explore our entertainment guide for more venues.
A Look at the Lensic
Let's start with the majestic Lensic, the downtown historic movie palace that's now a state-of-the-art, nonprofit performing arts center. The Lensic presents exciting events, from dance and music to theater, opera, lectures, spoken word and more. In the coming weeks, you can see a stirring performance of Mozart’s enchanting Symphony No. 29 and Brahms' “A German Requiem,” by the Santa Fe Symphony Orchestra & Chorus, led by guest conductor Dante Anzolini, on April 14 at 4 pm.
Santa Fe Pro Musica presents the finale of its 37th season, East Meets West, with music from Arvo Pärt, Prokofiev, Beethoven, and others. Conductor Gemma New leads the concert, which features violinist Francisco Fullana, winner of an Avery Fisher Career Grant and member of Lincoln Center's Chamber Music Society Two. Performances are scheduled on April 27 at 4 pm and April 28 at 3 pm. To learn more about the musical selections, attend a pre-concert talk by Thomas O’Connor. They start an hour before the concert begins.
Mariachi music will soar through the Lensic when two-time Grammy Award winner Mariachi Los Camperos takes the stage on May 4 at 7:30 pm. The pioneering group, founded in 1961 by Natividad “Nati” Cano, was the first to perform mariachi music in Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Theater and other venues. Cano was instrumental in developing mariachi music in the U.S., where he trained and mentored emerging musicians.
Santa Fe Music Scene
Across the city, live music fills the air, no matter the time of year. If you're seeking a certain style, you'll likely find it here, as bars, restaurants, nightclubs and even The Plaza host bands and musicians playing everything from old-fashioned rock'n'roll to jazz, blues, bluegrass, Americana, experimental, and more. Below is just a small sampling of what's on the calendar around town this month. Discover more events in SantaFe.com's Santa Fe event calendar.
1. When it comes to music, the Cowgirl covers it all, along with kick-ass BBQ and a relaxed, welcoming atmosphere. Rain or shine, the music goes on as there's an indoor stage and an outdoor patio. Take note that The Strange, the self-defined group of "desert rock outlaws" will play this Friday, April 12, starting at 8:30 pm. Their unique brand of rock'n'roll will no doubt get you dancing.
Santa Fe's premiere party band Felix y Los Gatos takes the Cowgirl stage on April 26 at 8:30 pm, playing its celebrated mix of Americana, blues and cumbia with a twist of jazz, ranchera, swing, Tex-Mex and zydeco thrown in for good measure. Good luck staying in your seat when this band is playing.
Santa Fe's Half Broke Horses is also widely loved. They'll play the Cowgirl on April 27 at 1 pm, and there's no way their honky-tonk and Americana music won't make you happy.
2. North of Santa Fe, Tesuque Casino showcases local musicians daily, including the rock'n'roll cover-band Chango on April 12 at 10 pm. Bluesman Shane Wallin plays on April 13 at 5 pm, followed by the rockin' JJ and the Hooligans at 10 pm.
3. Keep heading north to Buffalo Thunder, which hosts Brad Ford and the Fortunate Son Band, the wildly popular Creedence Clearwater Revival tribute band. This all-ages show, on April 13 at 8 pm, features Ford, as John Fogerty, and the band playing classics such as “Bad Moon Rising,” “Proud Mary,” and “Have You Ever Seen the Rain,” lovingly performed as if each musician were in the original band. Fans won't want to miss this.
Upcoming Music Performances
Looking ahead, New Mexico Performing Arts Society has a thrilling multi-disciplinary presentation in the works. It's called “Music of the Spheres,” and it will explore the intersections of music, astrophysics and art. Check it out on June 15, at 3 pm or 7 pm, at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Retreat Center (50 Mount Carmel Rd.), the same weekend as the Santa Fe Institute’s 2nd Annual Interplanetary Festival.