Welcome to our new web site!

To give our readers a chance to experience all that our new website has to offer, we have made all content freely avaiable, through October 1, 2018.

During this time, print and digital subscribers will not need to log in to view our stories or e-editions.

Border Jazz Orchestra Duke Ellington/Count Basie tribute concert is Feb. 18


The Border Jazz Orchestra (BJO) will present its third concert of the season at 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 18, in Atkinson Recital Hall in the New Mexico State University Music Building, 1075 N. Horseshoe St. on the NMS campus.

The concert will feature the music of Duke Ellington and Count Basie.

Tickets are $15. Children under age 10 will be admitted free when accompanied by an adult. Purchase tickets at https://square.link/u/3hY0CaUS?src=sms or at the door.

“This is the orchestra’s contribution to the celebration of influential musicians during Black History Month,” said Frank “Pancho” Romero, emeritus professor of music at NMSU and president of the Mesilla Valley Jazz and Blues Society (MVJBS).

Edward Kennedy "Duke" Ellington (1899-1974) and William James "Count" Basie (1904-84) were both iconic band leaders, composers and pianists.

Ellington/Basie Tribute Concert is a family friendly event featuring selections such as “Take the A Train,” “Cottontail,” “Satin Doll” and “Lil Darlin,” Romero said.

BJO will feature Jessika Brust singing jazz classics such as “Send in the Clowns,” “Every Day I’ve Got the Blues” and “Fly Me to the Moon,” made popular by Sarah Vaughan, Joe Williams and Frank Sinatra.

 The concert is sponsored by the MVJBS. Profits will go toward the society’s scholarship fund, Romero said. Last summer, MVJBS awarded seven scholarships to NMSU jazz students to help with tuition and other educational needs, Romero said.

BJO is a professional jazz ensemble comprised of the region’s finest jazz musicians, said Romero, who founded the orchestra in 1991. BJO has performed with many internationally recognized jazz musicians, including Chris Vadala, John Fedchock, Hilary Smith, Bobby Shew, Clay Jenkins, Dana Landry and Pete McGuinness, he said, and members of the ensemble, mostly jazz educators, have toured with jazz greats “The Glen Miller Band,” “Woody Herman,” Airmen of Note, Wayne Newton and Elvis Presley. They have performed on stage with Richie Cole, Bill Watrous, Tia Fuller, The Supremes, The Temptations, The Four Tops and Sandy Hackett’s Rat Pack, along with decades of jazz performances at jazz festivals and regional concerts, Romero said.

The ensemble performs a variety of jazz music, including the classic Big Band arrangements of Duke Ellington, Count Basie and Stan Kenton, along with the more contemporary compositions and arrangements of Fred Sturm, Gordon Goodwin, Patty Darling, Alan Baylock and Pete McGuinness.

BJO is led by Romero, a professional jazz musician/trumpet player, who has performed across the country as a guest clinician and jazz solo artist, including Paris, Venice, Bogota, Montreal, Prague, Valencia and Berlin. Romero founded the Albuquerque Jazz Orchestra and the Bison Jazz Orchestra and currently performs in BJO, the Las Cruces Symphony Orchestra, the New Mexico State University Faculty Brass Quintet, Footprints Jazz Combo and Tres Metales Brass Trio. He has produced four albums featuring student performers who have received international acclaim.

Contact Romero at mvjbspres@gmail.com.