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Jazz Happening events return with live music


After a two-year hiatus, the Mesilla Valley Jazz and Blues Society’s (MVJBS) Jazz Happening is back, and better than ever.

Jazz Happening will be “happening” Saturday-Sunday, Oct. 1-2, at Plaza de Mesilla and the Rio Grande Theatre in downtown Las Cruces, at Lescombes Winery and at other locations in Las Cruces and Mesilla.

The event is free and open to the public.

Here is the schedule of events:
• Saturday, Oct. 1, Plaza de Mesilla:

Noon: Lush Life

1:30 p.m.: Colin McCallister and the Latin Jazz Project

3 p.m.: Mesilla Valley Swing Band

8 p.m.: at Rio Grande Theatre, Border Jazz Orchestra and guest Hillary Smith concert. Tickets are $15, with proceeds benefitting MVJBS’s Bob Burns Scholarship Fund. Advance tickets are available at www.riograndetheatre.org/events/jazz-happening.

  • Sunday, Oct. 2, Plaza de Mesilla:

Noon: Mack Goldsbury and Dwane Durrett Quartet

1:30 p.m.: Ricky Malachi Trio

3 p.m.: Roman Chip and the Border Jazz Quartet

4:30 p.m.: Jazz Unlimited Big Band.

The nonprofit MVJBS was created in 2006 “to promote America’s valued original art form, ‘jazz.’”

MVJBS is also active in education, said MVJBS President Pancho Romero.

“Professional jazz musician members of the organization often donate their time and expertise to local middle school, high school and university jazz programs, conducting clinics, workshops and performing with jazz ensembles,” Romero said.

MVJBS sponsors monthly Jazz jam sessions for middle school, high school and college students, Romero said. The jam sessions are held at Mom’s Coffee, 1001 E. University Ave. MVJBS provides a rhythm section “so musicians can practice their improvisational skills,” Romero said, and “local professional musicians are on hand to guide the students.”

MVJBS-sponsored jazz scholarships encourage “young, aspiring jazz musicians to continue their education in jazz studies, Romero said. MVJBS Bob Burns Scholarships totaling $4,750 were awarded to eight jazz students earlier this year.

NMSU Bob Burns Scholarship recipients will be recognized during MVJBS’s “Scholarship All Stars,” 7 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 20, at First Christian Church, 1809 E. El Paseo Road.

Romero said scholarship funds are collected year-round through donations, sponsored concerts, auctions and other means.

MVJBS meets the third Sunday of each month and presents a jazz concert to members and visitors featuring local jazz musicians.  Various styles of jazz are performed representing Blues, Latin, Big Band Swing, Funk and other contemporary jazz styles. MVJBS also invites local high school and college ensembles to perform.

Contact Romero at mvjbspres@gmail.com.

Visit www.mvjazzblues.net.

Mesilla Valley Jazz and Blues Society