Party on the Plaza: Southwest Roots Music at the Santa Fe Bandstand

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Here’s something I love about my business.

In the course of checking out a house for a client, our paths intersected with Mike Koster, a Director of Southwest Roots Music (SWRM) and the founder and sustaining force behind the Thirsty Ear Festival. Most of us know them as the folks who’ve brought New Mexico the likes of Dr. John, Bo Diddley, Taj Mahal, The Wailers, and Odetta. But Southwest Roots Music is more than just a concert promoter. It’s a nonprofit 501c3 organization “dedicated to increasing awareness of New Mexico as a center for music, to promoting traditional music through educational programs and live performances by local and internationally renowned artists, and to helping strengthen New Mexico’s arts economy.” Click the links to read more on these worthy folks who add dimension to our musical scene.

Tomorrow night, August 3rd, I’m heading downtown for Southwest Roots Music night, featuring Boris and The Saltlicks followed by Po’ Girl.  Mike thought I might like Po’ Girl since I am a fan of Canadian Folk Duo The Be Good Tanyas. We’ll grab a loaf of Clafouti bread, some cheese and salad and make it an evening picnic.


Two years ago, I viewed the Santa Fe Bandstand as a hokey reminder that Santa Fe is, indeed, a small town.  But the city responded to complaints about quality and upped the caliber of featured acts. Right about then was the first year Southwest Roots Music got involved, along with the admirable not-for-profit Outside In Productions (Take a moment; click the link, and READ about their powerful mission.) The changes were so successful, 2010 readers of the Santa Fe Reporter awarded the Plaza Best Outdoor Public Space and the Bandstand concerts Best Community Event or Festival. No polls are perfect, but  Best of Santa Fe 2010 offers a pretty good insight into the tastes of Santa Fe denizens. Scan the calendar for upcoming events and take advantage of just one more offering that makes the City Different a remarkable place to call home.

As for Southwest Roots Music, they’re taking a couple of months off–for the first time in eleven years, but count on Mike to be back in the saddle by winter, bringing us fresh encounters with traditional music.


For honest, fly-on-the-wall insight on the Santa Fe Art Scene, read Patricia Sauthoff’s piece, Seen in Santa Fe’s Scene: A Critical Look posted on the End of Being’s website.


Mike Rohner wrote in to let us know he’d have a booth (#121) at the Girls Inc. Arts and Crafts Show on the plaza this weekend with new work.  Mike will be sharing space “with the talented brothers Gino and Viento Natchez” whose work can be seen at Four Winds Gallery. Swing by and support independent and emerging talents.

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