SFR Picks—Week of August 11

(Guitar) Pick of the Week

Jono Manson returns with a cavalcade of buddies in tow

The Lensic Performing Arts Center reopens its doors to live music this week with none other than legendary folk and rock troubadour Jono Manson—and 11 of his closest friends.

“It’s gonna be a fun, eclectic evening,” Manson tells SFR, “with some old veterans and some young newcomers that want to put together a show that takes the audience on a journey. There’s a subtext that runs through it about community and being here in New Mexico.”

Of the dozen musicians, 11 are from New Mexico. The one outlier—banjo genius Sam Armstrong-Zickefoose—met Manson here.

Now, that many musicians playing together might be a lot to handle, so Manson has devised a way to get everyone—from singer Hilary Smith and songwriter David Berkeley to slide guitarist Jay Boy Adams and Grammy-nominated artist Eliza Gilkyson—their fair share of stage time.

Here’s the plan: a core four featuring Ronnie Johnson, Paul Pearcy, Jon Graboff and Manson will be on stage all night, then, throughout the show, the other eight players will come and go in a rotating melange of Americana, country, folk, rock ‘n’ roll and soul. It sounds challenging, but Manson is confident that, “everybody involved is working hard to prepare something very special. A labor of love.”

But how did he assemble this extensive list of musicians?

“I’ve lived in New Mexico for 30 years,” he explains, “and I’ve had a chance at one time or another to collaborate with almost everybody.”

That spirit of togetherness is what made Lensic Executive Director Joel Aalberts immediately think of Manson as the right man for the reopening job, and it makes sense he was the chosen one—in addition to his musical talents (and extensive IRL friends list), Manson is a consummate showman who always keeps the audience involved.

“If I had a formula I could write down, I would make a manual and sell it,” he says, adding that he’s honored to play at the beloved local theater. “In this neck of the woods, the Lensic is the most beautiful indoor concert venue.” (Campbell Lozuaway-McComsey)

Jono Manson & Friends: Bring Up the Lights: 7:30 pm Saturday, August 14. $10. Lensic Performing Arts Center, 211 W San Francisco St., 988-1234 (Masks required.)

Way to Draw New Mischief!

Sure, everyone likes making jokes about Shakespeare and rap and all that, but did you know there are actual troupes out there that dismantle, chop and screw their way through The Bard’s works, rekajiggering them into fresh properties with a contemporary bent? Shakespeare’s messaging might be timeless, but his words and flow can maybe feel dated to some. Enter The Q Brothers and The Moor You Know Collective, a pair of outfits that take Othello and remix the tale of jealousy and name besmirching, transforming the show into that of dancing MCs hellbent on freshness and accessibility. And for any purists out there? ‘Tis neither here nor there. Enjoy! (Alex De Vore)

Othello: The Remix: 7:30 pm Thursday, Aug. 12 and Friday, Aug. 13; 2 pm and 7:30 pm Saturday Aug. 14 and Sunday, Aug. 15. $15-$25. Santa Fe Playhouse, 142 E De Vargas St., 988-4262

The Lonesome, Crowded West

Sometimes when the sky’s just so in Santa Fe, it’s easy to understand why the artists who made the pilgrimage here did so and stayed here. But it’s more than that—it’s about the people and culture, too. The legendary Gustave Baumann felt this when he came to New Mexico in 1918, and the overall style change he soon embraced has delighted the art-loving set ever since. The New Mexico Museum of Art’s upcoming Baumann exhibit (from Assistant Curator Jana Gottshalk, whose 2018 Generation Next show at the Museum of Spanish Colonial Art is still revered) delves into this idea, presenting iconic landscapes and lesser-known works influenced by mission and Pueblo culture. There will be puppets (and complementary contemporary works by other artists). (ADV)

Go West Said a Small Voice: Gustave Baumann Dreams of New Mexico: All Day Saturday, Aug. 14. By admission. New Mexico Museum of Art, 107 W Palace Ave., 476-5072

It Don’t Mean a Thing

You may recall a brief window in the mid-to-late ‘90s wherein everyone saw the movie Swing Kids and thought “Let’s revive big band music, buy some wingtips and really just go to town on this whole swing thing!” And so they did—and the bands followed in droves. Of course, the whole thing went supernova not so long after, but the folks who took it seriously were simply biding their time, it seems. If this sounds like you (or if you’re bummed you missed it), dust off those 1940s-era pants and hats and such and head to Odd Fellow’s Hall on Monday evening to Charleston, jitterbug and Lindy Hop your way to the classics. You don’t have to tell your judgier friends it’s what you’re doing, but you do have to bring you vaccination card as proof that it’s OK for you to dance with others. (ADV)

Santa Fe Swing: 7 pm Monday, Aug. 16. $3-$8 (includes dance lesson). Odd Fellow’s Hall, 1125 Cerrillos Road,

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