This story is a staff report from The Paper.

The Outpost Performance Space and The Lensic Performing Arts Center are proud to announce the 16th Annual New Mexico Jazz Festival (NMJF), which will take place on September 15-October 8. The Jazz Festival is a collaborative project between two of the most respected non-profit jazz presenters in New Mexico, the festival features concerts and events in Albuquerque and Santa Fe, as well as affiliated events in Taos, by major touring artists, NEA Jazz Masters and respected New Mexico-based jazz, international, Rhythm & Blues and Latin music practitioners. The New Mexico Jazz Festival features three weeks of world-class music, art, and more!

The 2022 New Mexico Jazz Festival (NMJF) kicks off with an exciting opening weekend at the Lensic Performing Arts Center. Opening the festival on Thursday, September 15, is the Legendary Count Basie Orchestra (CBO), directed by Scotty Barnhart. The 17-piece CBO has won 18 Grammy awards and numerous honors, including a 2022 Grammy nomination for their album, Live At Birdland.

On Friday, September 16, critically acclaimed, Grammy-nominated saxophonist, bandleader and composer Ravi Coltrane returns to New Mexico with his Cosmic Music Project – a contemporary exploration into the music of his illustrious parents, John and Alice Coltrane, and he is joined by harpist Brandee Younger.

Then, the NMJF continues its tradition of presenting NEA Jazz Masters with Grammy award-winning drummer, producer, educator and NEA Jazz Master Terri Lyne Carrington + Social Science on Saturday, September 17. The band will perform music from their latest album, Waiting Game, which was celebrated as one of the best releases of 2019 by Rolling Stone, Downbeat, Boston Globe, and Popmatters and described as an “unflinching, inclusive, and compassionate view of humanity’s breaks and bonds through an eclectic program melding jazz, R&B, indie rock, contemporary improvisation, and hip-hop.”

For the 16th year in a row,  retired National Endowment for the Arts Deputy Chairman, jazz historian, and poet A.B. Spellman returns to conduct a pre-concert Meet The NEA Jazz Master with Ms. Carrington at 6 pm. On Saturday, September 17, 11 am-2 pm, the Festival partners with Dave’s Jazz Bistro at the Santa Fe School of Cooking for a special Jazz Brunch with the New Mexico Latin Jazz Continuum featuring pianist John Rangel and vibraphonist Jesse Parker, and at the Lensic, on Thursday, October 6, it’s the legendary Tower of Power, who have been delivering their unique brand of Soul, Rock, Pop for over 50 years.

At the Outpost Performance Space in Albuquerque, it’s the Doug Lawrence Quartet with guest vocalist Carmen Bradford, Sunday, September 18, in an evening of swinging small group jazz. Also at Outpost will be the iconic multi-generational powerhouse band, The Cookers, Tuesday, September 20; vibraphonist Joel Ross Quartet, Thursday, September 22. Downbeat Magazine writes that Ross’ playing “erupts through the layers of lush arrangements like consistent currents of electricity, high-powered and full of luminous energy”; renowned Dutch trumpeter Eric Vloeimans and accordionist Will Holshouser, Tuesday, September 27; Samara Joy Quartet, Wednesday, September 28. Joy, just 24-years-old, and who was described by The New York Times as “astounding,” won the 2019 Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition; Drummer Peter Erskine Quartet with George Garzone, Alan Pasqua and Darek Oles perform Saturday, October 1 at Outpost; and guitarist-composer Kurt Rosenwinkle Quartet on Friday, October 7.

Making sure there is something for everyone, the Jazz Festival hosts several free events and partners with the City of Albuquerque to present Blues Night on Civic Plaza in Albuquerque. Blues Night on Civic Plaza will be Sunday, September 25, 6:30-8:30 pm and features Texas singer-songwriter and vocal powerhouse Ruthie Foster with her five-piece band; ChillHouse with Hillary Smith; and singer-songwriter-guitarist Levi Platero.

Wrapping up the 16th Annual NM Jazz Festival on Saturday, October 8, 5-7 pm, will be a special Inpost Artspace Reception: Jazz Photographs by Jim Gale: 25 Years of Outpost & The New Mexico Jazz Festival at the Outpost Performance Space.  

Tickets are available online at newmexicojazzfestival.org and at lensic.org and in person at the Lensic Box Office, 211 W. San Francisco Street in Santa Fe.