If you’ve been craving some summertime funk that’s suitable for dancing to (with abandon) on the Santa Fe Plaza, you’re in luck. The 2019 Santa Fe Bandstand concert series starts on Wednesday, June 19, with Austin, Texas’ Shinyribs. Billed as a country-soul, swamp-funk band, Shinyribs will drive you to your feet with its high-energy horn section and lead singer Kevin Russell’s signature power-yodeling, scheduled to start at 7:15 p.m. New Mexico’s Felix y Los Gatos opens the show at 6 p.m. Switch gears slightly for the swinging but no-less-uplifting grooves of The Pleasure Pilots at 7:15 p.m. on Thursday, June 20, with opening act Ron Crowder at 6 p.m.
The concerts continue several times a week through Aug. 10. Most are held on the Santa Fe Plaza, but a few take place on the Southside at Swan Park, which is on Jaguar Drive at Highway 599. Michael Delheim has been producing the concerts on the Plaza since 2003 and at Swan Park since the series expanded there in 2017. To curate the summer concert series, he chooses about 50 bands from a pool of about 250 artists who submit videos during an open online selection process held each fall. He looks for bands from near and far that deliver rousing live performances and can get a crowd to lose itself in the music, while making sure to plan for musical, cultural, and gender diversity.
“There’s nothing like being outside on the Plaza on a warm summer night, maybe just after a rain,” Delheim said. “We get an interesting mix of locals and visitors, and the environment feels both safe and spontaneous.” He added that the concerts at Swan Park have significantly expanded arts offerings on the city’s Southside and that the setting is perfect for families who want a place to have a picnic and let their kids run around on the grassy lawns.
Upcoming acts include Pink Freud on June 25; Nosotros on July 2; Superfónicos on July 6; Al Hurricane Jr. on July 20; and Amy Helm on July 24. The concerts are free. For a complete schedule, go to santafebandstand.org.