Music series

Sounds of Summer: City Brings Musical Series Back to Old Town, ABQ BioPark Zoo

Attendees dance to music at a Summer Music in Old Town event held before the pandemic. (Courtesy of the City of Albuquerque)

Live music from local bands will once again take over Old Town Square.

The Summer Music in Old Town concert series is back. The entertainment kicked off July 3 and runs throughout Labor Day weekend at Old Town Plaza, 200 N. Plaza St. NW.

Picoso will present his New Mexican and variety music from 7-9 p.m. Friday, July 9, followed by country artist Nathaniel Krantz from 7-9 p.m. Saturday, July 10 and jazz band Last Call from 1-9 p.m. 3 p.m. on Sunday, July 11.

“We are returning to our regular summer schedule in Old Town Friday, Saturday, Sunday (with) local groups,” said Bree Ortiz, Community Events Division Manager for the City of Albuquerque. “There will be dancing. I mean, we had to schedule, you know, music during the pandemic where it was like they had to wear a mask, they weren’t allowed to sing, like no fun, no dancing, no Of wood. So, like, being able to call bands, when they’re a full band, not a clean acoustic version and, you know, bring it back to Old Town to begin with, that’s really exciting. And I think just talking to the bands we’ve worked with for so many years, they’re excited and we’re thrilled to be reunited.

The community is eagerly awaiting the return of the concert series.

“The audience was amazing and kept calling, like, ‘when do they start, I can’t wait to go,” Ortiz said. “So we’re thrilled to give these local artists an opportunity and a stage to perform again, and to reintroduce the community to our local favorites. So exciting.

More music can be enjoyed at the ABQBioPark.

Garden Sounds runs every Thursday through August 26 at Botanic Garden, 2601 Central NW. Performers are The Real Matt Jones on July 15, The Dee Brown Situation on July 22, El Brujo Trio on July 29, Higher Ground Bluegrass on August 5, Silver Sky Blues Band on August 12, Trio Jalisciense on August 19 and Dust City Opera August 26.

“We’ll have a local band and by the green,” Ortiz said of Garden Sounds. “The whole garden will be open for strolling on cool evenings. And there are eight opportunities for that with those eight consecutive Thursdays.

The ABQ BioPark Zoo, 903 10th SW, will host its own concert series later in July. Zoo Nights begins July 24, with four local bands every Saturday through August 14. Zoo Nights on July 24 will feature The Cumberlands, Felix y Los Gatos, Frank Leto & PANdemonium and Lone Piñon. Doors open at 6 p.m.

“We actually do a different format where we have four local bands per night,” Ortiz said. “(The bands) will be playing all over the zoo and the whole zoo will be open, so people can listen to music as they walk around and see the animals.”

The music doesn’t stop there. The city’s Summerfest events are also back. However, the events will take place three Saturdays in a row – July 31 at North Domingo Baca Park, 7521 Carmel NE; August 6 at Nob Hill along Central between Girard and Carlisle; and August 13 at Ventana Ranch Community Park, 10000 Universe NW. More information is available on the Arts & Culture website. The event at North Domingo Baca Park will feature food trucks, local beers, handicrafts and free entertainment. At Nob Hill, attendees can enjoy local talent on multiple stages, small businesses along a section of Central Avenue, and more. Local music and favorite foods will be available at the Ventana Ranch Community Park event.

Full schedules for the above events and more information can be found on the Arts & Culture homepage at