We ring in the New Year with an unusually busy January. Ordinarily the slowest month on the calendar, January 2012 has plenty to lure you out of hibernation.
Start with a new Friday night Coffee House Concert Series at Yankie Creek Coffee House in Silver City. Each informal concert will run from 6:30-8:30 p.m., and the series kicks off Jan. 6 with Wally Lawder and continues through March 16. Don’t forget that Yankie Creek and its nearby sibling, Vicki's, also offer music every Sunday morning. Check our complete events listings for performers.
Then on Jan. 7 and 8, the Las Cruces Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Maestro Lonnie Klein (see our December issue), will present its annual Pops Concerts. Both concerts will be held at the Las Cruces Convention Center, a new venue for the LCSO offering a casual, fun atmosphere. The concerts star Broadway performers Christiane Noll, Capathia Jenkins and Rob Evan with a theme of "Broadway Rocks!" and showcase music from rock-inspired Broadway hit musicals including The Wiz, Hairspray, Jesus Christ Superstar, Jekyll and Hyde, The Lion King and Tommy. A 50-member local chorus will accompany the orchestra and Broadway artists.
The latest in the Mimbres Region Arts Council's Folk Series brings Gregory Alan Isakov to the Buckhorn Opera House on Jan. 13. Originally from Johannesburg, South Africa, Isakov shows influences of Leonard Cohen, Iron and Wine in his song-craft. He’s been described as "strong, subtle, a lyrical genius" and has shared the stage with touring artists such as Calexico, Mumford & Sons, Fiona Apple, DeVotchka and Brandi Carlile. He has performed throughout the United States and Europe and appeared at numerous music festivals such as South By Southwest, Telluride Bluegrass Festival and Rocky Mountain Folks Fest. Isakov has toured solo and with his band "The Freight," and has released a quartet of albums: "This Empty Northern Hemisphere" (2009), "That Sea, The Gambler" (2007), "Songs for October" (2005) and "Rust Colored Stones" (2003).
The holidays aren't quite over, either: On Jan. 14, join the young students of the Conservatory of Dance in their annual Nutcracker production at the WNMU Fine Arts Center Theater.
On Jan. 21, the Grant County Community Concert Association brings Intersection, a trio of classical musicians, to the WNMU Fine Arts Center Theatre. Intersection consists of pianist John Novacek, cellist Kristina Cooper and violinist Laura Frautschi. Novacek has performed with Yo-Yo Ma, Joshua Bell and Leila Josefowicz, and has appeared as a featured performer on "The Tonight Show" and "Entertainment Tonight." He's performed at Wolf Trap, Summerfest La Jolly, the Mostly Mozart Festival at the Lincoln Center, and at the Seattle chamber Music Festival. Cooper has appeared with the Osaka Symphony, the Jerusalem Academy Chamber Orchestra, the Toronto Symphony, the Prague Chamber Orchestra and the Shanghai Symphony. She won the Walter M. Naumburg Chamber Music Award and has been featured on CNN, CBC Television and "60 Minutes." She plays on a 1786 William Forster cello. Frautschi is concertmaster of the New York City Opera Orchestra and has internationally toured as Concertmaster of the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra.
Note that tickets for the jointly sponsored December concert by the Las Cruces Symphony Orchestra performance that couldn’t be used because of snow will be honored at this performance.
You don't even need a ticket for the free Sunday afternoon Irish-music concert, Jan. 29, by Randal Bays and Davey Mathias at the Public Library in Silver City — but get there early, as space is limited. Irish fiddler Bays kicked off the library’s House Concert Series in 2010 and is returning by popular demand, joined by guitarist Davey Mathias. Although Bays is an American, his 2005 release "House to House" (with Roger Landes) was selected by the Irish Times as one of the top five traditional recordings of the year. Mathias comes from a musical family in South Carolina, where he teaches guitar and banjo, plays with the group Corner House, and is co-director of the Redbird School of Irish Music.
This month is also busy because of the welcome return of the Red Paint Powwow, Jan. 20-22, after a hiatus in 2011. The 8th annual celebration of the area’s Apache heritage, sponsored by the Red Paint Tribal Council, also returns to its original setting on the WNMU campus. Each day will feature an Indian Market. Friday features Apache social songs and dances, while both Saturday and Sunday spotlight gourd dancing, a handdrum contest and the traditional grand entry.
This year the powwow will be augmented by a Friday night concert, Jan. 20, on the theme of "Winter Night’s Count. . . We Remember the Stories." Performers will include Gabe Ayala, classical guitarist named "Native Artist of the Year"; singer Freddie Kaydahzinne; storyteller Lauren Russell; flutist Orlando Secatero; singer Big Boy; flutist Allen Roy Paquin; and comedian Andrew Lacapa.
January wraps up with the Wild & Scenic Film Festival on Jan. 28 at the Silco Theater in Silver City, sponsored by the Gila Conservation Coalition. The afternoon offers a special kids’ program with films, activities and healthy snacks. Then the evening brings speakers, a raffle, refreshments and screenings of Wild Water, 1% of the Story, The Fishman, Incident at Tower 37 and Slow the Flow.