THIS MONTH, there’s only one place in the world where a performance by renowned Taos Pueblo flutist Robert Mirabal is followed by the propulsively percussive Ukrainian quartet DakhaBrakha: onstage at ¡Globalquerque!
New Mexico’s annual celebration of world music and culture returns to the National Hispanic Cultural Center, in Albuquerque, September 22–24. After the pandemic restrictions of the last two years, “We’re coming back to full bloom,” says Tom Frouge, founder and director of the 18-year-old festival. “It almost feels like we’re relaunching.”
Frouge has brought back acts that played ¡Globalquerque! previously and have gone on to success, including the theatrical DakhaBrakha—which sold out concerts in London and New York over the summer—as well as the Grammy-winning Mirabal and Indian-Canadian singer Kiran Ahluwalia.
This year’s ¡Globalquerque! contains multitudes: a free Thursday headphone silent dance party and a (non-headphone) concert from Mexican garage-punk-marimba outfit Son Rompe Pera, hands-on craft tutorials from Ukrainian and Swedish makers, international dance lessons, refugee-penned poetry readings, Three Sisters Kitchen culinary demonstrations, and three stages of live music featuring groups from Ethiopia, Estonia, and parts in between.
“Some of the acts are really traditional,” Frouge says. “But then some of the artists you’ll be seeing are the hippest, most cutting-edge bands on the planet.” He gave us three more tips for navigating the heady rhythms of ¡Globalquerque!
You don’t need a plan. Daytime events are staggered for maximum enjoyment. At night, Frouge says, “Everything is engineered for the attendee to take a trip around the world. You could stay at one stage if you’re really digging what you’re seeing, or you could see a little bit of one band, then go to the next stage.”
Artists make more than musical connections. New Mexico State Historian Rob Martínez performs with Lara Manzanares and Felix Peralta as part of the nuevoméxicano supergroup Nueva Luna. But he’s also giving a talk on the state’s history as told through its music. Robert Mirabal presents his own program about ancient seed preservation, food justice, and sustainability.
Don’t forget the movies. The ¡Globalquerque! International Cinema Series runs six free film screenings—with offerings from Argentina, Canada, China, France, Italy, and Spain—over four weeks at the National Hispanic Cultural Center.
You don’t have to love the midway’s spins, dips, and twists (though we do) to get your heart racing at the New Mexico State Fair, at Albuquerque’s Expo Center, September 8–18. There’s the state’s largest rodeo, concerts with Martina McBride and Dwight Yoakam, and the return of the Junior Livestock Show and Sale. Let’s go!