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‘Blue Desert Tour’ heads to Gallup

denizens will soon get a chance to experience some stick-to-the-soul, indigenous-style jazz at the “Blue Desert Tour” concert series.

And the show will appeal to all budgets. It’s only a $5 suggested donation to get into the soiree, slated for May 26.

GallupARTS, the host of the concert series that features three bands, will pull back the curtains at the El Morro Theatre at 7 pm.

The lineup features D’DAT, a contemporary jazz/hip-hop band; li-yat Collective, an all-woman combo inspired by jazz and ancestral songs; and the Rico Jones Quartet, a blues/jazz ensemble.

In an interview with the Sun, gallupART’s executive director Rose Eason said that Delbert Anderson organized the event.

“I think it’s a great combination of local music and also bands that don’t perform in Gallup regularly,” Eason said. “It’s cool to see Delbert bringing new opportunities to our community and we also get to experience music that’s rooted here.”

D’DAT, Anderson’s band, is from Farmington. The Rico Jones Quartet is from Colorado. Julia Keefe, one of the members of Ii-yat Collective, is from Miami.

2022 marks the second year of the Blue Desert Tour. Last year’s event was virtual, and Eason said that allowed 500 people to view the concert on YouTube and Facebook.

Eason gave Anderson all the credit for coming up with the idea for the concert.

“Delbert is kind of the mastermind behind this whole tour,” Eason said. “His whole mission through this program is to promote healing within the Indigenous community through Indigenous music.”

In a May 6 gallupART’s press release, Anderson talked about how excited he was to bring the tour, up close and personal, back to Gallup.

“We’re very excited to bring the Blue Desert Tour to Gallup and to share the healing powers of jazz music with the community,” Anderson stated. “Through the collective experience of jazz we cultivate respect, listening, expression, and improvisation. As Indigenous musicians, it’s really important to us to lift up our communities in these ways.”

The tour will also be making stops in Farmington and Cortez, Colorado. The tour is funded by Chamber Music America.

For more information about the tour, visit: galluparts.org

By Molly Ann Howell
Sun Correspondent