September will be a mighty musical month hereabouts, starting with the third Pickamania! free music festival in Silver City, Sept. 7-9. New this year is a street dance kick-off event downtown with music by a northern New Mexico acoustic band, the Saltine Ramblers. That's Friday at 6th and Bullard from 6-9 p.m. Then the picking and playing shifts to Gough Park, where the headliners will be the Wiyos on Saturday and the well-known Colorado bluegrass band Head for the Hills on Sunday. The lineup also features Antonia Apodaca, a recipient of the Governors Award for Excellence in the Arts.
The next weekend, Sept. 15, the music will be mariachi, as the WNMU Fine Arts Center Theater hosts the Raices de America concert. The performance will feature Nelson Martinez and Mariachi Raices, a group based out of El Paso. Says organizer Juanita Escobedo, "The goals and objectives of these ongoing efforts are to concentrate on celebrating the richness only found, but seldom recognized in the Hispanic culture."
The Grant County Community Concert Association season kicks off on Sept. 21 with Jason Coleman in "The Legacy of Floyd Cramer." Exemplified by his 1960 hit, "Last Date," Cramer's piano was an essential part of the "Nashville Sound" during the 1950s and 1960s, and his signature style can be heard on the classic songs of countless music legends. Cramer's grandson, Jason Coleman, began following in his footsteps at the age of five, performing with his grandfather on concerts and on national TV. Upcoming GCCCA performances will include the A Capella Pop Music Ensemble (Nov. 2), classical pianist Yana Reznik (Jan. 25), countertenor Terry Barber (Feb. 23), La Catrina String Quartet (March 23) and the Side Street Strutters (April 12).
The month's music wraps up with Chuck Pyle at the Buckhorn Opera House on Sept. 28 and live jazz with the New Impression Trio on Sept. 30 at the Seedboat Center for the Arts.
It's not all singing and strumming in September, of course. Labor Day Weekend, Sept. 1-3, brings the 29th annual Gem and Mineral Show to the Grant County Business and Conference Center on Hwy. 180E. Vendors, field trips, educational displays, the "wheel of fortune" and a silent auction will keep rockhounds hopping.
If you prefer tippling to rockhounding, the Southern New Mexico State Fairgrounds hosts the New Mexico Wine Harvest Festival, also Sept. 1-3. Celebrate New Mexico's wine harvest with grape stomping, wine tasting, live entertainment, arts and crafts vendors, children's activities and hourly wine seminars.
Next on the festival calendar is the 11th annual Red Hot Children's Fiesta at WNMU Old James Stadium on Sept. 15. "Wild things" is the theme, and the Grant County Community Health Council will be getting an assist with the fun from the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science.
That's also the weekend of the Gila River Festival, of course, which you can read about in depth elsewhere in this issue.