Image source: Facebook
'When we get together, it is very much like family,' says Jir Anderson. Image source: Facebook

'Native Guitars Tour' Promises 3 Nights of Rocking in ABQ, April 22-24

Jason Morgan Edwards

There is always plenty of excitement and activity in Albuquerque during this time of year.  The 2015 Gathering of Nations will be held April 23-25.  There is no shortage of sights and attractions inside the gates.  But, the city abounds with attractions and performances, as well.  This year marks the third Annual Native Guitars Tour, featuring a solo concert by Raye Zaragoza, Under the Native Stars and the Rock and Metal Round Dance Showcase.  The whole lineup will feature multiple genres, including country, reggae, light rock, blues and metal...all with a distinctive Native flair.

The Tour is organized and led by Jir Anderson, and sponsored by Native-owned and operated Quickly Cleaned Janitorial. "The whole point of the Native Guitars Tour is to provide a stage for Native talent," Anderson says. " One difference between my event and Gathering of Nations' Stage 49 is the opportunity to hang out.  It's a real social event.  We're all friends.  We're all really rooted in our culture.  They're sharing our culture.  And, they're sharing their stories.  So, when we get together, it is very much like family.  There's not a spirit of competition.  All of us try to mingle and show our appreciation for everybody coming out to support the music.  It's a chance for everyone that comes for Gathering to reconnect."

The idea for The Tour was born out of Anderson's personal network of musicians.  But, he noticed something was lacking.  "Albuquerque has become kind of a hub for live music," he says. "There was a big network of DJs and hip-hop and other genres. I put together the Rock and Metal Round Dance because there wasn't really any venue for metal and some of the edgier bands. The Round Dance gives the heavier side of the genres a venue and a stage."  The weekend's events actually start on Wednesday with an acoustic show featuring Raye Zaragoza.  "It's going to be kind of a Grand Entry for people coming into town earlier in the week," Anderson says. "It's a smaller venue.  So, I'm only expecting 50-75 people.  On Thursday night, I'm anticipating a crowd of 200-plus, if last year's trend continues.  And, for Friday's show, we should be around 175.  Hopefully, we can sell out.  They're all awesome performers."

Jir is already planning for future events.  "My ultimate goal is to take the Native Guitars Tour out to other areas of the country. When I started Native Guitars, about 5 years ago, it was part of a bigger plan.  The goal is to be able to take Native artists and provide them with a stage throughout the country.  It's really grown over the past couple of years.  And, people have become aware of it.  People come out to a Native Guitars event for the same reason as any other music festival.  You want to see the bands.  You want to experience the atmosphere.  We're unique because we have a culture that's centuries old.  We've inherited stories from our grandparents, and their grandparents.  We still have that story in us, that pride, that culture.  People walk away with a musical healing."

Under the Native Stars is a free outdoor event, slated for Thursday, April 23rd and is geared toward the reggae and rock artists.  The line-up features SAGE, a singer/songwriter out of Red Lake, AZ; The Yotis; The Jir Project Band; Daisy Chain; and InnaState.  The shows will also feature CD release parties for Daisy Chain and InnaState's debut albums.  The Friday night line-up will feature Ethnic De Generation; Raye Zaragoza; The Miracle Dolls; The Jir Project Band; and head-liners, Scatter Their Own. For general information, check the Jir Project Band's Facebook page; the individual event pages are as follows:

Wednesday, April 22: Raye Zaragoza Life at Lizard Tail Brewing

Thursday, April 23: Under the Native Stars

Friday, April 24: Rock & Metal Round Dance

:  Information for Wednesday and Thursday's shows is at: and

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