FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
New Jazz Interpretation of Classic to Entertain All Ages
Albuquerque, NM – December 11, 2019 – Two of New Mexico’s largest arts and education organizations, NDI New Mexico and New Mexico Jazz Workshop, announce their partnership with Albuquerque’s inaugural poet laureate Hakim Bellamy to present an unforgettable dance event—a new production of Peter &The Wolf presented at The Hiland Theater.
A favorite spanning decades, Peter & The Wolf has helped introduce generations of children to the instruments of the orchestra and the concept of telling a story through music, fulfilling the goal Sergei Prokofiev set for himself in 1936. The production is co-choreographed by the new Hiland Artistic team—Steven Melendez and Tom Porras—and features a new, jazz interpretation of the legendary classic that will entertain audiences of all ages.
“Approaching Markus and Hakim to round out the artistic team on this idea was one of the easiest things I have done since arriving in Albuquerque, I think this speaks to the mission that NDI New Mexico, New Mexico Jazz Workshop and Hakim’s organization, Beyond Poetry LLC., each share – to use the arts to make unique and valuable connections across socio-economic divisions”
– Steven Melendez, NDI New Mexico Hiland Theater Artistic Director
The New Mexico Jazz Workshop musicians will be led by their Community Big Band Leader, Henry Estrada. “I’m looking forward to working on this music for Peter & the Wolf,” added Estrada. “It should be fun for the musicians, as well as the audience.”
Also featured on the Winter Dance Escape program will be the world premiere of Angels created for the NDI New Mexico Company XCel dancers by international choreographer Rodney Rivera, who recently came on as NDI New Mexico’s Dance Barns Artistic Director in Santa Fe.
“Now on the wings of the angels I fly gracefully to the heaven of heavens, to the embrace of the universe and the eternal light,” Rivera wrote of Angels. This ethereal trio is a beautiful expression of a spiritual journey, set to the music of J.S. Bach.
Performances will take place on Friday, February 7 and Saturday, February 8 at 7pm each evening. Tickets are $10 and are available to purchase online only at www.ndi-nm.org.
About NDI New Mexico
National Dance Institute of New Mexico is a not-for-profit organization founded with the knowledge that the arts have a unique power to engage and motivate children. The purpose of our distinctive programs is to help children develop discipline, a standard of excellence, and a belief in themselves that will carry over into all aspects of their lives. www.ndi-nm.org
About New Mexico Jazz Workshop
New Mexico Jazz Workshop is a professional organization committed to providing unlimited access to a higher quality of life through education and performance. The New Mexico Jazz Workshop utilizes social programs and performance to connect the community with the essence of jazz – creating a more empowered and vibrant community. www.NMJazz.org
About Hakim Bellamy
As the Inaugural Poet Laureate of Albuquerque, NM (2012-2014), Hakim Bellamy is a national and regional Poetry Slam Champion and holds three consecutive collegiate poetry slam titles at the University of New Mexico. His poetry has been published on the Albuquerque Convention Center, on the outside of a library, in inner-city buses and in numerous anthologies across the globe. Bellamy was recognized as an honorable mention for the University of New Mexico Paul Bartlett Ré Peace Prize for his work as a community organizer and journalist in 2007 and later awarded the Career Achievement Award for the same Prize in 2018. www.beyondpoetryink.com
About Steven Melendez
Steven Melendez is the Hiland Artistic Director for NDI New Mexico, directing the afterschool program at The Hiland Theater for children ages 3-18. He is an international ballet dancer, teacher and choreographer and an advocate for the arts. He sits on the School of American Ballet Advisory committee on Diversity and Inclusion and was a 2012 Clive Barnes Award Nominee, his work Song Before Spring was called the “best premiere in North America” by Dance Europe Magazine in 2016.
About Henry Estrada
Henry Estrada is a local musician who has been performing and teaching in the Albuquerque area for over four decades. He has performed with numerous groups in the area and continues to be active as a teacher and trumpet player. Henry has been a lifelong advocate for music and the arts in New Mexico. He has served as President of the New Mexico Music Educators Association and is a member of the New Mexico Jazz Workshop Hall of Fame as well as the NMMEA Hall of Fame.