Music

Mother's Day weekend dances planned

Darren Córdova y Calor and Grupo Mezcal to perform at separate events

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Former Taos Mayor Darren Córdova once again celebrates Mother’s Day in Taos with his band, Calor, and his musical family members. This year’s concert features Córdova’s son, Darren Lee; his daughter, Dynette Marie; and his brother, Daniel, all of whom are widely recognized musicians in their own right. The evening promises top-notch musical entertainment in the Northern New Mexican Spanish style.

Their Mother’s Day dance is Saturday (May 13), 8 p.m., at the KTAOS Solar Center at 9 State Road 150, north of El Prado.

Back in 1993, Darren Córdova formed his band, Darren Córdova y Calor. The group’s first recording won both song of the year and cassette of the year at the New Mexico Hispano Music Awards (NMHMA) show. Over the years, the band has received numerous awards from NMHMA, including band of the year and male vocalist of the year. In 1998, Darren Córdova received the producer of the year award for his “Vas a Ver” recording.

At the age of 34, in 2000, he became the youngest recipient of the NMHMA and New Mexico Entertainers awards’ Lifetime Achievement Award. That year, Córdova won seven of nine award nominations at the NMHMA.

Darren Córdova y Calor recently released a new album, “Nací Para Amarte.” The CD won numerous awards at the New Mexico Hispano Music Awards this year, including CD of the year and producer of the year. Darren Córdova won male vocalist of the year for his work on the title track, “Nací Para Amarte,” which was written by Javier Galvan, Córdova’s friend and fellow musician.

In addition, Córdova won vocal duo of the year with Matthew Martínez for their collaborative work on the song “Dos Hombres Y Un Destino,” a humorous song about two men in love with the same woman. The band also won song of the year for “Robarte Un Beso,” a regional Mexican song Córdova said he thought would sound good with a steel guitar.

Darren Córdova y Calor recently played a sold-out show at the Tucumcari Convention Center and will head to Colorado in the near future to perform for crowds in both Pueblo and Denver. This is a good chance to catch the band in its hometown of Taos.

Córdova is the former owner of DMC Broadcasting and started an annual tradition of a free Mother’s Day weekend music festival. He is no longer producing the event. This year, he will not be performing in it. However, he is happy to be celebrating with the community at the KTAOS Solar Center this Saturday.

“I have a couple of songs that are specifically for moms,” Córdova said. “One is called ‘Te Quiero, Mama.’” Córdova said when he has played the song over the years, he has been moved to look out into the crowd and see generations of mothers from the same family standing or sitting together. He said sometimes he will see an empty spot where one of the mothers has passed on, and their relatives will have tears in their eyes when he sings the song.

“It really is touching,” Córdova said.

Tickets are $20 at the door and $15 in advance. Tickets can be purchased by calling (575) 758-5826 or visiting ktao.com. Tickets for this Mother’s Day event are likely to sell out.

For more information, call the venue at (575) 758-5826 or visit darrencordovaycalor.com.

Local heroes

Also playing in Taos on Saturday (May 13) will be Grupo Mezcal.

Named the best Spanish-language band for numerous years in the "Best of Taos" readers’ choice poll published by The Taos News, Grupo Mezcal is another strong local favorite. The band will be playing for a dance that evening at Old Martina’s Hall, 4140 State Road 68 in Ranchos de Taos. The show starts at 9 p.m., with doors opening at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10 at the door.

Grupo Mezcal is lead singer and guitarist Ernie Marquez, Antonio (Archie) Marquez on bass and vocals, Adonais (Nité) Marquez on keyboards and vocals and Rex Martínez on drums. The band has been together for close to 30 years.

The band has released nine CDs. The latest, “Se Los Llevó,” released in 2011, won five awards at the New Mexico Hispano Music Awards. “Se Los Llevó” translates as “He Took Them” and is a reference to the parents of the Marquez brothers, who died at a young age.

Grupo Mezcal plans to release a new CD in the near future. The band's songs are inspired by its members' life experiences and the people they love.

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