Music

Nonprofit fest gets the word out

Event includes music by Black Joe Lewis and The Honey Bears

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Most people will admit that nonprofit organizations in Taos contribute significantly to our community’s spirit and well-being. John Henderson, a Taos High School history teacher, local DJ and music promoter, said he believes, given the political climate, now is a great time to give back to the people and organizations that help make your life easier, better and more fulfilling.

Henderson has teamed with Arroyo Seco Live, KNCE-FM 93.5 radio, Roots and Wires Presents and Taos Mesa Brewing to celebrate local nonprofits with a concert and festival.

The Nonprofit Fest offers local organizations a chance to network and raise funds on Friday (April 14), 7 p.m., at Taos Mesa Brewing, 20 ABC Mesa Road, off U.S. 64 west. All local nonprofits are invited to set up a table, talk on the microphone and raise awareness and money for their cause.

Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears are headlining the entertainment that day, with Dams of the West opening. The show is free, but donations to nonprofits are requested.

Austin, Texas-based Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears just released a new album, titled “Backlash.” The album revels in the sounds of classic soul and a form of “punked-up R&B.” Compared to their other albums, Lewis says that “Backlash” has a little more blues and is a good mix between the band’s earlier and later works.

Lewis was working in a pawn shop in his late teens when he picked up his first acoustic guitar and started teaching himself how to play from a chord book.

He said he soon started listening to the blues.

“It just grabbed my ear,” said Lewis, who was attracted to the “lifestyle and the grooves” of the blues. However, Lewis is quick to point out that he was influenced by a wide range of music. He grew up listening to hip-hop and is a big fan of Bruce Springsteen, James Brown and Iggy Pop.

Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears are known for their high-intensity live shows. The band will be stopping in Taos as part of its 2017 North American headline tour. Henderson said he has been trying to get the band to come to Taos for years. This is the group’s first show here. Opening the show will be Dams of the West, the side solo project of Vampire Weekend drummer Chris Tomson.

Henderson said he is pleased with the response by the Taos community to the idea of Nonprofit Fest. More than 20 nonprofit groups are planning to participate. Additional nonprofit groups are welcome to join in, Henderson said. Interested organizations can contact Henderson directly at (575) 770-2467.

“I am proud to say it certainly is an interesting mix of all the fronts in our community — youth, arts, elderly, education, health care, sports and the environment,” Henderson said.

The list of local organizations include: Amigos Bravos, Arroyo Seco Live, Cancer Support Services, Children’s Trust Fund, DreamTree Project, Ensuenos Y Los Angelitos, Mountain Home Health Care, Non-Violence Works, Not Forgotten Outreach, Rivers and Birds, Stray Hearts, Taos Art Museum at Fechin House, Taos Arts Council, Taos Education and Career Center, Taos Fall Arts, Taos Land Trust, Taos Swim Club, Taos Youth Hockey, Taos Youth Music School, The Bridges Project and Twirl.

“I really had no idea what to expect when we hatched this idea, but getting many area nonprofits in one place at the same time should reap benefits for Taos,” Henderson said. “Awareness is the first step for working on the challenges in our community and it’s going to take all of us working together to make Taos a better place, particularly given the national and state political climates.”

For more information, call the venue at (575) 758-1900 or visit taosmesabrewing.com.

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