Laura Bulkin

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In the past year and a half, while live performances were suspended, the Taos Chamber Music Group has been far from dormant. They launched a commissioning project that has resulted in three brand new pieces of music. "COVID Commissions," written for TCMG during 2020-21, reflect the time in which they were composed as well as personal connections nurtured between composers and performers.

This Saturday (June 19), beginning at 7 p.m., the Taos Center for the Arts will co-present the performance of all three new works as well as...

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This Friday, June 18, at 6 p.m., there will be a live performance by Laguna Munta at Heads Up Music (216 Paseo del Pueblo Norte, Suite C). The event will celebrate the long-anticipated release of the concept album, “Chuck.”

Kristopher Messick (aka Laguna Munta), the composer-lyricist-producer behind “Chuck,” is the first to credit collaboration for bringing the project to fruition. In addition to Messick’s original music, the album features the voice-acting gifts of talented locals Michelle Moore, Michelle Messick, Johnny Messick, Jake Concha, Dean Montavon, Caroll Oden, Athena Davies, and Messick’s girlfriend of over a decade, Myste Smith.

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There is a name that keeps coming up among musicians if you're looking to fill any role in your rhythm section -- drums, bass, guitar, keyboards -- or if you're looking to tweak your sound or get your tunes engineered and recorded. That name is Harlan Tafoya-Kesson.

Looking at his below-the-shoulder dreads and Jah shirt, you might categorize him as a mountain reggae guy and imagine that's all he's about. You would be mistaken. There is hardly a genre of music that Tafoya-Kesson hasn't explored, and he is still in his 20s.

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Musician, actor and educator Rosalie Ziccarello -- known to her students as "Ms. Roe" and to everyone else simply as Roe -- looks remarkably young to have lived as much life as she has. She and her husband, popular drummer Thomas, moved here from Atlanta, Georgia, 17 years ago. They celebrated 38 years of marriage this April.

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Last Friday, April 30, was International Jazz Day. It was celebrated around the world with events ranging from small at-home gatherings to a live-webcast concert featuring Herbie Hancock and a stellar array of intercontinental guests.

Here in Taos, the Taos Jazz Bebop Society marked the day with an innovative live drive-in concert. The Doug Lawrence Quartet performed at the Taos Community Auditorium's back lot for fans in their cars.

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Between the two of them, this couple paints (both canvas and houses), farms vegetables, makes pottery, takes gorgeous photos, designs coloring books and comic books, and writes novels. They are also better known as two of our most loved musicians, with a record of longevity going back in Taos through Bone Orchard, Kim and the Caballeros, Burning Joan and more.

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As we have adjusted over this past year to a new way of life, with vastly more of us working from our homes, home office remodeling trends have leapt to keep pace. Experts suggest putting more of your remodeling dollars toward sprucing up the home office. Bob Orner has been building in Taos for nearly half a century. His company, Up Front Constructions, recently completed a two-year job building out the top two floors of the Blake Hotel in the Taos Ski Valley. He spoke with us about doing business during the pandemic, sources of inspiration and how the long quarantine has brought the home office remodel to the forefront.

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Twirl turns 14 today, April 1. It’s hard to imagine Taos without it. Twirl is a vibrant play space; a point of connection for families, schools and community organizations; and the source of a constantly evolving curriculum of creative learning, as well as a wonderful toy store.

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Realtor Robbie Puskarich arrived in Taos as do so many of our most passionate citizens: by chance, or perhaps by destiny. After bouncing between Texas and Florida, his partner, artist Chris Sullivan, went out west to find them a new home. They were expecting to end up in Palm Springs. Instead, Sullivan got as far as New Mexico, sent for Puskarich, and the two happily settled here.

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Taos has long been known as a town that provides a haven for those who have made their mark on the world and are seeking a simpler, more low-key life: a place where they can feel free to pursue their other interests, away from the glare of paparazzi and the pressures of fame.

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