February is For the Love of Art Month is Las Cruces, but the Rio Grande Theatre is the home to both visual and performing arts every month. Check out the listings below to find just the right way for you to celebrate this month of art appreciation.
Tuesday, February 2, 630 p.m.: Every Other Tuesday: Jazzman Ross
Ross “Skip” LeCompte has been performing on the trumpet and as a jazz vocalist for more than 60 years, performing with various jazz, dance and show venues throughout the U.S. and Europe. LeCompte has backed vocalists such as Sammy Davis, Jr., Frank Sinatra, Jimmy “Mr. Five by Five” Rushing and Mel Torme, has been a featured trumpeter/mellophonist/flugelhornist with the bands of Cozy Cole, Tony Parente’s Dixie Allstars, and Don Ellis Big Band and was a member of the Merv Griffin Show Band under the direction of Mort Lindsay. LeCompte and his wife, Alta, relocated to Las Cruces in 2011 from Virginia, where he produced and directed the Jazz by the Lake Festival in Clarksville for 10 years. Locally, he has been experimenting with performing as a single, with prerecorded background music, and is a board member of the Mesilla Valley Jazz and Blues Society. Every Other Tuesday is a Doña Ana Arts Council program that showcases local performers beginning promptly at 6:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.
Friday, February 5, 5 to 7 p.m.: Artist Reception for February
The regular monthly artists’ reception, taking place in the El Paso Electric Gallery from 5 to 7 p.m. during the First Friday Downtown ArtRamble, will feature work by Steve McLellan. McLellan was born in El Paso and has been a resident of New Mexico for 20 years. His interest in art developed at an early age and was greatly influenced by his father, who was a sign painter and his grandfather, a taxidermist who frequently modeled items in clay or plaster. McLellan has been painting for about 30 years and considers himself self-taught, relying heavily on intuition and personal introspection when he paints.
McLellan paints and draws in various mediums, using acrylic paints most often. The majority of the pieces that he has selected for the El Paso Electric Gallery exhibit depict New Mexico’s diverse culture and geography. His goal is to capture time, season and the unique light here in the Southwest.
Saturday, February 13, 7:30 p.m.: New Mexico Heritage Series: Josh Grider
As part of the continuing New Mexico Heritage Series, country singer-songwriter Josh Grider returns home to perform at the historic Rio Grande Theatre. Nearly one year to the day since his sellout performance benefiting the Doña Ana Arts Council, Grider teams up with the council for another Valentine’s Day-weekend show. This year, he’ll perform a more intimate, acoustic-based set. Joining him onstage will be his colleague, collaborator and producer Bobby Hamrick, as well as his wife, Kristi Grider. Expect the evening to include some of Grider’s hits that have recently pushed him toward the top of the Texas Country Music charts. You can also expect to hear new songs from Grider’s recent collaboration with fellow Las Crucen and film director Ross Marks for the soundtrack to an upcoming film based on the Mark Medoff play The Heart Outright.
Doors open at 7 p.m., show starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $32 for main floor reserved seats; $22 for balcony reserved seats (all fees included). $10 student rush tickets (with valid student ID) for balcony seating will be available 10 minutes before show time.
Tuesday, February 16, 6:30 p.m.: Every Other Tuesday: Bruce Carlson
Bruce Carlson’s music is a laid-back blend of originals and cover songs with an Americana style — folk music played on acoustic guitars. His songs are about love, life and landscapes. One of his songs, Soldiers Lie at Rest, was selected for a Nashville project called This Is My America. Locally, Carlson has performed at the Rio Grande Theatre, Music in the Park, Leasburg Dam Music under the Stars, The Las Cruces Arts & Crafts Show, Cowboy Days, St. Paul’s United Methodist Church Music series and at the Durango, Colorado, Cowboy Poetry Gathering. Every Other Tuesday is a Doña Ana Arts Council program that showcases local performers beginning promptly at 6:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.
Friday, February 19, 7:30 p.m.: La Rondella de Albuquerque: “Viva La Cultura”
The Doña Ana Arts Council and Santa Fe’s Spanish Colonial Arts Society come together for Viva La Cultura, an evening of music with La Rondella de Albuquerque. La Rondella de Albuquerque is a vocal and instrumental ensemble making music from New Mexico, Mexico and Latin America come alive with harp, guitar, guitarrón, vihuela, jarana, mandolin, manjo-uke (mandolin, banjo and ukulele) and voice, under the musical direction of Otilio Ruiz de Xalapa of Veracruz, Mexico. Doors open at 7 p.m., show starts at 7:30 p.m. All tickets are $10 reserved seating, including all fees.
Sunday, February 21, 6 p.m., Variety Series: Judy Collins
The Doña Ana Arts Council continues its 2015–16 Variety Series with renowned singersongwriter Judy Collins. Collins has inspired audiences with sublime vocals, boldly vulnerable personal life triumphs and a firm commitment to social activism. In the 1960s, Collins evoked both the idealism and steely determination of a generation united against social and environmental injustices. Five decades later, her luminescent presence shines brightly as new generations bask in the glow of her iconic 50-album body of work, and heed inspiration from her spiritual discipline to thrive in the music industry for half a century. Doors open at 5:30 p.m., show time is 6 p.m. Tickets are $42.50 for main floor reserved seats; $32 for balcony reserved seats; includes all fees.
Saturday, February 27, 7 and 9:30 p.m.: Friends of Bob and Tom Show Comedy Tour
Join the funny friends of nationally syndicated hit radio program The Bob and Tom Show. More than five million listeners daily tune in to Bob Kevoin, Tom Griswold and company broadcasting their comedy variety show direct from the 86th floor of the Friggemall complex in Indianapolis, Indiana. Popular comics from the show — as heard locally on 98.7 FM Classic Hits — perform live at the Rio Grande Theatre for one night only. Spotlighting some of Bob and Tom’s favorite comedians, the lineup features Jeff Dye, Dave Dyer, Greg Hahn, and Costaki Economopoulos.
The first show begins at 7 p.m., with a second show at 9:30 p.m. Doors open 30 minutes before show time. Tickets are $33 for the first eight rows on the main floor reserved seats; $28 for the back main floor and balcony reserved seats (all fees included). This show is recommended for those 18 years old and older.
The Rio Grande Theatre is located at 211 N. Main Street. For more information, visit RioGrandeTheatre.com or call 523-6403.