2020 Platinum Music Awards information soon
As you can imagine, with our honorees covering a wide variety of musical styles our list of performers is an eclectic roster of the best that New Mexico has to offer.
Here are our Performers
Joe West - Master of Ceremonies
This is Joe’s third year as our master of ceremonies and music director.
Joe West is an award-winning songwriter and performer who tours extensively throughout the United States and Europe, sharing the stage with the likes of Peter Rowan, Arlo Guthrie, and Violent Femmes. He has created 9 full length CDs of original music and several music videos.
Most recently Joe returned to his theatrical roots to produce THE THEATER OF DEATH; a theater company that performs Joe’s original dark horror/comedies with original live music. He is also a regular performer at the Santa Fe Bandstand and at venues around Santa Fe and beyond.
Joe West and Friends - House Band
Also in their third year with the PMA’s, this is one of Santa Fe’s most versatile and respected ensembles, and the backing band for the great Joe West.
The band features Timbo Arnold - guitar, vocals, Margaret Burke - bass, vocals, Karina Wilson - fiddle, vocals, Arne Bey - Drums.
NM School for the Arts Jazz Ensemble
The New Mexico School for the Arts Jazz Ensemble was originally conceived as a passion project by New Mexico jazz luminaries John Trentacosta and Bert Dalton to introduce jazz stylings to the music program at NMSA.
Now in its sixth year, the NMSA Jazz Ensemble is widely recognized as a trailblazing group known for eclectic programming, innovative instrumentation, and fresh reinventions of classic jazz repertoire. The NMSA Jazz program is now an integral part of the track-based music curriculum for grades 11 and 12, alongside instrumental performance, voice, and composition.
National Dance Institute Dancers
2017 Platinum Music Awards recipient Catherine Oppenheimer, formerly of NYC Ballet and Twyla Tharp Dance Company, founded National Dance Institute New Mexico in 1994.
Over the last twenty-five years, NDI New Mexico has grown from serving 100 children in one school to reaching almost 8,500 children annually through in-school, after-school, summer, and advanced training classes in communities across the state. NDI’s kinesthetic teaching methodology was developed by former NYC Ballet dancer Jacques d’Amboise, who founded NDI in New York City in 1976.
New Mexico Performing Arts Society
NM Performing Arts Society presents works that are rooted in the world’s great artistic traditions to audiences in New Mexico. Their performers are accomplished professional musicians who live in New Mexico.
NMPAS presents The Chapel Series at Immaculate Heart, The New Mexico Bach Society, and Santa Fe Flute Immersion, an international flute and performance skills masterclass with outstanding teachers and innovative workshops, in the relaxed setting of the Immaculate Heart Retreat Center in Santa Fe.
Twelve-year-old Kayden Kelly has been playing piano since he was five and a violinist of the Santa Fe Youth Symphony program since he was eight. He is a prizewinner in piano competitions in New Mexico and internationally. Kayden has attended summer festivals at Juilliard Summer Performance Arts in Switzerland, Curtis Summerfest, Alion Baltic Music Festival in Latvia, Lindlar Music Festival in Germany, and the Mozartium in Austria.
He has performed in local theaters with the Performance Santa Fe EPIK program as well as abroad at the Costa Rican National Theater. Kayden, a student at the Albuquerque Academy, was nominated for the Music Commission’s Student Spotlight by Dr. Jacquelyn Helin.
Chuy Martinez and Otilio Ruiz
Chuy Martinez is a guitarist, vocalist and folklorist who performs throughout New Mexico. His music is about the rich, decades-long exchange of musical ideas between the Americas: the ballad, from Spain and Mexico; the cumbia, of Caribbean African and Indian roots; and nueva cancion (new song), a music of social struggle influenced by U.S. labor and protest songs.
Otilio Ruiz (harp, violin, requinto, vocals) grew up with his grandmother in Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico and started playing at age 13. He studied at the Music Conservatory in Xalapa and went on to tour the world with internationally renowned groups. Ruiz teaches at Coronado Elementary School, in Albuquerque, and is music director of La Rondalla de Albuquerque.
Photo Credit: Jon Adjahoe
Belling the Cat
After organizing a series of benefit concerts for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and The Santa Fe Dreamers Project, Brian Hardgroove (formerly of Public Enemy) approached fellow Santa Feans Jono Manson and John Kurzweg, along with multi-instrumentalist Stephen Peace from Albuquerque, to create a band with the diversity of musical influences to create “something musically interesting and culturally useful.”
At an early age, Gallup native Antonio Reyna was introduced to Mariachi music by his mom and dad and Lola Beltrán, “La Grande” by way of her television show, “En El Estudio de Lola Beltrán.”
In 2003, he was awarded the New Mexico Hispano Music Association’s “Male Vocalist of the Year,” “Ranchera Song of the Year” and “Upcoming Artist of the Year.” 2003 also marked the year the “Noche De Recuerdos con Antonio Reyna” show debuted, which is now in its 9th season.
A native of Hobbs, New Mexico, Hillary Smith first made her mark in the ’80s with gutsy performances of rockin’ blues and funk, and she’s fronted a number of popular bands in the Albuquerque/Santa Fe area over the years.
With a deep soulfulness rooted in the Gospel-driven churches of her youth, and a classically trained vocal instrument that’s a natural wonder, Hillary has been electrifying audiences across the United States.
A recent graduate of Washington National Opera’s Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program, a program of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Soloman Howard garners high praise from the press for his vivid performances on the great opera and concert stages of the world. Soloman Howard’s voice is described as “sonorous” by The New York Times, “superhuman” by The Denver Post, and “a triumph” by The Guardian.
Soloman Howard’s 2018-19 season features performances at the Metropolitan Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Santa Fe Opera, and to the Washington National. He makes a Canadian operatic debut on the stage of Opéra de Montréal in Das Rheingold and an international tour of Semele with Harry Bicket leading The English Concert.
The Anti-Defamation League presented Soloman Howard with their “Making a Difference Award” in the summer of 2016 for raising awareness of voting rights though his performances of Appomattox at the Kennedy Center; and for bringing opera into the larger community. Soloman Howard is a proud graduate of the Manhattan School of Music and of Morgan State University.
Benito Concha of Taos Pueblo was a featured performer at the inaugural Platinum Music Awards show in 2017. He has traveled internationally sharing and performing music comprised of traditional woodwind instrumentation and Taos Pueblo style drums.
Benito’s unique drumming has been culturally recognized on his performances with Robbie Robertson, Tito Puente, Max Roach and many others.
Photo Credit: Daniel Quat
Say Santos & Myrrhine Rosemary
Based out of Austin, Texas, Zay Santos has been able to transform and re-create himself time and time again through music. Since his debut in 2007 Zay Santos has played the best venues with the greatest musicians that rock’n’roll has to offer.
Known for his straight-ahead blues rock style and creative original music, Zay is the real deal. In a recent review it was noted “He is constantly trying to achieve more and outdo himself both professionally and musically. He never stays still'.”
Myrrhine Rosemary will be featured with Zay Santos. She is known as one of Santa Fe’s most expressive blues singers and vocalist extraordinaire.