Baracutanga plays South American music.

Socorro Sessions goes international for the next drive-in social distance concert. The concert looks south of the border to feature the traditional music of the Latin Americas and contemporary sounds based upon the Latina tradition.

The concert is scheduled for Saturday, May 1 from 1- 6 p.m.

Socorro Sessions is NM Tech’s Performing Arts Series’ answer to providing live music during the COVID-19 pandemic. And while previous sessions have featured only local bands, this concert brings in groups with international acclaim as well as the ever-popular local band The Murillos.

Like the rest of the Socorro Sessions, the concert will be, ala COVID-19 style, under the solar-paneled parking lot at Macey Center, complete with an onsite food truck for delivering orders to your car.

Nina Tolentino is backed by Mariachi Alma Nuevo Mexico (above).

Attendees must RSVP for a parking space online at nmt.edu/pas or emailing pas@nmt.edu.

The concert will also be streamed on Facebook, YouTube and Twitch.

Starting the afternoon will be Nina Tolentino, backed by Mariachi Alma Nuevo Mexico. Nina Tolentino’s musical career began in a Cinderella-like way leading to an array of musical and acting roles and awards.

Born in Mexico, Nina became a chauffeur for a woman she calls Tia Maria who, through connections, introduced her to Ferrusquilla – a famous Mexican singer, actor and composer. After performing with him for two years, Nina went solo and enjoyed international success. She is included in RCA’s 100 Años de Musica.

Nina made frequent appearances on “Hoy Mismo,” and the hit show “Siempre en Domingo.” She was awarded Best Actress for her portrayal of Lucha Reyes, the mother of ranching music, in the film “Mariachi.” Her fiery heart and sultry voice earned her the title La Dama Romántica de Mexico. Her backing band is Mariachi Alma Nuevo Mexico, a traditional mariachi group made up of 5 members: 2 trumpets, 1 violin, a guitarron and vihuela.

Next up will be The Murillos, the musical family of three generations steeped in local and Latino musical history.  A perennial local favorite, the Murillos have played in two previous online Socorro Sessions concerts.

Varying combinations of the Murillo family have been playing together for years, according to Richard Murillo, who says, “Any time anyone needs us, we play. We enjoy playing together as a family.”

The Murillos have played in two previous online Socorro Sessions concerts

Daughter Tori Murillo is lead singer. She is joined by brothers George and Patrick, with Patrick’s son Matthew. Lefty Gonzales plays drums. As many in Socorro know, you’ll be wanting to dance when they start playing their wide variety of Spanish favorites, classic rock, country and new sounds.  Playing outdoors gives concertgoers the chance to enjoy their music socially and the band a chance to enjoy the ambiance of a live audience.

The afternoon concert culminates with the sounds of Baracutanga, a seven-piece band whose international roots compel them to “build bridges between the south and the north, overcoming the barriers of discrimination.”

According to their website.,“…the group finds common ground in creating songs (which) cross-linguistic and cultural barriers, promoting intercultural experiences that empower Latinos with a positive message of self-affirmation. They fervently oppose all types of violence and conceive their music as a vessel to increase and acknowledge cultural pluralism.”

With numerous local and state musical awards, Baracutanga is gaining regional acclaim. One of their videos is dedicated to all those who leave their homelands in search of the freedoms and opportunities of the U.S.A.., as wells as all the hazards associated with that trip, especially for women and children.

Meanwhile, Baracutanga’s concerts are joyous, intense and explosive with fronting duties split between powerful Peruvian songstress Jackie Zamora and the band’s exuberant beating heart, Bolivian multi-instrumentalist Kilko Paz, the son of famed Bolivian activist Silvia Rivera Cusicanqui.

Added magic comes from extraordinary Ecuadorian multi-instrumentalist Carlos Noboa.

The group is rounded out by an extremely talented and inventive cast performing on guitars, horns, flutes, accordions, vibes, an array of percussion and all manner of string instruments.

To attend, RSVP for your space at the drive-in concert by emailing pas@nmt.edu or the RSVP form that can be downloaded thru the website nmt.edu/pas.

The concert is sponsored by WESTAF, National Endowment for the Arts, Nusenda Credit Union, Positive Outcomes, A-1 Quality Redi Mix, EMRTC, Presbyterian and Gerry Vandenberg

Ronna Kalish, Performing Arts Series