A musician is lit up with the sunset on an amphitheater stage with a large crowd.

Live Music in Taos Abounds

Hot Fun in the Summertime!

- | 5 min read

Most people know Taos for its reputation in the visual arts, but it’s not only visual artists who flock to this area, but musicians too. The local live music scene in Taos is thriving. Collaboration among peers, varied venues and multiple local music series makes this summer look like a hot one for live music fans.

Venue with a View

Originally opened in 2012 as the first location of Taos Mesa Brewing, “The Mothership” has earned a reputation as the best outdoor music venue (and best brewery) in Taos. It’s situated on the expanse of the Taos Mesa as you head northwest out of town towards to Rio Grande Gorge Bridge. The Mothership is the hub of the brewery operation and even includes a canning line, which you can see from the bar seating. Outside there’s ample seating under the covered patio with a sweeping view of Taos and Vallecito mountains. Two live music stages flank the large outdoor space. They’re equipped to handle larger touring bands in the amphitheater or smaller, local bands on the more intimate patio stage.

An expansive sky of wispy clouds and warm glow of sunset behind an industrial style outdoor patio filled with bar patrons.

This summer will feature a series of free shows, dubbed “Enchanted Evenings”. The event series was made in collaboration with The New Mexico Music Commission and Lensic360 out of Santa Fe. “Enchanted Evenings” blends local acts from around New Mexico and further afield, bringing in artists like the B-Side Players from San Diego and La Dame Blanche from Paris. For local band, Desert Prose (playing Saturday, June 29th), playing at Taos Mesa Brewing is a favorite.

A woman wearing a black leather jacket and black jeans fronts a band playing an electric guitar.

Front-woman and songwriter, Marisa Ireland, puts it like this, “I love playing TMB because it feels like a big, creative family. We love collaborating with the many talented Taos musicians in such a gorgeous and relaxed setting. It’s great to see all of our friends along with new faces!”.

Check out the full line-up of Enchanted Evenings free summer music series.

Bringing Culture to the Music

Ricky Carlini is no stranger to Taos Ski Valley. That’s why we love his new venture so much. DALEEE at KTAOS Solar Center is a recharge of Taos’s backyard, a community hub with volleyball, live music and more that fell by the wayside during the pandemic. Dale means “bring it” or “give it the gas” in Spanish. And boy, is it brought BACK!

Two pints of beer sit foreground in the grass with an outdoor volleyball game in the background.

Ricky came to Taos and started working at TAOS ski resort more than 11 years ago. “When I was young I would go ski in the nearest ski town to me in Argentina, which was like on the opposite side of the country,” says Ricky. “I grew up in the east and the mountains are the west. I always dreamed about finding a place to spend the whole season, and then someone told me about the J1 program [in Taos].” He reminisces, “I always felt like the mountain called me, I didn’t find the mountain. Actually, I was headed to upstate New York and didn’t get the job. Then I just fell in love with it here.”

A man smiles and laughs at the end of a crowded bar.

Working almost 12 seasons at TSV, from trail grooming to the counter at the on-slope Whistlestop Café, gave him a lot of opportunity to make connections with the locals. He was playing drums with multiple bands and then started organizing shows like his “Latin Go” series. Having his own venue was the logical next step, it was just a matter of timing.

“I had great memories when this place was in its heyday then – volleyball, ladies night which they used to do every Thursday.” Then he thought, “…Taos is missing this, and let’s try to do it where we focus on embracing our diverse community and cultures. I always thought that music is powerful, and it can connect people and as multicultural as Taos is, it can play a role and bringing them together.”

1st Anniversary

DALEEE opened July 2 of last year. Events including volleyball, marquee concerts and one-off festivals like June’s Chile Cookout to benefit local culinary students, happen on a weekly rotation, Wednesday through Sunday. With its first anniversary on the horizon, there is a lot going on. They just opened up Mondays for the first time, with a solid anchor: Off the Cuff with Jimmy Stadler. The event is a throwback of sorts, too. Jimmy started this series in 2015 until 2020’s events put the kibosh on it. It’s back and better than ever too, in its new home, The Pavilion. Off the Cuff is recorded live for radio with a studio audience. With DJ Paddy Mac as emcee, participation is encouraged. Each week Jimmy invites a new local guest musician to riff with him covering a new artist’s repertoire.

A silhouetted couple dance in front of a band on stage.

Other concerts to look forward to during its first full summer open? Grupo Mezcal for Fiestas de Taos on July 20, Israel Vibration on August 26, and Max Gomez on August 31.

The Hills Are Alive

Taos Ski Valley’s summer music series continues with an all new line up. It’ll have you flocking to the mountains for fresh air and cool sounds. Bands will be playing on Saturday afternoons throughout the summer.

A band plays outdoors under a white tent.

Find artists set up in the upper and lower village plazas, grab some food and drink and chill with the friends and family. You’ll be in good company with Chris Arellano, Chicken Sedan, Shannon & Southern Soul, Jeremiah Glauser, and more!

Community Space

If you happen to find yourself in Taos on a Thursday evening this summer, head over to the Taos Plaza. Originally founded in 1796, the Plaza was once a fortified and walled village center in the late 18th century. It’s now an open space community hub. Every Thursday night in the summer months the Town hosts ‘Taos Plaza Live’. Local bands take to the stage in the gazebo on the far end of the Plaza. Meanwhile, people lay out blankets and set up camp chairs in the shade of large cottonwoods to enjoy the show. The bricked part of the Plaza becomes an impromptu dance floor, while friends chat and lounge in the grass.

FOMO

Find all upcoming shows and other fun events at our up-to-the-minute events calendar or in our mobile-friendly, interactive visitor guide.

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