First-time visitors to Albuquerque may be surprised at the prevalence of live music performances and venues, but they shouldn’t be. Music has been an integral part of Albuquerque’s culture for centuries. As a form of sharing and storytelling, music is tightly interwoven in both Native American and Hispanic traditions. Together, these musical traditions play an important role in Albuquerque’s distinctly blended culture.
The sounds of traditional pueblo music contribute a unique beat to the sounds of Albuquerque. Considered a form of poetry, the pulse of the beating drum intermingled with flute and ceremonial chanting in tribal tongues are sounds that can be heard throughout Native American music and dances.
To experience indigenous music in person, head to the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center for one of their weekly summer performances.
From flamenco to mariachi and even salsa music, Hispanic and Latin rhythms permeate the musical landscape in Albuquerque. The Spanish guitar, maracas, and bongo drums are sure to have you up and dancing in no time.
For more information on the history of music in New Mexico, click here.
To experience the unique rhythm of Albuquerque, exploring our vibrant live music scene is a must. The city boasts a wide variety of local bands as well as many outdoor venues that are open year-round, thanks to our 310 days of sunshine. We also have the capacity to host national headliners and world-renowned musicians. Some of our distinct venues include:
Local ticketing services include AMP and Hold My Ticket.
Throughout the year, Albuquerque is home to a variety of renowned musical events. From summer music on the green lawns of the ABQ Zoo and Botanic Gardens to the Latin Dance Festival at the National Hispanic Cultural Center and weekly Native dances at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, we have something to satisfy all musical tastes.
Below are several signature live music events, but please see our ABQ365 events calendar for a comprehensive list and updated event details.
Explore ethnic, folk, and indigenous beats from international artists at this annual event at the National Hispanic Cultural Center.
Enjoy bluegrass, swing, and acoustic genres every July at the Wildlife West Nature Park.
Celebrate our nation’s independence with live music, free admission, and fireworks under the stars at Balloon Fiesta Park.
Tap your foot to some sassy jazz at the Albuquerque Museum.
Celebrate Latin music and dance at this annual event held at the National Hispanic Cultural Center.
Experience mariachi music at its best.
From salsa to jazz to bluegrass, you won’t be able to resist the vibrant sounds at the outdoor amphitheater at the Albuquerque Museum.
The City of Albuquerque organizes multiple street festivals throughout the summer months in different neighborhoods throughout Albuquerque. You can experience Summerfest in the Heights, Downtown, along Route 66, or on the Westside.
Enjoy local and regional talent at the beautiful Botanic Gardens every Thursday night from June through August.
Bring your lawn chair and relax in the grass at the ABQ BioPark Zoo from June through August annually.