Artists Educators news showcase

Felberg, Leonard

Leonard Felberg ~ Albuquerque

Leonard “Lenny” Felberg (1931-2018), Professor Emeritus at University of New Mexico, esteemed violinist, and internationally known violin pedagogue was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., October 1, 1931 to Russian immigrants, Esther and Philip Felberg. Lenny loved his Brooklyn childhood. He remembered riding the New York subway trains all night on a single ten-cent token, eating favorite knishes at Katz’s Deli, playing stickball in the street and going to Coney Island on hot summer days. He began violin studies at the age of nine and often attended Carnegie Hall concerts, where he was introduced to performances by the great violin masters of the early 20th c. “golden” period. Stickball gave way to practicing, but he still insisted his father carry the violin on the way to lessons, so the other kids wouldn’t tease him.

After receiving B.Mus. and M.Mus. degrees from Yale University, where he studied with Joseph Fuchs and was awarded the distinguished Horatio Parker Fellowship, Lenny joined the 7th Army Symphony, where he was featured soloist performing the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto on tours of France, Germany, Luxembourg and the British Isles. After Army service, he was accepted into one of the world’s leading orchestras, The Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam, serving under legendary conductor Eduard Van Beinum for 3 years.

Returning to the U.S., he began Doctoral studies in Violin Performance and Pedagogy at Indiana University, simultaneously accepting a violin professorship at the University of Georgia. At I.U. he studied with Daniel Guilet, and was mentored by renowned violinist/teacher, Josef Gingold and cellist Janos Starker, with whom he studied chamber music. Prof. Gingold was instrumental in bringing him to perform at the June Music Festival in the summer of 1965, where he became acquainted with New Mexico, his future home. While at I.U., he met and married fellow Doctoral student in Piano Performance, Arlette Zendmeer. The couple joined the faculty of the University of Toledo, during which he performed summers with the Berkshire Quartet, taught at Syracuse University and, as violinist of the Toledo String Quartet, won a medal at the Geneva International Competition.

The Felbergs moved to Albuquerque when he was offered the Violin Professorship at The University of New Mexico. With the formation of The Seraphin Trio came a period of intense concert productivity as well as teaching and performing workshops; he gave master classes throughout the U.S. and Brazil and accepted the post of Concertmaster of The Santa Fe Symphony for 25 years. He appeared as soloist with orchestras throughout the southwestern United States; in chamber concerts, in music festivals and symposiums all over Mexico and New Mexico. He is a 1992 recipient of the “Artist of the Year” Bravos Award, performed for most of his career on a 1740 Stradivarius violin and was known for his warm, rich tone, as well as his flair and virtuosity.

Prof. Felberg has had a revered, distinguished teaching career, and a large diversity of students came to him from all over the world in search of his enormous pedagogical knowledge, disciplined, analytical and innovative technical solutions, and his creative approach towards fingering, which many students now guard sacredly. He taught with great humility and conscience, and was patient and kind in the studio. He influenced and inspired, and many of his students have gone on to careers in major orchestras, major conservatories and universities all over the world, to careers as soloists, chamber musicians, and mentors to the next generation of violinists.

Lenny lived a full, rich life with meaning, he adored his family, his numerous lifelong friends and his students, and had an unrivaled sense of humor, punctuated by his raucous laugh right before the punchline. He loved opera, world travel, reading history books, golf (where he shot a hole-in-one on two separate occasions) and, above all, he worshiped anything to do with his instrument.

source: Albuquerque Journal, from Mr. Felberg’s obituary published November 25, 2018.

No copyright is claimed in the above creative examples and to the extent that material may appear to be infringed, the New Mexico Music Commission asserts that such alleged infringement is permissible under fair use principles in U.S. copyright laws. If you believe these materials have been used in an unauthorized manner, please contact us.

Artists Governor's Arts Awards news showcase

Grusin, Dave

Dave Grusin ~ Santa Fe

Dave Grusin has written the music and composed the theme songs for over twenty network television shows including “Maude”, “St. Elsewhere” and “Good Times”.  Dave was nominated for eight Academy Awards, winning one Oscar for “The Milagro Beanfield War“.  His other nominated films include, “The Champ”, “Tootsie”, “On Golden Pond,” “Heaven Can Wait,” “The Firm”, “The Fabulous Baker Boys” and “Havana.”  He was the co-founder of GRP Records, the groundbreaking jazz label that was nominated for eighty Grammy Awards.  Dave himself was nominated for thirty-eight Grammys and he won ten. Grusin has scored more than sixty Feature Films and been involved as a producer, composer and pianist on over one hundred record albums.

above: Dave Grusin : Not Enough Time is a Feature Length Documentary Film about the adventure-filled life and extraordinary career of composer, pianist and arranger, Dave Grusin. Over the past 60 years, Dave has been nominated for thirty-eight Grammy Awards, eight Academy Awards, four Golden Globe Awards and one Emmy Award along with many other achievements. Grusin was also a co-founder of GRP Records, the best-selling jazz label for five consecutive years. His forward-thinking partnership with Larry Rosen had a monumental impact on the record industry. They set a standard for digital recording fidelity and became notorious for the “Grusin-Rosen Sound.” As a composer, producer and arranger, Dave Grusin is one of the most prolific American musicians of the last century.

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No copyright is claimed in the above creative examples and to the extent that material may appear to be infringed, the New Mexico Music Commission asserts that such alleged infringement is permissible under fair use principles in U.S. copyright laws. If you believe these materials have been used in an unauthorized manner, please contact us.


2020 – Albuquerque – Shawn Brooks

Songs About New Mexico: Albuquerque

written by Shawn Brooks Keihne and Daniel Solis, performed by Shawn Brooks

New Mexico-based Shawn Brooks Kiehne has enjoyed singing for more than two decades. He’s embarked on an unusual career path, becoming “El Gringo,” the first (and perhaps only) Anglo to perform genuine norteño/banda music. Brooks wrote Albuquerque with songwriting partner, Daniel Solis, in 2020. El Gringo’s albums are available via digital delivery systems like iTunes and Amazon, and samples of his work can be heard at MySpace.



1991 – Portales – Ray Wylie Hubbard

Songs About New Mexico: Portales

written and performed by Ray Wylie Hubbard (1991)

Portales is track number seven on Hubbard’s album Lost Train of Thought released 1991. Hubbard is a legendary Texas singer/songwriter, born in Oklahoma, whose tough but literate music ranges from personal introspection to rowdy barroom anthems. In his younger years, Hubbard spent the summers in Red River playing folk music in a trio known as Three Faces West.

This song was submitted to the Songs About New Mexico list by Ryan Kaczmarek from Chicago and currently stationed at Fort Bliss in Texas. Ryan shared, “For some reason that I cannot pinpoint, I am very fond of New Mexico. It really is the Land Of Enchantment. I have yet to find another state like yours and I have been to 35 so far.”


North of Portales above the Cap Rock Plain
Just looking out a window wishing for rain
I found her sleeping in a haystack
I left her dreaming and I’ve never been back

You’re still hand woven love song sadness
It’s all I’ll ever sing for you
Morning love sighs madness
It’s all I’ll ever bring to you

She was the woman she was 25
Nice to look at so glad to be alive
She was in love it no good I could not see
When she said her prayers she said one for me

You’re still hand woven love song sadness.

There was times in the winter when I would burn coal
I was tired afraid of growing old
Then she gived to me this old ring that was cast in sand
She says I know you’re leaving love me while you can

Just give hand woven love song sadness.

Writer: Ray Wylie Hubbard
showcase Songs

1975 – Clovis, New Mexico ~ Hank Williams, Jr.

Songs About New Mexico: Clovis, New Mexico

written and performed by Hank Williams, Jr. (1975)

Hank Williams Jr. tells the story of his 700-mile Southwestern odyssey in a 1975 song called “Clovis New Mexico.” Williams recounts how he and his bronc-riding pal, Billy, head out on a very-low-budget adventure that takes them from Bossier City, La., to Abilene, Tex., and finally to Clovis, N.M., where Williams is smitten by a black-haired beauty with green eyes — who just happens to be the local purveyor of silver and turquoise jewelry.

Clovis, New Mexico is the 6th song on the album “Hank Williams Jr. & Friends” which is Hank’s twenty-sixth studio album. It’s Williams’ breakthrough album featuring a transition toward country rock and Williams’ own unique style. The album was issued by MGM Records as number M3G5009 and was later reissued by Polydor Record as number 831 575-4 Y-1. The album was also reissued on CD in 2000 by Mercury Records, a division of UMG Recordings, Inc.


Well me and Billy, we left Boulder City
Decided that we’d head out west
We’ve been east and south but it didn’t workout
We were getting’ nowhere fast
Me with my guitar and him with his saddle
Tryin’ to out do the rest
I sang my heart out and he rides them broncs now
And that’s what me and Billy do best
We took ‘Interstate 20′ ’til we ran out of money
In a place just past Abilene
So I sang at a honky-tonk and he broke the bad bronc
And we bought some gas and some beans
With a whole lot of luck and an old pickup truck
We made it to New Mexico
We pulled up in Clovis and I sure didn’t know this
Was as far as I ever would go
I needed some strings, Billy wanted a ring
The kind that the Indians made
A voice said, ? Hello boys, I’ve got silver and turquoise
And that’s when I saw her face?
That’s when I noticed that girl down in Clovis
A black haired beauty, she set a fire to me
A green eyed lady in old jeans that were faded
No, I didn’t notice what happened in Clovis but I called her baby
I asked her with care if she’d like to share
An evening with someone like I
I said, ? I ain’t a winner just a hard livin’ singer?
She smiled and said, ? Meet me at nine?
We ate tacos and talked and then we took a walk
In the clean southwestern air
Then we went back to her house, I took my guitar out
And sang of my joy and despair
She served me her wine and she helped me write lines
To songs I could not complete
And her eyes seemed to say, put that guitar away
That’s somethin’ that both of us need
What a beautiful site was her face in the light
And the candles there on the wall
And we reached the height of good love on that night
And I hope we never will fall
And I’m glad I noticed that girl down in Clovis
Daughter of a driller, she’s a born thriller
A green eyed lady, kinda wild, kinda lazy
I didn’t notice what happened in Clovis but I called her baby, baby

1975 ~ Hank Williams, Jr.

No copyright is claimed in the above creative examples and to the extent that material may appear to be infringed, the New Mexico Music Commission asserts that such alleged infringement is permissible under fair use principles in U.S. copyright laws. If you believe these materials have been used in an unauthorized manner, please contact us.


1964 – New Mexico – Johnny Cash

Songs About New Mexico: New Mexico

written by Johnny Johnson & Leon Lambson, performed by Johnny Cash (1964)

The song is the 9th track on the folk country album The Original Sun Sound of Johnny Cash (1964). It also appears on the compilation album Bootleg Vol II From Memphis to Hollywood (2011).

Thank you to Steve Terrell of Santa Fe for submitting this song to our list.


It was in the town of Griffin, the year was eighty three
It was there an old cow puncher, stepped up and said to me
How do you do young fellow and how would you like to go
And spend a pleasant summer, out in New Mexico

I’ll furnish you good wages, your transportation too
If you will but go with me, one summer season through
But if you should get homesick and back to Griffin go
Then I’ll furnish you no horses from the hills of Mexico

We left the town of Griffin in the merry month of May
When all the world was lovely and everything was gay
With saddles on our horses, marching over we did go
Until we reached the logging out in New Mexico

It was there our pleasures ended and our troubles they began
The first hail storm fell on us, those cattle how they ran
Through all the thorns and thistles, us cowboys had to go
While the Indians watched upon us, out in New Mexico

Well, when the drive was over, the riders would not pay
To all you happy people, this much I have to say
Go back to your friends and loved ones, tell others not to go
To the God forsaken country, they call New Mexico

℗ 1964 London Records