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.

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Shepherd, Chevel ~ voice ~ La Plata

New Mexico Music Commission’s Student Musician Spotlight

Featured Student: Chevel Shepherd ~ La Plata | Farmington

17-year-old Chevel Shepherd stands as living proof that big things sometimes come in small packages. Chevel won America’s hearts, and the title of “Season 15 Winner” during her epic run on NBC’s The Voice, under the guidance of American Idol winner Kelly Clarkson. Chevel aspires to follow in the footsteps of Mrs. Clarkson, working to emerge as a major recording artist and actress in her own right.

She was raised on country music and the outdoors in her hometown of Farmington, New Mexico – often doing crafts, feeding her animals and fixing up cars with her dad. Chevel has been singing for most of her life, well before auditioning for The Voice; every Friday morning her parents would drive her to the radio station before school and she would sing live on air. As Chevel got older she sang everywhere she could, taking every opportunity. 

Chevel loves country music and feels so blessed to be living her dreams and spreading her love of music to all her fans. Recently she partnered with the Professional Bull Riders – recording an exclusive song, a duet with Eddie Montgomery, and performing at the PBR Finals in Las Vegas. Chevel is humbly pursuing her childhood dreams of singing at the Grand Ole Opry, winning Grammys, putting out albums, and touring nationally. She also has an EP with all original music coming out early in 2020.

Chevel was nominated for the Music Commission’s Student Spotlight by her mother Julie.

Above: PBR’s ( official music video for Be Cowboy featuring Chevel Shepherd. All rights remain with PBR and Chevel Shepherd.

For more information about Chevel, visit her:

Chevel’s biographical information, image, and video are used with written permission of her mother Julie Shepherd.

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Neikrug, Marc

Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts: Marc Neikrug ~ Santa Fe

photo courtesy of Mark Neikrug

Recipient of the 2019 Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts, Marc Neikrug’s musical career has spanned over 54 years as a globally recognized concert pianist, composer, and artistic director of the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival. As a pianist, he performed as a soloist, a chamber musician, and most notably as a duo partner with the violinist Pinchas Zuckerman for over 35 years. Together they performed in North and South America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East in concert halls such as Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center. His performances with Mr. Zuckerman have been recorded in over 20 CDs and performances broadcast on German, Swiss, English, and Japanese stations as well as on PBS. As a composer, major pieces were commissioned by the Berlin Opera, London’s South Bank Festival, the Frankfurt Festival, the Polish Radio Symphony, the Library of Congress, Lincoln Center, and the Atlanta, Houston, Pittsburgh, Milwaukee, Boston, Washington National, and Jerusalem symphonies. He has written five pieces on commission for the New York Philharmonic and G. Schirmer has published over 60 of his works. Since 1998, Neikrug has been the Artistic Director of the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival. Its annual season of 45 concerts features nearly 100 musicians from all over the world and the festival’s three-month series of radio shows is broadcast by over 200 stations. He developed major educational components to the Festival that brings curriculum, teacher training, and performances to 6,000 elementary students as well as pre-K students through the Music in Our Schools program.

Marc Neikrug performing Schumann’s Scenes of Childhood #7 (Dreaming) in 2007 for the “Sunken Cathedral: Classics for Kids” CD. The video is licensed to YouTube by Entertainment One U.S., LP (on behalf of eOne Music).

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Blaskey, Lindy

Notable New Mexican: Lindy Blaskey ~ Albuquerque

lindy blaskeyWhile they never broke big on the national charts, Lindy Blaskey and his band the Lavells were one of the most popular bands in the Southwest during the mid-’60s garage rock explosion. The band’s frantic and dance-friendly rock made them the kings of the Albuquerque, NM, teen scene, and their popularity extended across the state. Blaskey sang and played rhythm guitar with the group, while Steve Maase played lead guitar, Art Flore handled keyboards, Carl Silva was on harmonica, Danny Valdez held down the bass, and Chuck Buckley was the drummer. Blaskey also released the band’s recordings through his own record label, and their 1966 single “You Ain’t Tuff” has surfaced on a number of anthologies of rare and classic garage rock sides. The band’s other big hits include “Let It Be” and “Out Here in Viet-Nam”. After Lindy & the Lavells broke up, Blaskey stayed in the music business, working as a booking agent in New Mexico and a major-label A&R man in Los Angeles. Blaskey returned to his hometown of Albuquerque in retirement. In 2006, the British Big Beat label released a collection of rare material from Blaskey and his crew, Albuquerque’s Finest! The Best of Lindy & the Lavells.

Above: Lindy & the Lavells single Let it Be released in 1967 featuring Lindy Blaskey – Vocals and rhythm guitar, Steve Maase – Lead guitar, Art Flores – Keyboards, Carl Silva – Harmonica, Danny Valdez – Bass, Chuck Buckley – Drums. The recording is from the compilation Mindrocker Vol.5 and the video is from the movie Capriccio All’Italiana: La Gelosia (1968) directed by Mauro Bolognini, with protagonists Walter Chiari and Ira von Fürstenberg.

source: review by Mark Deming

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Dalton, Bert

Bert Dalton ~ Santa Fe

Bert Dalton is a 2019 Platinum Music Awards honoree. Originally from Chicago and living in Santa Fe for over 20 years, Bert is a renowned and versatile jazz pianist, arranger, educator, and producer, who has lived, performed and taught in Santa Fe for 20 years. Bert is a recipient of the 2013 Santa Fe Mayor’s Award for Excellence, A Chicago native, Bert received his music education at Northern Illinois University, studying with Dr. J. B. Floyd and performing with Ron Modell’s award-winning NIU Jazz Ensemble.

Bert’s versatility shines in his performance history. He has led a number of groups such as the Chicago Jazz Exchange, Yoboso, the Bert Dalton Trio, the Dalton Brothers Trio, and most recently the Brazil Project. In addition to leading these groups, Bert has performed internationally and recorded with Herbie Mann, Anita O’Day, Bud Shank, Butch Miles, Howard Alden, Frank Morgan, Bobby Shew, Eddie Daniels and many others. In addition, he has opened for Tito Puente, Pete Escovedo, Grover Washington Jr. Pancho Sanchez, and the Count Basie Orchestra.

Bert has been Music Director of the National Dance Institute (NDI) of New Mexico since 1998, currently serving over 6,000 elementary school children throughout NM. He has authored a pianist’s manual and organized the first Music Director’s Conference for the national Association of NDIs. His many years of service at NDI-NM as Music Director have brought his piano music, delightful personality, and presence as a mentor into countless schools and to thousands of children.

above: video biopic short about Bert Dalton – premiered August 23, 2019 at the Platinum Music Awards show – created by Bunee Tomlinson of Windswept Media.