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 Author: crow
PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2017 2:04 pm 
The New Mexico Arts Commission and Governor Martinez announced the awardees for this year’s Governor’s Awards for Excellence in the Arts 2017: Among the 7 winners around the state was Silver City's own Bayou Seco with Ken Keppler and Jeanie McLerie. Download the full press release at bottom of article.

The free 2017 Governor’s Arts Awards ceremonies will be held on Friday, September 15, at 5:15 pm at the St. Francis Auditorium in the New Mexico Museum of Art in Santa Fe. The ceremony is preceded by an afternoon reception and exhibition opening, 3:30 – 4:30 pm, in the Governor’s Gallery at the State Capitol.

Begin the press release section summarizing Ken and Jeanie:

"Bayou Seco of Silver City, Artists, Music: Ken Keppeler and Jeanie McLerie, known the world over as Bayou Seco, are not only extraordinary performers but they are ambassadors of New Mexico music. They have made significant contributions to New Mexico by preserving the cultural heritage of Hispanic and Cowboy folk music, and bringing it to life for future generations through their performances and teaching.

McLerie has been a professional musician since 1962, performing in the United States, Canada and Europe with the groups Sandy & Jeanie, The Harmony Sisters and the Delta Sisters. For more than 30 years, she has taught fiddle instruction to children through “The Fiddling Friends,” which focuses on an international repertoire of fiddle styles and music, with an emphasis on the sources of the music.

Keppeler, a fourth generation Southwesterner with roots in New Mexico, Arizona and California, grew up with the music of the region and has been a professional musician since 1972. He plays fiddle, harmonica, banjo, and accordion and is also a violin maker. Together in Bayou Seco they are renowned for their “chilegumbo music,” which celebrates the cross-cultural music of the Southwest. Former State Folklorist Claude Stephenson said Keppeler and McLerie were instrumental in helping to bring the old traditional Hispanic style music of such New Mexico legends as Cleofes Ortiz, a violinist from Bernal, into the mainstream of the folk music scene.

Cipriano Vigil of El Rito, who received a Governor’s Arts Award in 1994 for traditional music, said he has known and admired Keppeler and McLerie since the early 1980s. “So many other people know our music because of their efforts,” Vigil said. Rus Bradburd, an associate professor at New Mexico State University, said Bayou Seco have found and kept alive traditional dances in Albuquerque, Silver City, Las Cruces and Mesilla. “Simply put, nobody else in the history of our great state has done so much for the music and gotten so little personal gain,” Bradburd said. “In a world overrun with smart phones, iPads, iTunes and technology gone wild, Keppeler and McLerie have pushed in the other direction. To them, the oldest magic is the best kind – the music that gets you dancing, the love of tradition, the respect for roots and older people.”

End press release

Congratulation Ken and Jeanie. The photo above is Bayou Seco playing at the Silver City Farmers Market in 2009.

GovArtsAwards2017.pdf [168.38 KiB]
Downloaded 153 times

 Author: Kevin B
PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 10:25 pm 
In addition to being accomplished musicians, Ken and Jeanie are two of the nicest people you could ever meet. I think it's fair to say their chilegumbo music is near equal parts New Mexican and Louisiana Cajun thanks to Ken's french creole influence apart from his Southwest and Cali roots. Their highly varied combined diversities seem to have borne a music genre that's as unique as Silver City itself and no doubt for that reason feels so natural and at home here.

But what's even more awesome about their music is its bluegrass like manner of be playable by musicians of wide ranging ability. This is music youngsters can join in an play, as Ken and Jeanie are in fact so well known for. Introducing kids to music by way of playing instruments as they do is, to my mind, the most important part of Bayou Seco. When you teach kids to play music, you're teaching them how to listen, and the benefits of that education are too far reaching to measure. Their contribution on just that order deserves an award.

So congrats to these two. The recognition they've received is so well deserved, and we are so fortunate they've chosen Silver City to be their home.

 Author: windcoral
PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2017 10:25 pm 
Congratulations Ken and Jeanie! This award and our admiration is dearly deserved. We are so fortunate to have your enormous talent and loving smiles in our community. Gratitude.

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