Arlen Asher Virtual 92nd Birthday Tribute

All proceeds from this concert will go to Arlen & Joetha Asher Outpost Youth Scholarship Fund.

Friday, May 7, 2021

Available for Viewing HERE May 7 – May 31, 2021


Sponsored by Bob Lynn and Janet Braziel

Presented in partnership with The New Mexico Musicians Coalition

Produced by the New Mexico Musicians Coalition, Reinhard Lorenz, First Eye Films; Tom Guralnick, Outpost Founder & Executive Director; and Andres Martinez, Audio Engineer.

This event is made possible with funding from The City of Albuquerque—Mayor Tim Keller, Cultural Services Department under the direction of Shelle Sanchez and the ABQ City Council; the National Endowment for the Arts; the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation; the Kaman Foundation; the McCune Charitable Foundation; the NM State Legislature; Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, and more.

TICKETS: $0-$50.  When you purchase your ticket, you will receive a confirmation email from HoldMyTicket that includes the link to the video, which will go live Friday, May 7, 6pm and will be available through May 31.  While the musicians are paid for their performances, any donations made to this concert will go to the Arlen and Joetha Callison Asher Scholarship Fund In honor of beloved Outpost friend, woodwind maestro and true New Mexico Jazz luminary, Arlen Asher, who passed away on October 1, 2020 at the age of 91, Outpost, in partnership with The New Mexico Musicians Coalition presents an Arlen Asher Birthday Tribute on what would have been his 92nd birthday – May 7, 2021.

Not only was Arlen Asher a master of the woodwinds, but he was also a beloved music educator, having established a private woodwind studio in 1965 and teaching woodwind fundamentals and jazz improvisation to hundreds of students throughout the US. In 1996, with the help of jazz bassist, David Parlato, he established the Outpost Educational Program, which thrives to this day. In 2011, Arlen established The Arlen Asher Jazz Scholarship Fund: In Memory of (his wife) Joetha Callison Asher. Tonight’s virtual presentation will mark the re-naming of this fund as The Arlen & Joetha Callison Asher Jazz Scholarship Fund.

This special virtual Tribute will feature concert footage, shot by videographer Mike Swick, from the astounding Arlen Asher 90th Birthday Celebration concert at the Outpost on May 9, 2019 in which Arlen, at 90 years old, was on stage and playing with dozens of his musical friends and colleagues for the entire 3-hour marathon concert! The event will also feature footage created by Richard Kilmer and K2MD about Outpost’s Educational program— a program that Arlen founded in 1996 with seed money raised by another marathon “Arlen Asher & Friends” concert earlier that year.  In addition, this Tribute presentation will feature footage from the New Mexico Music Commission’s 2017 Platinum Music Awards video presentation honoring Arlen for his lifetime achievement in music and his significant contributions to music in New Mexico That video was filmed and edited by Bunee Tomlinson of Windswept Media and produced by the New Mexico Music Commission Foundation, David Schwartz Executive Producer. Interviews with a few of Arlen’s music associates may also be included in the virtual celebration, and finally, the Tribute will feature new music from The Santa Fe Music Collective Legacy Band, recorded live at the Outpost Performance Space on April 18, 2021. The band, which features Alex Murzyn, woodwinds; Terry Burns, bass and Arlen’s longtime friends and collaborators, Bob Fox, piano and John Trentacosta, drums, will be performing songs associated with Arlen’s musical legacy, including some of his signature works.

Born in 1929 in a small farming community in Missouri, Arlen Asher moved to Albuquerque in 1958 and prior to becoming a full time musician, worked as an award-winning producer and announcer for KNME-TV, KOB-TV and KHFM radio. He left broadcasting to establish a private woodwind studio in 1965 and since then, has been teaching woodwind fundamentals and jazz improvisation to hundreds of students throughout the US. In the 1970’s, he formed the Arlen Asher-Bob Brown Quartet, which formed the basis of two jazz television series for KNME-TV and a series of concerts that included guest artists such as trumpeter Clark Terry. In 1994, Arlen joined drummer John Trentacosta’s group, Straight Up. Featured on numerous CD’s including Straight Up’s Live Jazz in the Desert, a top selling local jazz CD in New Mexico, Arlen also released his own tour de force album in 2002 entitled Another Spring in which he overdubbed all the saxophone section parts himself and then soloed over that. The album also features four renowned New Mexico arrangers – pianists Bert Dalton, Bob Fox and Jack Manno, and guitarist Michael Anthony. In 2017, Arlen released his final CD, Lovesome Jazz Woodwinds (at age 88) on which he is featured on alto flute, clarinet, bass clarinet, and soprano and baritone saxophones performing tunes by Wayne Shorter, Dizzy Gillespie, Bill Evans and more. Along with John Trentacosta, Arlen co-hosted “The Jazz Experience” every Monday on KSFR, Santa Fe’s Public Radio station for ten years, until his death in 2020.

The Outpost