Remembering Our Dear Friend & Longtime Outpost Supporter, Bumble Bee Bob Weil

Bumble Bee Bob Weil (May 4, 1934-July 2, 2021)

~ A Personal Remembrance
from Outpost Director, Tom Guralnick ~


On July 2, 2021, after a month-long fight with COVID-19, and 2 months after his 87th birthday, Bumble Bee Bob Weil passed away. BJ called me in the morning to tell me that we had lost Bob. That is the perfect way to put it. We lost him and what a loss it is! We will miss him terribly. For me personally, Bumble Bee was somewhere between a brother and a father (Frother? Brather?). He was a mentor, an advisor, a collaborator, a supporter… but most of all a friend. We had a great time and I will miss him.

If it weren’t for Bumble Bee (and BJ and the rest of the family) Outpost would not be what it is today. In fact, a case could be made that were it not for Bumble Bee, Outpost might not be, AT ALL!

Thanks to a meeting arranged by saxophonist Doug Lawrence, I met Bumble Bee over lunch in the mid to late 1990’s. Although, to say the least, we had very different personal musical tastes, we began working together, block booking concerts at the old Outpost and Bumble Bee’s “hive”—a concert hall in his home in La Tierra. And in doing so, I believe we expanded each others’ horizons and at the same time, had a lot of fun. We worked closely from then on— booking concerts— and in 2006, along with Bob Martin at the Lensic, we founded the New Mexico Jazz Festival which followed on the work of Bruce Dunlap and his Santa Fe Jazz and International Music Festival. We had a great run. Bumble Bee was the guy who tried (sometimes he succeeded) to rein in my wilder and more expensive music production impulses. More than once, always with love, he told me “Stop losing money… don’t be a schmuck!” If that’s not fatherly advice, I don’t know what is. His support of Outpost was deep. He donated extremely generously year after year, leading up to the donations by him and his generous children (Linda, Betsie, and Rob) which allowed us to buy the Outpost Performance Space building, leading to the naming of the auditorium as “Weil Hall.”

Outpost wasn’t the first or the last to be buoyed by Bumble Bee’s generosity. In the 1980’s he produced the Santa Fe Jazz Festival at La Fonda Hotel, hiring John Clayton as Music Director. He was the first to present Wynton Marsalis in the pre-renovation Lensic Theater. He supported John Trentacosta’s Santa Fe Music Collective until the end. He had a big heart and many was the time when we shared a stage with tears flowing, making announcements and thanking each other for our work together. He booked music at his restaurants for years. His Santa Fe Jazz Foundation helped countless musicians in times of need, giving them funds to pay their medical bills. He loved the musicians and loved being friends with them— James Moody, Milt Hinton, Ray Brown, Joe Williams, and so many more. He produced several albums by these friends. It was all about love and friendship for Bumble Bee. He loved the music and the people who made it!

But jazz wasn’t the entire story by any means. In the 1950’s, he left St Louis where he grew up after being clear that he was not interested in going into his father’s shoe manufacturing business. He headed west and became a rancher in Bumble Bee Arizona— thus his name, “Bumble Bee Bob”— and also on the Santa Fe ranch that later became the Las Campanas development. He flew his own plane between the two. I seldom saw Bumble Bee anything less than ebullient—not until he “retired,” that is. He just couldn’t stand not working. So at age 70, for his “retirement” he opened the famed Bumble Bee’s Baja Grill— 4 of them in Santa Fe and Albuquerque. And he was a constant presence behind the counter becoming friends with the clientele. Again, it was all about the people.

We will miss Bumble Bee deeply. But at the same time, he had a long, fun-filled, and meaningful life. His last several years in Merida, Mexico with his beautiful, kind, and loving wife, BJ, were a joy for them both. In addition to BJ, he is survived by six children, 13 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren all of whom he loved. Bumble Bee was loved and he loved in return.

Tom Guralnick, Founder & Executive Director
Outpost Performance Space

Tracey Whitney & The Art of Jazz Live From The Outpost Stage – Available For Viewing Through April 15! + Coming in May – Arlen Asher Birthday Tribute!

Have you checked out our currently running Live From The Outpost Stage virtual event yet? Vocalist Tracey Whitney & The Art of Jazz runs through this Thursday, April 15! In February 2021, Whitney’s ensemble, The Art of Jazz, was invited to perform as part of Mayor Tim Keller’s State of the City Pre-Party virtual experience, which also featured performances by Severo y Grupo Fuego, Le Chat Lunatique, and Reviva. Outpost donated the Space, along with sound and video production, for Tracey’s performance, which was recorded live with no audience at the Outpost Performance Space on Friday, February 12. Tune In and Click Here For Full Details and Tickets!

And coming in May, Outpost is pleased to present the Arlen Asher Virtual Birthday Tribute, a special event honoring New Mexico jazz luminary, longtime Outpost friend and multi-woodwind maestro and educator Arlen Asher, who passed away last year at the age of 91.  Featuring footage from Arlen’s 90th Birthday Celebration Concert at Outpost in May of 2019, the event will also feature footage from the NM Music Commission’s 2017 Platinum Music Awards video presentation which honored Arlen for his lifetime achievement in music and his significant contributions to music in New Mexico, and a live from the Outpost Stage concert by the Santa Fe Music Collective Legacy Band featuring Arlen’s longtime friend and musical collaborator, drummer John Trentacosta; Alex Murzyn, woodwinds; Terry Burns, bass; and Bob Fox, piano. Stay tuned for more details coming soon!

PLUS . . . Spring Online Classes Have Begun!
Newly added: 
Improvising the Blues on Guitar (for Guitarists!) with Dimi Disanti, starting April 29!

Click here for all the details!


Don’t miss the second in our series of New Mexico Jazz Festival Online Video Events, Meet the NEA Jazz Master featuring a real-time conversation (recorded last week!) with retired NEA Deputy Chairman, poet and author, A.B. Spellman, and legendary drummer Albert “Tootie” Heath, who was named an NEA Jazz Master this year! We began our New Mexico Jazz Festival virtual events last December 2020 with a 7th Annual New Mexico Jazz Festival Revisited presentation featuring recorded material culled from the 2012 New Mexico Jazz Festival. In the absence of live concerts, we are offering these special events as a special treat and they have really been terrific! The Meet the NEA Jazz Master event went live on February 19 and will be available for viewing through Saturday, March 6, 2021!  CLICK HERE FOR TICKETS AND MORE INFORMATION! 

A.B. Spellman has been an integral part the New Mexico Jazz Festival since its inception in 2006, presenting a “Meet the NEA Jazz Masters” conversation at the Lensic every year. He has spoken with Sonny Rollins, McCoy Tyner, Paquito D’Rivera, Eddie Palmieri, John Hendricks & Sheila Jordan, Kenny Barron & Dave Holland, and so many more, including Albert “Tootie” Heath’s older brother, saxophonist Jimmy Heath in 2010. In that conversation, A.B. pointed to “Tootie” in the audience and said, “Tootie certainly deserves to be named an NEA Jazz Master as well.”  Well, this year, that well deserved honor came to fruition! So, it seemed fitting to do a Meet The NEA Jazz Master virtual conversation as part of our series and we were so pleased that both Mr. Spellman and Mr. Heath were willing and able to make it happen!

Produced by Reinhard Lorenz of First Eye Films and Outpost Founder & Executive Director, Tom Guralnick, this event is made possible with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts; the Kaman Foundation; The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation; and the City of Albuquerque, and we thank our sponsors, Lynn Slade & Susan Zimmerman.

AND….Stay Tuned For More New Mexico Jazz Festival Revisited Video Productions in the coming months!


Celebrating Black History Month All Month on the Outpost Community Clipboard! + New Class, Playing Together Online w. JamKazam, Begins Feb 10!

Ah, February ~ the month of hearts & flowers, chocolates and Valentines, and of course LUV – in all its various forms! We do hope it’s a sweet month for you all! February also brings us Black History Month! And what better way to celebrate than with some great music from Jazz, Blues, R & B, etc. artists past and present! We will be highlighting some virtual concerts and events on our Outpost Community Clipboard (our weekly e-blast cluing you in to all the great things going on here in NM and beyond) throughout the month, so stay connected! Sign up to receive our e-blasts HERE! Have an event, concert, poem, artwork, etc. that you’d like to share on the Community Clipboard? We’d love to hear from you! Simply email and we will try to include it in an upcoming eblast!

Also, speaking of Black History Month, stay tuned for our next New Mexico Jazz Festival Video EventMeet The NEA Jazz MasterA Real Time Zoom Conversation with legendary drummer Tootie Heath and retired National Endowment for the Arts Deputy Chairman, jazz historian, and poet, A.B. Spellman. Details Coming Soon!

Meanwhile, our Winter 2021 Online Classes are in full swing, and our brand new class, Playing Together Online with JamKazamtaught by bassist, Rodney Bowe begins next week February 10! Don’t miss out on all the fun! Sign up here today!  More information on Online Offerings Here!

Stay Safe, Stay Healthy, Stay Inspired and Stay Connected!

HAPPY 2021! Have You Seen Our 7th Annual NM Jazz Festival Revisited Video Featuring NEA Jazz Masters Sheila Jordan, Jon Hendricks & Kurt Elling, Yet? It’s Still Available For Viewing Through January 5!

Happy New Year! Boy are we happy to say goodbye to 2020 and to welcome in 2021, which seems to promise bluer skies above (well you can’t get much bluer than New Mexico skies, but you know what we mean!) and much hope for a healthier, more healing year ahead. A BIG THANK YOU to all of you out there who donated to all of our 2020 Covid Relief Fundraisers. YOU got us through with your love and generosity and we are still here ready to move forward and keep the faith!  We of course have plenty of challenges ahead and we will continue to ask for your support because we have to, but there truly is a light at the end of the tunnel with the vaccines, a new administration, longer lighter days with spring just around the corner, etc!  Meanwhile, our Winter Session of Online Jazz & Latin Music Classes and much more starts in just a few weeks! Stay tuned to our Online Education page which we will be updating this week!

AND. . . if you haven’t had the opportunity yet to check out the 7TH ANNUAL NEW MEXICO JAZZ FESTIVAL (July 13-29, 2012) REVISITED the first in our new series of archival concert videos from New Mexico Jazz Festivals dating back to 2010 – there’s still time! It’s up through January 5! Sign up to view the video here!  Tickets range from $0-$50 and you will receive a link to view the video after signing up!  This first concert video features NEA JAZZ MASTERS JON HENDRICKS & LHR REDUX & SHEILA JORDAN, PLUS KURT ELLING & A.B. SPELLMAN and it’s really a treat!

Stay Safe & Stay Well & Welcome 2021!

As We Enter The Holiday Season…

The Holiday Season is upon us with a shelter-at-home Thanksgiving just ahead. We here at Outpost are giving thanks and feeling very hopeful that we will be able to stay strong and re-open in the “less distant than before” future! Thanks to all of you out there who have donated so generously to our Covid-19 Relief Fund over these past many months, as well as those of you who have renewed your memberships. Your generosity has been overwhelming and the possibility of a vaccine in the near future gives us great hope! There truly is a light at the end of the tunnel!

Meanwhile, as you know, Thanksgiving ushers in the official season of giving, and this year continues that tradition with #GivingTuesday on December 1 as well as Outpost’s End of Year Season’s Pleadings Fundraising Appeal. Again, all of you have been so generous so far (more than $60,000 raised since March!), but if you would like to help us kick off the official giving season with a donation on #GivingTuesday, that would be terrific. We’ll be sending out an email to remind everyone come December 1. We will also be sending our 2020 Covid Relief Season’s Pleadings letter out in December, so keep a lookout and make a tax-deductible donation before December 31. Bottom line: ANY time you are able and choose to give is great! It’s what will get us through. Go to our Donations Page online or send a check to: Outpost Productions, PO Box 4543, Albuquerque, NM 87196.

We continue to make plans for some exciting virtual concerts and events for you, as well as new educational opportunities, and more, so stay tuned! Let’s keep the music alive!

Thanks again to everyone out there for your love and support. We can’t wait until we can gather again with you at the Space and beyond!


We Say Goodbye to Longtime Outpost Friend & NM Jazz Luminary, Arlen Asher…

Our dear friend and much loved New Mexico jazz luminary, woodwind maestro Arlen Asher passed away this past Friday, October 2, 2020. The consummate gentleman, teacher , musical treasure and all around gem of a human being, Arlen will be greatly missed by all of us at Outpost and the entire community. For a wonderful tribute and history about Arlen, visit Mark Weber’s Jazz For Mostly story as well as Mel Minter’s Musically Speaking.

And enjoy the greatness and sweetness that was Arlen in the tribute video below.
RIP Arlen. We all love you and will miss you greatly.

Doug Lawrence Masterclasses Continue This Sat. August 15, Featuring Milo Jaramillo!

We’ve had quite an adventure (a good one!) with Outpost’s Online Classes this summer! It’s a new experience for sure, but we are happy to be able to continue our educational efforts and to stay connected with you! Meanwhile, this coming Saturday, August 15, join us for the final of 6 Masterclasses hosted by Doug Lawrence! These really have been great and we’d love to see you at the final session which will feature one of New Mexico’s most in demand bassists, Milo Jaramillo. Please be our guest for the final masterclass by simply clicking on this link: Join Zoom Masterclass: ! We look forward to seeing you there. Stay tuned for more fall 2020 online activities!

Doug Lawrence

Summer 2020 Outpost Season Canceled! SAFETY FIRST! It’s what we care about here!

Dear Outpost Friends,

It is with great sadness that, due to the coronavirus pandemic, and for the sake of everybody’s health and safety, we are announcing the cancellation of Outpost’s 2020 summer season which includes the 15th Annual New Mexico Jazz Festival (scheduled for July 7-27 (as well as our 25th Annual Summer Thursday Jazz Nights series, scheduled for June 18-August 20), our in-person educational programs, and so on. We remained hopeful that we might be able to present some of our summer season, but, as with other arts organizations and festivals worldwide, it just could not be. First and foremost here at Outpost, our concern is to do what we can to keep you— our patrons, artists, staff, volunteers and so on— SAFE! We aim to do that by following social distancing guidelines, which, although they may be relaxed somewhat in the coming weeks and months, will not allow for any large gatherings nor international travel, which are both integral to a successful festival and our programming in general.

We were truly excited to be celebrating what would have been our 15th Annual NM Jazz Festival this year with an incredible line-up of artists – from The Count Basie Orchestra featuring Lizz Wright to Chick Corea & The Spanish Heart Band with special guest Rubén Blades (who I have wanted to present for years!), to the great Bobby McFerrin, Tower of Power, Terri Lyne Carrington’s Social Science, Charlie Musselwhite Band, Pedrito Martinez and so much more! We are hoping to be able reschedule many of these artists when we are able to open again. We don’t know when that will be and of course will have to wait until we all have more clarity about how we can move forward, but what is most important to us now and in to the future is everyone’s health and safety.

Here’s the good news though! The fact that we have reached such milestones as the 15th Annual NM Jazz Festival and 25 years of our Summer Thursday Jazz Nights, is pretty awesome, right?! It is testament to how strong and committed the Outpost community is, to your continued enthusiasm and excitement for what we present, and to your generous and steadfast support! We are as strong as our community, and we think the Outpost community is among the strongest there is! We will miss you tremendously this summer, but will continue to look forward to when we can meet again and share great music together.

Yes, we are all very disappointed! We have looked forward the amazing talent and energy that we have been able to present at the New Mexico Jazz Festival for the past 14 years now, along with all the great performances by some of New Mexico’s finest jazz musicians at our Summer Thursday Jazz Nights, our summer Jazz & Latin Music classes, etc.! We can’t wait until we can hit the downbeat again, but rest assured that we will stay connected and that we are working on bringing you some virtual programming this summer so we can all continue to enjoy great music. We will keep you posted! Meanwhile, please stay safe, stay healthy and stay connected!

The Outpost Team!

Current Status at Outpost During CoVid Crisis

An Update To All Of Our Outpost Friends: Due to the extended Shelter at Home directive from the Governor and in the interests of everybody’s health and well-being, we don’t feel that there is any other choice but to cancel the remainder of the Spring 2020 season, including all classes, art exhibits, etc.  We do hope to reschedule many of the artists who would have performed at Outpost this season for the 2020-2021 season and truly hope we can all gather again soon to share all the great music. We are also hoping we can present our 25th Annual Summer Thursday Night Jazz series featuring NM based artists and, of course, the 15th Annual NM Jazz Festival in July, but we will keep you posted. Refunds for spring season concerts have been processed and if you purchased online, you will receive a confirmation email from Hold My Tickets. 

Many of you have asked if you can donate your tickets back to Outpost. Although we truly appreciate that offer, online ticket sales are automatically refunded when a concert/event is cancelled. However, if you would like to make a donation at this time, we would of course very much appreciate your support! As you probably know, Outpost recently created a Musician’s Relief Fund to which many of you have already sent a donation- Thank You!!! Now that we are having to cancel the entire remainder of the spring season, these funds/your support will become even more critical. Ticket refunds for concerts cancelled this spring will total close to $15,000 which, as I am sure you understand create difficulties for Outpost as well. So if you want to make a donation to Outpost to help keep us strong, you can do that as well.

Meanwhile, we miss you all very much and truly hope you are staying healthy and safe! Wishing everyone the very best and looking forward to returning to some sort of normal sooner than later so we can share great music, art, learning, community and inspiration!


The Outpost