Ignacio is getting ready to rock.
On Saturday, six Four Corners bands will converge for the Rock the Youth Native REZ-olution XI Youth Concert, which for the first time will be held in the ELHI Community Center.
Robert Ortiz has been organizing the concert since its beginning 11 years ago. He said that along with the change in venue – it was held at the Sky Ute Fairgrounds – the community stepped up in a big way to help put on the show.
“It’s more of a community event now because a lot of businesses, friends, family, supporters of the concert are stepping up to help to donate money, food and energy. It’s a good thing,” Ortiz said. “It’s working out to where the community is pulling together because they’ve seen the success, they’ve seen the positivity of it, they’ve seen the positive impact it’s had on the youths – because it is for the youths. And they just didn’t want to see it gone. And I wanted to continue it no matter what it took, so we were just able to make it happen.”
This year, Ortiz selected bands that span genres – from industrial-rock instrumental to progressive rock instrumental to hard rock, hardcore metal and punk. “Not just metal or hard rock,” he said. “We’re trying to get different types of genres in here to make it a little more interesting.”
The bands are: DZYNUS and Tusken, both from Farmington; Park Ave. from the Farmington/Shiprock area; Fatal Corruption from Gallup, New Mexico; EYE from Albuquerque; and Illegal Aliens from Santa Fe.
Cordy Johnson, guitarist/vocalist for Park Ave., said getting kids excited about music is important. And he should know: Park Ave. members have known each other their whole lives, and their band has its roots in music class – marching band, concert band, jazz band.
“Once we got to high school, we figured, ‘Let’s start something; let’s write something. So it finally clicked,” he said.
“Music is like therapy; it’s like medicine. It gets everybody going. I think music is very important,” Johnson said. “And also for the youth concert, you’ve got these young kids coming up – the next generation – and you can just excite them and get them going, and they can do a lot of good things, just as much as music did to me over the years.”
And no drugs or alcohol are permitted in the free show, which is for a reason, Ortiz said.
“One of the things that’s important for me is that it gives the kids an opportunity to listen to some good music, for one, in a safe environment because we know that youths in the community, if they don’t have a lot of things to do, especially in the evening hours, they tend to get in trouble,” Ortiz said. “And being that it’s a drug- and alcohol-free event, it gives them an opportunity to hang out with their friends, to be in a safe environment.”
And, he said, he hopes that by bringing in young bands, local kids will be inspired.
“The main focus is for these kids to meet these bands who are basically chasing their own dreams of being musicians, playing on stage, sharing their music, sharing their passion, and maybe inspire the kids to meet these guys and say, ‘Hey, if they can do it, why can’t I do it?’” he said. “That’s kind of the mentality that I’m looking for so that these kids in the community – maybe they do like music, or maybe they are artists, or they’re photographers, or something, but they see that these bands, who aren’t much older than they are, are doing it and having a good time. They’re not out there super-famous yet, but they do have a following and they’re young guys themselves. It’s an opportunity for the kids to maybe be inspired to chase their own dreams.
“It’s awesome, I love it. Just seeing the kids out there having a good time is worth it,” Ortiz said.