Todos Santos Gets Its Music Back

New 10 day concert series takes over the old one
BY: MARLA KING

Music lovers are in for a treat with the Tropic of Cancer Concert Series to be held from January 10th to the 20th. The event is a welcome relief for live concert enthusiasts after the sudden demise of the Todos Santos Music Festival in 2016, when Peter Buck suddenly went off the reservation while on stage and unleased a diatribe against local officials – who were in the audience. Buck and his festival seed money beat a hasty retreat and we were left in silence. However, in recent weeks he’s been back and he’s performing again.

During the 10 day Tropic of Cancer series, there will be two concerts each day featuring multiple artists and bands at venues in and around Todos Santos and El Pescadero. Early evening concerts will be held at Hotel California, Cafe La Esquina, and Cafelix, while late night shows take place at La Morena and Jardin Alquimia.

Joe Firstman is the front man for the host band Cordovas and one of the primary organizers of the intensive concert series. “We have been living here since 2006, playing music, inviting friends and organizing small shows. The festival was an obvious progression for us,” he says.

More than 37 international acts, ranging from Latin rock and southern blues to Americana and Mexican jazz, will play 20 concerts during the festival. Many of the artists are friends of the Cordovas band members. “We curate the bands all year long from our travels, from the musicians that we encounter, and the various circuits that we run in,” Firstman explains.

One of the this year’s headliners is  seven time Grammy nominated singer and songwriter Joan Osborne, who has just released an album featuring her renditions of Bob Dylan’s greatest works.

The Cordovas have also released a new record called “That Santa Fe Channel” and wrapped up a major tour through their native USA. In March and April, the band will be taking their music to Europe with shows booked in Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and Spain.

The Tropic of Cancer Music Series is a highlight for the large built-in audience in the Todos Santos area, plus it attracts many tourists during the busy winter season. The full schedule and line-up are at tropicofcancerconcertseries.mx and tickets can be purchased online through the website. Prices range from $18 US for an individual concert to $75 US for a full festival pass.

Giving back to the local community is also important to the event organizers.  “We always give our door money to the Bomberos Voluntarios de Todos Santos,” Firstman says in support of the firefighters and rescue personnel who keep the region safe.