FARMINGTON, N.M. (KRQE) – The leader of a jazz band in Farmington is using his talents – and a $30,000 grant – to highlight the rich culture in Northwest New Mexico and Southwest Colorado. “Not a lot of people think of Northwest New Mexico or Southern Colorado as cultural hubs,” said D’Dat drummer Nicholas Lucero. “But there’s a lot going on here.”

So Delbert Anderson, the leader of D’Dat, and a music faculty member at San Juan College is using that $30,000 he was recently awarded to change that. Anderson got the grant from Chamber Music America. D’Dat, along with the Julia Keefe Quartet and the Brad Goode Quintet, will be featured in the Blue Desert Virtual Tour – a series of three virtual concerts.

“Intermixed in those concerts we’ll highlight the area,” said Lucero. “We’ll speak to cultural representatives, and other representatives from the area.” The three-concert series will be streamed on Facebook in April.

Anderson says he’s also hoping the series of concerts will help indigenous communities gain a better understanding of the healing powers of jazz. “I want to highlight these healing components of jazz,” said Anderson. “Like liberation, mental health, improvisation, and how it can heal our indigenous communities,” said Anderson.

Anderson says indigenous communities are suffering right now, and he hopes they can find peace in music. Along with the community and cultural representatives, they’ll also be highlighting wellness resources throughout the series. “We’re partnering with area wellness programs,” said Anderson. “So we interviewed a few substance abuse councilors and mental health professionals,” he said.

Anderson tells KRQE he hopes the series brings healing to those who need it, healing he’s experienced a lot of in his twenty-three years of playing the trumpet. “I myself have hit rock bottom a few times,” said Anderson. “Music was the only thing I was interested enough in to keep pursuing.”