Should you be the type of person who hears the word jazz and thinks, “Man, I love me some jazz,” then the current New Mexico Jazz Festival might just be the summer plan for you.

A joint operation between Albuquerque's Outpost Performance Space, the Lensic Performing Arts Center and the Santa Fe Jazz Foundation, 2014's bash is spread across both Santa Fe and Albuquerque and is basically a non-stop series of shows, films, discussions and events that ought to please just about any fan of any sub-genre. The whole thing kicked off on July 11 with a performance at the Outpost from Brazilian pianist/vocalist, Claudia Villela. Albuqerque's leg also features plenty of super-cool outdoor shows in the Nob Hill area, and we all know how rad outdoor shows can be.

Oh, but don't you fret, Santa Fe, because they've got plenty of shows for you to enjoy as well. Performances like Bumblebee's Jazz All-Stars at the Lensic featuring Bob Weil, Dick Hyman, Bucky Pizarelli and more (Sunday, July 20) or a Santa Fe Bandstand performance from Raoul Midón and Cal Haines that finds the pair delving into the work of über-legend Ray Charles (Tuesday, July 22).

Other standout shows include the Grammy-winning Terry Lynne Carrington's Mosaic Project featuring a whole mess of award-winning female jazz artists (Friday, July 25) and a meet and greet with AB Spellman and NEA Jazz Master Jack DeJohnette on Saturday, July 26. Altogether, we're looking at two+ weeks of opportunities for all you jazz aficionados to get out and love what you love while meeting like-minded jazz-heads and/or making new friends.

Check for all other pertinent info and to get those tickets in your hands, folks. Who knows…this could be the year you learn to love jazz, or it might be a good reminder as to why you already do.

New Mexico Jazz Festival
July 11-27,
Various times and venues,