Indian sarod player Ayaan Ali Khan gives us his top picks from Albuquerque, New Mexico, a city he visits frequently for inspiration.
- “Albuquerque will always hold a special place in my heart. I had visited the city for the first time in September 1997 for a concert and fallen in love with the city’s intimate vibe. I have performed there almost every year since.
2. “As a musician, I love catching shows by the New Mexico Philharmonic , a band that performs frequently at Popejoy Hall , located on the campus of the University of New Mexico. The university is a wonderful place to visit too and has two oncampus venues where I’ve performed—Keller Hall and Rodey Theatre . A special collaboration with Rahim Alhaj, an Iranian oud player from New Mexico, took birth here.”
3. “The ABQ BioPark Zoo , with its lions, koalas, toucans, tamarins, and a variety of sea animals in their natural habitats, is definitely worth a visit.
4. “A visit to the Sandia Peak Ski & Tramway is a must. This aerial tram ride (the world’s longest at 4.3 kilometres) takes visitors to the 3,163-metres high Sandia Peak. Although my go-to restaurant at the top has been demolished, Sandiago’s Grill at the base station is equally nice.”
5 “I found myself here in October one year and was absolutely thrilled to visit the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta (October 6–14; Balloon Fiesta Park). Hot-air balloons of every shape and size are released in the sky—you can ride up on one or photograph it from below.”
6 “Santa Fe is at a 45-minute drive from Albuquerque and one of the prettiest towns I have ever visited. The bronze sculptures of St Francis of Assisi and Kateri Takakwitha near Cathedral Basilica are quite impressive. I had the chance to perform at The Lensic Performing Arts Centre, a beautiful venue in the centre of town.