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New Mexico State Treasure Al Hurricane

Jessica Cassyle Carr
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The Alibi is honored to have the legendary Al Hurricane playing at the ¡Taco USA Party! on Wednesday. If you’re not familiar with el hombre , get to know him from facts compiled with the help of Al Hurricane Jr.

•  Alberto Nelson Sanchez was born in Dixon, N.M., on July 10, 1936. That makes him a Cancerian—sensitive, imaginative and loyal.

• Sanchez began playing guitar at the age of 5. With the help of his grandparents, he learned to play by ear. The nickname Hurricane was given to him by his mother. It has to do with his reckless horseplay as a youngster, not musical stylings.

• Hurricane moved to Albuquerque as a kid and grew up in Barelas. At age 12 he began serenading the visitors in Old Town.

• In 1954 he graduated from the old Albuquerque High School—back when it was on Central and Broadway. Go Bulldogs!

• In 1968, when he was in his early 20s, he released his first album
Mi Saxophone on Hurricane Records. Since then he’s released more than two dozen albums and recorded for major labels. His latest album, Hey Sugar Baby! , was also released on his own label.

• Hurricane was involved in a car accident in the late ’60s, which happened while on the way to a show in Denver. Though he lost his right eye, his iconic eye patch has made him instantly recognizable.

• He played in the bands of Fats Domino, Marvin Gaye and others, but Hurricane quit the big time to stay planted in Albuquerque and raise his family. He has seven children, 13 grandchildren and six great grandchildren.

• Al Hurricane claims the stately title "Godfather of New Mexico Music," which was bestowed on him by a radio DJ.

• His favorite guitar is a Gibson 335. He also likes the 137 and 347.

• If you’ve never witnessed the Spanish singing or guitar stylings of
El Padrino —or even if you have—this Wednesday is an excellente opportunity to see Hurricane’s excellente live show.

¡Taco USA Party!

Alibi Group Hug presents: ¡Ask a Mexican! columnist Gustavo Arellano on his new book, Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America ,

with Al Hurricane

Wednesday, April 18, 6 p.m.

El Pinto

10500 Fourth Street NW

Tickets: $25 ticket (includes taco bar), all-ages

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Julia Minamata

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