Ledes from the Land of Enchantment

Santa Fe native JQ Whitcomb returns to NM with musical group What the What

Santa Fe native JQ Whitcomb will be performing a show at the Center for Contemporary Arts in Santa Fe on Sunday December 26th. (Courtesy Eduardo Patino NYC)

Editor’s Note: Venue Plus continues “In Case You Didn’t Know,” a weekly feature filled with fun tidbits about the New Mexicans and their projects.

Life is pretty crazy for JQ Whitcomb.

The Santa Fe native spends most of his time in New York City. But during the holiday season, he travels back to New Mexico to put on a few shows.

His next gig is on Sunday, December 26th at 3 p.m. at the Center for Contemporary Arts in Santa Fe.

The trumpeter appears with his band What the What, which also consists of Jon Gagan and Robby Rothschild. The event is called “Space to Dig”.

What the What is a jazz trio with Robby Rothschild, JQ Whitcomb and Jon Gagan.

“We’ve been together for a while,” says Whitcomb. “It’s a funk, world music, jazz group. It mixes all of these styles and we play a lot of original compositions by people in the band. It’s trumpet, bass and percussion. “

Whitcomb is happy to be back in New Mexico to perform.

“It’s so nice to be able to play again,” he says. “In New York things are much more open and there were more options. I am sad to see that El Mesón is permanently closed. It was the main jazz venue in Santa Fe, with musicians playing regularly. It’s a pretty hard blow to the jazz scene here. “

Whitcomb has been in New Mexico for almost a month and played a show in Albuquerque in early December.

“I organized the CCA show specifically to get what to play,” he says. “It’s so much fun to be involved in this project. When we get together it’s like magic. All three of us work alone on the music all the time. If we go on stage together, we’ll let it ride. “

What the What released an album in 2015 and Whitcomb is hoping the trio will get together to record another album.

“It’s been way too long,” he says. “We all worked on music.”

While Whitcomb is planning the next album with What the What, here are a few things you didn’t know about him:

  1. “I lived in China as a jazz musician for 8 years.”
  2. “I speak Mandarin fluently.”
  3. “I work (learn) Portuguese and Modern Greek.”
  4. “I love playing board games with my family on vacation.”
  5. “I spent the early part of the pandemic obsessed with identifying tree species from reading ‘The Overstory’. ”

What the what
With JQ Whitcomb, Jon Gagan, Robby Rothschild
IF: 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 26
WHERE: Center for Contemporary Art / Muñoz Waxman Gallery tank garage, 1050 Old Pecos Trail, Santa Fe
HOW MUCH: $ 20 at ccasantafe.org. Evidence of vaccination or recent negative test result required by CCA guidelines.

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