Click here for:

   1. New Mexico Dulcimer Association monthly club jams
   2. Frequent dulcimer mini-concerts/demonstrations at Albuquerque Public Libraries
   3. One-day workshop/concert events throughout the year by nationally-recognized players

Important: Facebook forced us to move to a new facebook page in June 2022. To receive festival updates, make sure you've liked our new Facebook page.

Recent updates:                                                            Last website update: June 6, 2024

- (Mar 13) Posted club jam tune additions (see #1 on "Schedule" page); added August 2-4, 2024 Red River Dulcimer Festival flyer (look under "Announcements" under home page red chile buttons).
- (Jun 06) Started adding details on August 1st Albuquerque dulcimer workshops and concert with Joe Collins (see #3 on "Schedule" page).

Mountain and hammered dulcimers
Mountain and Hammered Dulcimers

Did you know...While there are more than 80 dulcimer festivals from east Texas to the East Coast, the New Mexico Dulcimer Festival is one of about six dulcimer festivals in the entire Western United States. We started our festival in 2010 on a shoestring budget with major contributions from founding members to try to make inroads in this sparse landscape.

What is a dulcimer anyways? And why a dulcimer festival in Albuquerque, New Mexico? When we held our inaugural festival, we wondered if anyone would come. Response has exceeded all expectations! Not only have participants come from all over NM, but also AK, AR, AZ, CA, CO, CT, FL, ID, IN, KS, MA, ME, MO, NE, NH, NV, OK, OR, PA, RI, TX, VT, WA, WI, WY and even Saskatchewan/Canada. Our "local" teaching staff have come from throughout NM and CO, and we've brought headliners in from AR, CA, CO, FL, MD, MN, MO, MS, NC, OH, OR, RI, TN, TX, VA, WA and WV. Our 2020 and 2021 online festivals added headliners from new locations (to us) AL, CT, IL and Manitoba/Canada. New online participant states included AL, DE, GA, HI, IL, KY, MD, MI, MN, MS, NC, NJ, NY, OH, SC, TN, UT, VA, WV plus Ontario/Canada and Belgium. At present, we're only lacking participant representation from IA, LA, MT, ND and SD...who would have thought?

Our festival grew from 7 mountain dulcimer workshops in 2010 to 50 workshops in 2019 focusing on mountain and hammered dulcimer, but other folk instruments as well. We offered a full complement of additional activities. We worked hard to keep registration fees low which pay for about half of festival expenses - thank you! Registration revenue is critical to festival survival. We sought grants beginning in 2013 which paid for about 17% of expenses. We are grateful for these funds as this little boost makes a huge difference in what we could offer, and we get to promote our sponsors' worthy efforts. Other minor sources of revenue and private donations helped us grow the festival into what we hoped was a Southwest treasure and a tangible resource in your musical growth and enjoyment. In the Coronavirus pandemic years of 2020 and 2021 when most dulcimer festivals were canceling outright, we kept the New Mexico festival going via virtual (Zoom) workshops, concerts, and other activities. We attempted to return to an in-person festival for 2022, but registration numbers would not support conducting the event.

Beginning in 2023, the New Mexico Dulcimer Association took a change in direction stimulated by these impacts experienced by in-person music festivals throughout the country. We will not be producing our 2-day dulcimer festival for now. We will instead be focusing on building a local/state-wide community of dulcimer players working towards having a strong support base for future festivals. We will be maintaining our website and Facebook page with information regarding events, jams, and our community involvement. Contact us if you are trying to connect with teachers or other players...using our extensive player database, we've been able to help many.

Snapshot of an in-person New Mexico Dulcimer Festival

  • Dulcimer Instruction
    • Two days of hammered dulcimer and mountain dulcimer workshops for all skill levels
    • "Never-played-before" workshops both days for those who want to start
    • A limited number of dulcimer rentals are available to registered participants for the festival
  • Over 40 Workshops
    • In addition to dulcimer classes, workshops on other folk instruments (may be Celtic harp, bowed psaltery, bodhrán, tin whistle, autoharp, guitar, banjo, mandolin, fiddle, ukulele, other - see schedule)
    • Unregistered guests and walk-ins may take a limited nunmber of workshops (designated on schedule in red with star) by obtaining workshop passes from the festival registration desk ($15 per workshop). Walk-ins may also take regular workshops a la carte at $40 each.
    • All a la carte workshops are included for registered participants
    • Loaner instruments are available at no cost for many of these workshops (see workshop descriptions).
    • Some workshops require low-cost instrumets which you can purchase from our Association or vendors onsite if you don't have one already.
  • Concerts
    • Friday and Saturday evening concerts by instructors (open to the public)
    • We're having a contradance this year on Saturday. If you don't want to dance, come for the great music and to watch (just for participants)
  • Jamming
    • We will attempt to obtain Jam space at the host hotel Thursday and Friday nights*
    • Scheduled slow and regular jams during the festival*
    • Often we'll have Jamming skills workshops for both dulcimer types
    • *Jams are intended for festival participants and their guests only. All acoustic folk instruments are welcome.

  • More
    • Open mic opportunities
    • Granny's Attic where participants can put used instruments in good playing condition up for sale. Instruments only, no books, cd's, etc. No more than two instruments per participant, no dealers please! Provide instrument details, cost, your name and contact info on a card or flyer by your item. This is not consignment sales. NMDF is not responsible for showing or selling your instrument, nor for damage/theft of any item left for show.
    • On-site lunches (use nearby eateries for dinners or if our lunch choices won't work for you).
    • Dulcimer Fest Quilt presentation during Saturday's concert
    • Host hotel with special festival rates
    • See Lodging for camping options.

Support the New Mexico Dulcimer Associaton

Please consider making a tax-deductible donation to the non-profit 501(c)(3) New Mexico Dulcimer Association so we can stay healthy fiscally and keep bringing you great festivals. Click this button to be taken to a secure Paypal website. The Board of Directors (with zero paid positions) is grateful for your attendance, your volunteering, your support, and your warm friendship.

If you do your grocery shopping at Smith's, you can have donations made to us for 0.5% of your total order every time you shop with your Smith's card. It doesn't cost you anything to choose us as a beneficiary of Smith's rewards and you will not lose fuel points. Signing up is free and easy: 1) Go to www.SmithsFoodandDrug.com/inspire, 2) Sign into your digital account or choose "Create an Account" (see buttons at right hand side of page) and fill in the information, 3) Link your Rewards Card to our non-profit organization using organization number SM851 or our name New Mexico Dulcimer Association and click "Search," select us then choose "Save."

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta
Hot air balloons over Albuquerque

Prior to 2020, we schedule the (in-person) New Mexico Dulcimer Festival the weekend following the Balloon Fiesta so we might catch more of you RVers traveling through the southwest. Due to event conflicts, we moved the 2022 festival a couple of weeks later in October, but the weather is still beautiful in Albuquerque that time of year.

With more than 700 beautiful hot air balloons participating, the Fiesta is the largest ballooning event on earth. Attracting more than 800,000 national and international visitors and more than 800 media representatives from across the globe, it is also the largest annual event in North America. It has been recognized as the world's most photographed event, and has been characterized as the most spectacular and colorful festival on the planet.

Click here for other Albuquerque attractions.

Click here for our own entertaining history of Albuquerque.