By Nichole Harwood

The 10th Annual Blues Festival has returned to Albuquerque, spearheaded by local nonprofit organization the Freedom in Music Project which works to spread the love and power of music. This organization has been sharing the organization’s love for music with children everywhere for many years. The nonprofit has successfully spread its message through donations by putting guitars into the hands of at-risk youth every year.

This year the Freedom in Music Project is getting ready to host the second night of their annual Freedom in Music Project, titled the 10th Annual Blues Festival at the Historic Lobo Theater, packing the theater with many talented musicians, including Cody Jasper and Joe Bourgeois, to entertain Albuquerque and help raise money to continue their mission in ensuring every child gets the opportunity to find their passion in music.

10th Annual Blues Festival

“It was great that we found the Lobo because they were our last resort in Albuquerque to throw this type of event,” said Phil Oliveira, President of RiseN Music Ministry and The Freedom in Music Project. “They were great; they partnered with us because they love what we do for the kids.”

Along with providing entertainment, the Freedom in Music Project will provide an auction and raffle to all attendees, with raffle prizes being donated by local businesses and auction items ranging from paintings to a signed guitar from headline Cody Jasper and other guitars signed by world-famous musicians.

“Our mission statement is to bring hope through music to challenged youth,” said Oliveria. “That’s what it’s all about, turning youth and young adults onto the power of music. I know it changed my life, and it can change theirs too.”

Oliveria’s wife Linda agreed with the sentiment, stating that the mission was close to their hearts and worth their personal and financial investment. Recalling one story that stood out to her, Linda shared an experience with a youth that approached her husband after receiving guidance and a guitar in the past.

“My husband went to talk to him,” Linda Oliveria said with a smile, “And he said, ‘Mr. Phil, you don’t recognize me but what you taught me about music was great – what you taught me about life was even better.- It was amazing. Even if you only hear one story like that, you know that one guitar changed that child’s life in a wonderful way.”

To learn more about this evening’s event, check out information on the Historic Lobo Theater’s website here or check out the 10th Annual Blues Festival HoldMyTicket page here! Check out their website here to learn more about the Freedom in Music Project!

Interested in hearing more about events at the Historic Lobo Theater? Check out our last review titled Zach Abeyta and Friends Entertain Albuquerque here!