Recent updates:                                                            Last website update: May 21, 2016

- (Jan 14) Major website update to reflect 2016 festival, have not updated fest maps yet, still showing 2015 schedule as example.
- (Feb 05) Robert Force has agreed to teach our first ever Harmonica workshop (key of D)! See his updated bio.
- (May 20) Photo of the 2016 festival quilt (in progress) added to the Fest Quilt page.
- (May 21) We are delighted to have engaged Karen Alley (hammered dulcimer) and David Ellison (mountain dulcimer) to come back and teach again this year. We're working hard to complete the 2016 draft schedule, and will be posting with a couple of weeks.
- (May 22) We've employed a wonderful musician and historian for this year's attendee-only Spotlight Concert. See the Instructors' page on banjoist Wayne Shrubsall.

2015 fest photos are up on Facebook. Feel free to share your comments there.

Website has been updated for 2016 for most items. While we're completing hiring auxiliary teachers and coordinating everybody's classes, we'll keep the 2015 schedule up as a characteristic example. We'll be posting the 2016 schedule soon (watch here and for a facebook announcement).

Click here for a printable Festival Flyer and here for a printable color or printable grayscale Festival Handbill.

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 AR, AZ, CA, CO, CT, FL, ID, IL, IN, KS, NE, NH, NV, OK, OR, TX, UT, VT, WI and WY. 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, NC, RI, TN, TX, VA, WA and WV.

Our festival has grown from 7 mountain dulcimer workshops in 2010 to 46 workshops in 2015 focusing on mountain and hammered dulcimer, but other folk instruments as well. We offer a full complement of additional activities. We work hard to keep registration fees low which pay for about half of festival expenses - thank you! Registration revenue is critical to festival survival. We've been seeking grants since 2013 which have paid for about 16% of expenses. We are grateful for these funds as this little boost makes a huge difference in what we can offer, and we get to promote our sponsors' worthy efforts. Other minor sources of revenue and private donations have helped us grow the festival into what we hope is a Southwest treasure and a tangible resource in your musical growth and enjoyment.

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'd like to volunteer to help with this year's festival, please contact us.
  • See this year's beautiful festival quilt (fund raiser to help keep registration costs down).

2016 Headliners

Robert Force(Port Townsend, WA)  - Mountain Dulcimer, Harmonica
Stephen Humphries    (Chattanooga, TN)- Hammered Dulcimer
Madeline MacNeil(Berryville, VA)- Mountain Dulcimer, Hammered Dulcimer and Singing
Ruth Smith(Zionville, NC)  - Hammered Dulcimer

Additional Instructors

Karen Alley(Boulder, CO)- Hammered Dulcimer
David Ellison(Lovington, NM)- Mountain Dulcimer
Donese Mayfield(Albuquerque, NM)- Celtic Harp
Steve Smith(Zionville, NC)- Banjo, Guitar, Ukulele
Irma Reeder(Albuquerque, NM)- Mountain Dulcimer
Scott Reeder(Albuquerque, NM)- Bowed Psaltery, TBD
Michael VeSeart    (Albuquerque, NM)- Ukulele

More teachers to be announced. We're expecting classes on tin whistle, bodhrán, and possibly other instruments.

What is the 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 event
  • 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 workshops)
    • A limited number of our workshops are offered a la carte where guests of registered participants or walk-ins can pay for specific sessions
    • All a la carte workshops are included for registered participants
    • Loaner instruments are available at no cost for many of these workshops
  • Concerts
    • Informal instructor mini-concert just for participants
    • Spotlight concert featuring an artist on a non-dulcimer instrument (just for participants)
    • Friday and Saturday evening concerts by instructors (open to the public)
  • Jamming
    • Once again, we'll try to rent jam space at the host hotel Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights*
    • Slow jam and regular jam during each festival day*
    • 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. One instrument 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 any item left for show.
    • On-site home cooked meals
    • Dulcimer Fest Quilt presentation during Saturday's concert
    • Host hotel with special festival rates
    • See lodging for camping options.

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta
Hot air balloons over Albuquerque

We schedule the New Mexico Dulcimer Festival the weekend following the Balloon Fiesta so we might catch more of you RVers traveling through the southwest. We hope you'll stay in Albuquerque after the balloon spectacle to make some music with us.

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.