EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – New Mexico State University alumnus Ken C. Peterson (2003) is the creator and executive producer of enchantment bands, a television series intended to highlight through 30-minute broadcasts, the musical talents that come from all over the State of New Mexico.
At its core, according to the creators, the show is family-oriented.
Enchantment Bands debuted in June 2021 and aired on PBS stations across New Mexico and the Begging of Texas. The series airs this month in several major PBS markets, from San Francisco to New York, and can be streamed anywhere on the PBS app.
The show’s roots run deep in New Mexico. Peterson, who hails from the Detroit area, spent his childhood surrounded by echoes of Motown. But he “fell in love with the music in New Mexico” when his new family moved to the area.
“That’s where I found my creativity,” says Peterson of New Mexico. “It saved me many times.”
Peterson honed those talents at NMSU’s Department of Theater Arts. For “Bands of Enchantment,” he asked Jim Billings, a professor at the University of Theater Arts, to serve as set designer. Peterson also brought in the versatile Santino Jiménez, a 2002 NMSU graduate and Los Angeles-based actor whose production experience and knack for creatively maximizing resources helped turn a Tucumcari train depot into a studio.
Peterson, actor, musician and writer, lives in California. He works virtually with his Detroit-based half-brother in their company Elkhorn Entertainment. All those miles away, their fondness for New Mexico rings clear. Peterson calls the show a “celebration of our rich and culturally diverse state.”
“We wanted to do a show that showcases New Mexico as a place where great music happens and is a beautiful place to visit,” says Vince T. Chavez, who studied at NMSU in 1996. “We wanted to bring some of the best in music to fuse with New Mexico talent on a big stage.
They’re working on another season of “Bands of Enchantment.” Peterson, who organized the show’s acts, hopes to have a live audience and expand the show into a festival.
A version of this story first appeared in the Fall 2021 issue of Panorama, the magazine for NMSU alumni and friends. To read the issue, visit https://panorama.nmsu.edu.