And organizer and curator
Santa Fe Bandstand started in 2004 under the direction of the late
Lescht was a local music promoter with the nonprofit Outside In. He organized music shows for homeless shelters, detention facilities, nursing homes and treatment centers throughout
He moved to
During one arduous night on a film set, Dellheim first heard Lescht on the radio. He said he appreciated Lescht's style and music selection. So he called in late one night, in part to answer a question for Lescht that he felt all early morning DJs must occasionally ask themselves: Is anyone listening?
Dellheim became a regular caller on Lescht's show, and their friendship grew off the airwaves, as well. Dellheim also started working as the treasurer for Outside In.
After Lescht died, Dellheim said, he thought he was only temporarily stepping into the man's shoes at Outside In until the nonprofit found the right person to head its operations. But that person never came.
"I realized it was me," Dellheim said.
Dellheim contrasts himself with Lescht, who had a big personality, a distinctive look and fought hard for social justice issues. Dellheim said his friend "was very much, in the best sense of the word, a child of the '60s."
Dellheim is quiet and reserved. He cares about social justice, but it's not his career. And he jokes that his hair is long, but it doesn't mean anything special.
"I wanted to be him," Dellheim said. "But I found I couldn't. I slowly let go of ... 'What would David do?' "
The local music industry had grown accustomed to Lescht, and even though Dellheim had worked on Outside In's board of directors, he still felt like an unknown, he said. Some musicians treated him with suspicion, he said, especially when he made changes.
Dellheim did away with a selection board, and instead selects performers personally. Musicians used to drop off CDs for review, but Dellheim prefers online links to video footage of their performances. He also toned down the speaker system on the Plaza so the performances wouldn't disturb a local symphony group a block away.
His changes drew some criticisms, but he feels that he's making positive changes to Santa Fe Bandstand.
"You can't please everyone," he said. "It was a hard lesson to learn."
Dellheim said he's strove to increase sponsorship of the series, urging restaurants, banks and even Public Service Company of
And Dellheim has worked to make that happen. He has added more Bandstand performances each summer, and the shows last longer. Last year's performances averaged 825 attendees, he said, joking that the
Outside In has a contract with the city to host the Bandstand series through the 2015 season. Dellheim said it's unclear what will happen in the coming years, but he's happy that he has kept Lescht's series alive.
"You reach people," he said. "I am very pleased to have become a part of the fabric of summer in
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