Treasure Tour: Albuquerque & Denver

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The Treasure Tour is a song, music video, and concert series inspired by the Bicentenary (200 year anniversary) of the Birth of Bahá’u’lláh, the Founder of the Baha’i Faith. The song and music video share the path of six Baha’is in finding and embracing Baha’u’llah as the Divine Messenger for today. The tour aims to celebrate Baha’u’llah’s life, message, and Cause of oneness, peace, unity, and justice.

The Treasure Crew took the second stop on the Treasure Tour this past weekend in Albuquerque, New Mexico and Denver, Colorado! This trip featured Treasure Crew members Kishan, Jose Maria, Bill, and myself. In a 36 hour window, we had four performances: a house concert in Albuquerque, an outdoor performance at the Colorado State Capitol, another house concert in Denver, and an impromptu Sunday morning performance for some new friends!

We hit the road from Phoenix early Friday morning for a six-and-a-half hour drive to Albuquerque (the first stretch of lots of driving!). Lots of fun conversations, vibing to good music, and, of course, practicing our songs! We arrived around 6 pm and set up shop at our friend David’s house (shout out to David!). By 8 pm the house had filled up with a beautiful tapestry of familiar faces and new friends to be, and we got the show started!

Bill kicked things off with an icebreaker to set the tone for the evening and help the souls in the room connect. We then opened up the performances with our song “Treasure” and gave the audience some background on the tour. This was followed by a dope set list of spoken word poetry and rap from the various members of the Treasure Crew. The audience was hyped!

Sticking true to our format of community building and empowerment, we then reversed roles with the audience and gave them the opportunity to spit some bars! They were given the prompt “what is something you treasure?” and asked to come up with a few lines of poetry or rap. We then opened the mic, and to no surprise, we were totally inspired by the creations that were shared. We finished things out with a screening of the Treasure music video, which was very well received :).

After the show we hit up the famous Frontier Restaurant with many of the friends who joined us for the concert. I enjoyed a delicious green chile cheeseburger :). We spent the night at our friend Trevar’s home (shout out to the Caldwell family!). We got to bed around 2 am, and then had to be up at 6 am for the drive to Denver!

After we each downed a breakfast burrito from a local fast food joint, we were on the road to Denver for another six-and-a-half hour drive. We planned to get to Denver by early afternoon, as we had been invited by a new friend of mine, Naureen, to perform at a Langar event outside the Colorado State Capitol. Langar is a tradition in the Sikh community where a free meal is given out to members of the community, without distinction of religion, class, gender, ethnicity, or class. Their event also included various artistic expressions, and when Naureen saw that the Treasure Crew was coming through Denver on October 7th, she graciously invited us to perform. We couldn’t pass up the opportunity to take part in such a beautiful, spiritually infused community space!

Due to traffic, we arrived a bit later than anticipated, so the crowd had dwindled quite a bit. But we hustled over to the stage, got our music connected, and performed our hearts out for the community members that were still in attendance. Once the beats started bumping from the sound system, it began to attract some of the other bystanders who were hanging around who just had to come see what these four emcees were all about!

One woman ran up to the stage as we were performing one of Jose Maria’s songs, “Youth Can Move the World”. The woman shared that she was also a rapper. I immediately welcomed her up on stage and handed her the mic and told her to spit a verse after the next chorus. It was on point! A lesson in spontaneous collaboration :).

After the performance, we hung out with some of the members of the Sikh community who had volunteered at the Langar event. We even got some honorary turbans! Shout out to Naureen, her mom, and all the amazing folks from the Sikh community for welcoming us into Denver!

After Langar, we grabbed some boba tea and headed to our friends Nisa’s and Munib’s home in Castle Pines (shout out to the Far family!). Our music gear wasn’t needed this time around, as the Far family has a whole DJ and sound system set up in their basement! By 8 pm, we were again reunited with some old friends, as well as several new ones. A few even drove over an hour from Boulder, Colorado to come see us perform!

This show, we started off with a similar icebreaker, but this one was geared at started conversations about the Baha’i Faith, expression, and overcoming fear. We then performed Treasure, followed by our rap and spoken word set. The Colorado audience really enjoyed the track “Youth Can Move the World”, which has a bass that goes HARD! It got everyone out of their seat dancing around. They enjoyed it so much, an encore was requested at the end of the night!

The workshop section of the evening was incredible, as we had several young youth and junior youth in attendance that got up and rocked the mic with some FIRE! They rapped about community, family, and other things they love and treasure. Super moving! We ended the program with another screening of the music video to a loving applause :).

We planned to hit the road early Sunday morning for the 12 hour drive back to Phoenix, but received an invitation to join Nisa, Munib, and few Colorado youth in studying some Baha’i Writings with Valerie Dana, one of the members of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of the United States. We couldn’t pass it up!

It was a wonderful morning of study with rich discussion and consultation. As the morning gathering was coming to a close, Ms. Dana asked if we’d be willing to share one of our songs. We hooked up the instrumental to their living room sound system, and gave one final impromptu performance of Treasure! Definitely a special treat to end the weekend!

We then hit the highway for a long road trip back to Phoenix bonding over more deep conversations and some Treasure Crew freestyling! Next stop, California!

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