Native American Pavilion to Feature Demonstrations by Area Artists
ALBUQUERQUE NM—Visitors to the June 16th Centennial Summerfest will have the opportunity to experience the best of New Mexico culture through six stages and pavilions that celebrate our history and diversity.
Located at 5th and Central adjacent to the KiMo Theatre, itself a historic and artistic treasure, the Native American Stage and Pavilion will offer great live entertainment and prominent Native American artists demonstrating their work and interacting with the crowds. The Pavilion opens at Noon and will close at 6 p.m.
Recently added to the full lineup of live onstage entertainment is Shelly Morningsong, whose album “Full Circle,” won “2011 Record of the Year” at the Native American Music Awards. Her 2006 debut album, “Out of the Ashes,” won three prestigious awards, including the New Mexico Music Award for “Best Native Contemporary Music,” the Wisconsin Indian Summer Festival award for “Classic Rock,” and the Native American Music Award for “Debut Artist of the Year.”
Morningsong’s ability to fuse together traditional Native American instrumentation with a mainstream sound is something her fans old and young alike love and admire about her music. Shelley Morningsong comes from a musically talented family. She grew up singing and playing guitar, and at 17 joined a country rock band called Hearts of the West that opened up for Charlie Daniels and Juice Newton at the Sweet Water Café in Redondo Beach, CA. Her musical influences include such great talents as Bonnie Raitt, Rosanne Cash, and Old Blues legend Buddy Guy. Shelley was a touring member of Robert Mirabal’s “Music from a Painted Cave” presented by PBS Great Performances. Shelly Morningsong will perform on the Native American Stage from 5 – 6 p.m.
The entertainment lineup brings very exciting acts to the Native American Stage:
Storyteller, model, singer, and motivational speaker Onawa Lacy of the Navajo Nation will introduce live entertainment that begins at Noon and ends at 5 p.m.
Gathering of Nations Tribal Dancers, who will take the stage from Noon – 12:45 pm, 1:45 – 2 p.m., 2:45 – 3 p.m., and 3:45 – 4 p.m., represent the many Native American groups found within New Mexico. These dancers in their elaborate costumes inspire the crowds as they repeat the intricate patterns that represent the many forms of Native dance.
Accompanying the dancers is Grammy®-winning group Black Eagle Singers, who received the “Best Native American Music” Grammy in 2003 for the album, “Flying Free.” Black Eagle sang before an audience of 100,000 at the opening ceremony of the National Museum of the American Indian at the Smithsonian in Washington, DC, and performed at the pre-telecast ceremony for the Grammy awards in 2006.
At 1 p.m. Pueblo Country brings its traditional take on country music. The five-member band performs regularly around the state and brings a sound that evokes images of rusted pickups on back roads, Saturday night dances and a people who survive in spite of it all.
At 2 p.m. Levi Platero and the Plateros change the musical tone to a blues rock sound. From their small beginnings at a small church gathering in Birdspring, Arizona, they were invited to the biggest pow-wow in the world, They bring to the stage a power gained from years of performing, making this young group solid pros, while others their age are still finding their way.
At 3 p.m. Native Roots, a genre-melding band dedicated to the sound and spirit of Reggae music rooted by Native American tradition. Their many appearances on the national stage include the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics, the Sundance Film Festival and the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, as well as many others.
At 4 p.m. the comedy act of James and Ernie will close out the afternoon entertainment with their hilarious take on Native American life and current affairs. Recipients of the 2009 “Comedians of the Year” at the North American indigenous Image Awards, (US and Canada), they have played and hosted at some of Native America’s most popular entertainment events, such as the Native American Music Awards and the Gathering of Nations, and have headlined at several casinos in the southwest region.
Artists who will demonstrate their work in the Native American Pavilion are:
Dina Velarde (Jicarilla Apache), a potter and photographer from Northern New Mexico who is a graduate of the Institute of American Arts.
Daniel Ramirez (Saginaw Chippewa tribe of Michigan) A painter of contemporary woodland images in memory of his mother. He received a bachelors and master of fine art from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.
Nanabah Aragon (Navajo), a master weaver/singer from Steamboat, Arizona who has been weaving since the age of 8. She was awarded the Arizona Living Treasures and the Living Treasures for the Gallup Inter Tribal Ceremonial honors. She had shown her work at The Heard Museum, The Santa Fe Indian Market, and the New Mexico State fair.
Allen Aragon (Navajo/Spanish), a jeweler and potter, Allen is credited with merging two mediums, sliver and pottery. He was awarded the Goodman fellowship (The Southwest Association for Indian Arts), and has exhibited at the Santa Fe Indian Market, The Heard Museum, Museum of Indian Arts and Culture, The Smithsonian Museum of The American Indian, The Museum of Man, The Autry Nation Center and the Eiteljorg Museum.
Caroline Sarracino-Garcia (AKA Evening Star – Acoma Pueblo) did not begin making pottery until she was in her mid-20s, unlike most Native American potters who begin in childhood. She will demonstrate painting traditional Acoma pottery using the leaf of the yucca which is their native paint brush for pottery.
David Behrens comes from a different background (German/Sicilian), and people wonder how he can so accurately portray a people not his own. He attributes his work to God in the hope that his art brings a sense of healing. His dream-like montages are the result of an oil glazing technique that dates back to the early Italian Renaissance period. To achieve the effect, David builds up many different layers of translucent oil washes. His artwork can be seen in many galleries throughout the country and at many prestigious Indian Art Markets.
Also participating in the Native American Pavilion is The Gathering of Nations, a Native American Indian non-profit organization founded in 1983 to promote Native American, American Indian (indigenous) culture and tradition, and dispel stereotypes created about Native American Indian and indigenous people. The group produces the huge Pow-Wow that brings thousands of Native Americans to Albuquerque each year for this special event.
The Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, whose mission it is to preserve and perpetuate Pueblo culture and to advance understanding by presenting with dignity and respect, the accomplishments and evolving history of the Pueblo people of New Mexico will also have a presence.
This large Centennial event will offer visitors the opportunity to learn more about Native American history and culture from these organizations and about Native American art from those demonstrating their special talents.
Centennial Summerfest is produced by the City of Albuquerque, Richard J. Berry, Mayor. For additional details on all special events, please call 311. TTY users call 711.