Santa Maria Sun / Music
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 14, Issue 30
Native tribes will sing and dance at the Chumash's 18th annual Intertribal Pow-Wow
BY JOE PAYNE
Before our modern times of casinos and fee-to-trust woes, Native Americans lived in equilibrium with Mother Earth and praised her with song. An upcoming event presented by the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians invites all to come celebrate that connection with friendly music and dance competitions.
The 18th annual Intertribal Pow-Wow event invites all Native American tribes to bring their own dance and drum ensembles to share their art. From the colorful and festive regalia worn, to the steady drumbeats providing accompaniment, to vocals, the pow-wow will be a showcase and celebration of Native American life and culture. The public is welcome to come observe and take part in the festivities as well.
One ensemble will be making its way from Arizona to represent the Navajo Nation with song and dance. The Cathedral Lakes Singers is a group headed by the famed Navajo singer and song composer Jay Begaye.
“Intertribal means all the spectators and everyone comes out to enjoy the dancing and music,” Begaye said, “and in the Navajo way, we sing words that tell the people who hear it to come out and dance with joy on Mother Earth with us.”
Najavo music is as stark as it is beautiful, with drumming as the only accompaniment to the high falsetto of the male singer or singers. The music Begaye will be performing with the Cathedral Lakes Singers is made up of pow-wow songs, traveling songs, horse songs, and some prayer songs, he explained.
“Most traditional Navajo songs are not for performance, but we do have pow-wow songs,” he said. “We do write our own original pow-wow songs.”
Begaye is known for writing songs that capture the spirit of Navajo music making in a way that is acceptable to share with everyone. His talent for writing has passed down to his daughter as well.
“My daughter, when she composes songs, she composes them from the wind,” he said. “My songs are mostly by feelings; mostly by how you feel if you are traveling, like through the Rocky Mountains there is always a feeling I get, and when we hit the dessert, the tune, it can change.”
Many songs are simply about the Navajo people, but they may also be about other creatures. The horse songs are especially important, Begaye explained, because the Navajo have always respected their horses.
“It was the sun god who gave us horses and we do have some old, old songs where horses are mentioned in those songs,” he said. “There are a lot of things that you can learn from horses. They can understand you when you talk to them, when you are lonely or sad or sick.”
Begaye and the Cathedral Lakes Singers tour all over the United States and Canada to various pow-wows and other events to share their music and heritage. Begaye believes it’s important to share Navajo music with young people, regardless what tribe they’re in.
“That’s what it’s all about, keeping the traditions strong and teaching the young ones how to sing and dance,” he said. “And it’s nice, too. You get to have a cookout with your friends and family, and it’s a place of happiness to meet new friends.”
Rendezvous with music
The Santa Maria Philharmonic Society presents its “Rendezvous House Concert Series” featuring the Santa Maria Winds on Oct. 6 at 3 p.m. at the Lake Marie Estate Club House, 2400 Glacier Lane, Orcutt. Cost is $40, reservations required. More info: 925-0412.
The Allan Hancock College Concert Band presents its first concert of the season on Oct. 5 at 7:30 p.m. at the First Baptist Church, 2970 Santa Maria Way, Santa Maria. More info: 922-6966, Ext. 3252, or hancockcollege.edu.
All good things must end
The city of Santa Maria’s Concerts in the Park series comes to an end at the Autumn Arts Grapes and Grains festival on Oct. 5 featuring live music by The Appellation Bluegrass Band from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and Steppin’ Out from 1 to 3 p.m. at the festival, McClelland Street Corridor, Santa Maria. More info: 925-0951, Ext. 260.
The Chumash Casino and Resort presents “Teen Idols” featuring David Cassidy, Peter Noone, and Micky Dolenz performing Oct. 3. Both shows are at 8 p.m. at the Chumash Casino Resort, 3400 E. Highway 246, Santa Ynez. Cost is $35, $45, $55, $65, and $75. More info: 585-3737 or chumashcasino.com.
Live at Root 246
Root 246 presents live music Fridays and Saturdays from 8 to 11 p.m. at Root 246, 420 Alisal Road, Solvang. More info: 264-4726 or email@example.com.
Lucia’s Wine Co. offers an open mic featuring wine, poetry, and live music on Wednesdays at 5:30 p.m. at the tasting room, 126 E. Clark Ave., Orcutt. More info: 332-3080.
Time to ‘Wine Down’
The Addamo Tasting Room and Bistro present “Wine Down Wednesdays” featuring live music on Wednesdays from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Addamo Tasting Room and Bistro, located at 400 E. Clark Ave., Old Orcutt. Free. More info: 937-6400 or Bethany@addamovineyards.com.
Party at the Maverick
The Maverick Saloon offers live entertainment, including live country by the Jimi Nelson Band on Oct. 4 at 7:45 p.m. “Concert on the Deck” featuring Jimi and friends is Oct. 5 at 3 p.m. Jimi Nelson and the Gang perform on Oct. 5 at 7:45 p.m., followed by “Late Night with guest DJs” at 11:30 p.m. The Mad Caddies presents a benefit concert for Suzanne Alexandra on Oct. 6 from 1 to 5 p.m., $10. “Tales from the Tavern” presents Karla Bonoff performing Oct. 9 at 7 p.m. at the saloon, 3687 Sagunto St., Santa Ynez. More info: 686-4785 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contact Arts Editor Joe Payne at email@example.com.
SPIRITUAL SINGING: The Cathedral Lakes Singers, headed by Jay Begaye, perform Navajo songs at the 2010 Sycuan pow-wow in San Diego. They will be performing at the 18th annual Intertribal Pow-Wow on Oct. 5 and 6 at the Live Oak Campground.
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