Friday, August 02, 2013

Jim PepperFest update: American Indian Movement

We are honored and very happy to announce a partnership with American Indian Movement (AIM) Portland Oregon Chapter. AIM Portland volunteers will provide public safety and security services for the Jim Pepper Native Arts Festival, August 7 – 10.

From the official American Indian Movement website:
A Brief History of the American Indian Movement
by Laura Waterman Wittstock and Elaine J. Salinas
In the 30 years of its formal history, the American Indian Movement (AIM) has given witness to a great many changes. We say formal history, because the movement existed for 500 years without a name. The leaders and members of today's AIM never fail to remember all of those who have traveled on before, having given their talent and their lives for the survival of the people.

At the core of the movement is Indian leadership under the direction of NeeGawNwayWeeDun, Clyde H. Bellecourt, and others. Making steady progress, the movement has transformed policy making into programs and organizations that have served Indian people in many communities. These policies have consistently been made in consultation with spiritual leaders and elders.The success of these efforts is indisputable, but perhaps even greater than the accomplishments is the vision defining what AIM stands for.

Indian people were never intended to survive the settlement of Europeans in the Western Hemisphere, our Turtle Island.  With the strength of a spiritual base, AIM has been able to clearly articulate the claims of Native Nations and has had the will and intellect to put forth those claims.

The movement was founded to turn the attention of Indian people toward a renewal of spirituality which would impart the strength of resolve needed to reverse the ruinous policies of the United States, Canada, and other colonialist governments of Central and South America. At the heart of AIM is deep spirituality and a belief in the connectedness of all Indian people.

During the past thirty years, The American Indian Movement has organized communities and created opportunities for people across the Americas and Canada. AIM is headquartered in Minneapolis with chapters in many other cities, rural areas and Indian Nations.

AIM has repeatedly brought successful suit against the federal government for the protection of the rights of Native Nations guaranteed in treaties, sovereignty, the United States Constitution, and laws. The philosophy of self-determination upon which the movement is built is deeply rooted in traditional spirituality, culture, language and history. AIM develops partnerships to address the common needs of the people. Its first mandate is to ensure the fulfillment of treaties made with the United States. This is the clear and unwavering vision of The American Indian Movement.

It has not been an easy path. Spiritual leaders and elders foresaw the testing of AIM's strength and stamina. Doubters, infiltrators, those who wished they were in the leadership, and those who didn't want to be but wanted to tear down and take away have had their turns. No one, inside or outside the movement, has so far been able to destroy the will and strength of AIM's solidarity. Men and women, adults and children are continuously urged to stay strong spiritually, and to always remember that the movement is greater than the accomplishments or faults of its leaders.

Inherent in the spiritual heart of AIM is knowing that the work goes on because the need goes on.

Indian people live on Mother Earth with the clear understanding that no one will assure the coming generations except ourselves. No one from the outside will do this for us. And no person among us can do it all for us, either. Self-determination must be the goal of all work. Solidarity must be the first and only defense of the members.

In November, 1972 AIM brought a caravan of Native Nation representatives to Washington, DC, to the place where dealings with Indians have taken place since 1849: the US Department of Interior. AIM put the following claims directly before the President of the United States:
  1. Restoration of treaty making (ended by Congress in 1871).
  2. Establishment of a treaty commission to make new treaties (with sovereign Native Nations).
  3. Indian leaders to address Congress.
  4. Review of treaty commitments and violations.
  5. Unratified treaties to go before the Senate.
  6. All Indians to be governed by treaty relations.
  7. Relief for Native Nations for treaty rights violations.
  8. Recognition of the right of Indians to interpret treaties.
  9. Joint Congressional Committee to be formed on reconstruction of Indian relations.
  10. Restoration of 110 million acres of land taken away from Native Nations by the United States.
  11. Restoration of terminated rights.
  12. Repeal of state jurisdiction on Native Nations.
  13. Federal protection for offenses against Indians.
  14. Abolishment of the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
  15. Creation of a new office of Federal Indian Relations.
  16. New office to remedy breakdown in the constitutionally prescribed relationships between the United States and Native Nations.
  17. Native Nations to be immune to commerce regulation, taxes, trade restrictions of states.
  18. Indian religious freedom and cultural integrity protected.
  19. Establishment of national Indian voting with local options; free national Indian organizations from governmental controls
  20. Reclaim and affirm health, housing, employment, economic development, and education for all Indian people.
For more information about the American Indian Movement:


Evening concert series tickets are on sale now:
Reserved seats $ 25
Season Pass $ 95

Friday, July 26, 2013

Jim PepperFest 2013 new lineups and new prices

photo courtesy of the family of Jim Pepper

Wednesday, August 7
Parkrose HS Performing Arts Center Theater

7:00 Keith Secola

Keith Secola (Anishinaabe) is an icon and ambassador of Native American music. He is one of the most influential artists in the field today. Rising from the grass roots of North America, he is a songwriter of the People. Critics have dubbed him the Native American versions of both Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen.

 NDN Kars (Indian cars), his most popular song, is considered the contemporary Native American anthem, achieving legendary status and earning him a well deserved cult following. It has been the number one requested song on tribal radio since 1992.

In 2011, Keith joined the ranks of Jimi Hendrix, Hank Williams, Crystal Gale, Richie Valens and Jim Pepper when he was inducted into the Native American Music Hall of Fame (NAMA). His seven NAMA awards include Lifetime Achievement (2011). Keith opens the 1st annual Jim Pepper Native Arts Festival as a solo singer/songwriter and returns on Friday evening August 9 as the Keith Secola band.

8:30 King/Moore (Nancy King and Glen Moore)

King/Moore: No one has a longer history of musical collaboration and friendship with Jim Pepper than Glen Moore. They performed as teenagers with the Young Oregonians. Glen Moore went on to co-found the band Oregon, which continues to keep Jim's music alive worldwide.

World-renowned jazz singer Nancy King's connection to Jim Pepper began in the 1960s. Both Glen Moore and Nancy King have earned Grammy nominations in their respective careers.

As King/Moore, Nancy King and Glen Moore have recorded three albums together and performed across Europe and North America. Nancy King was a nominated for a Best Jazz Singer Grammy on two different cds with two different bands the same year.

New price: All seats are $ 25
New price: Season pass $ 95

Thursday, August 8
Parkrose HS Performing Arts Center Theater

7:00 Swil Kanim

Swil Kanim (Lummi) is a classically trained violinist, Native American storyteller and actor. He is an activist whose life mission is to bring healing and hope through music, fine arts and storytelling. As a young boy, he was separated from his parents and spent the remainder of his childhood in a series of foster homes. One of his teachers encouraged him to enroll in a music program, and the violin became his instrument of choice. Through music, he found his path to healing his childhood wounds and reconnecting to his Native American roots. He credits his fourth grade teacher and access to band at school with saving his life, and he wants to tell you the story….

8:30 The Star Nayea Band

Star Nayea: When Star Nayea was only two months old, she was taken from her Native American family because of the 1950s-70s baby sweep perpetrated by the United States and Canada. Despite the good intentions of the Lutheran Social Services of Detroit, Michigan, she landed in an extremely abusive adoptive family that did not share her heritage. After several years of pain and struggle, she escaped her adoptive family and began to reach for her dreams of musical freedom.

While the experience and circumstances that brought Star Nayea to Detroit were unfortunate to say the least, the surrounding Motor City Rock and Roll scene and the raved-about MO-Town sound influenced and shaped her tastes as she grew into the young woman with the unique soulful style. Star began her musical career in her home town of Detroit, but it was not long before she was selling out shows in New York City, Los Angeles, and elsewhere.

Star Nayea has worked with many noteworthy Native American artists such as Indigenous, Joanne Shenandoah, and Buffy St. Marie. She overcame her negative experiences and became a Grammy-winning and Nammy-winning mentor and inspiration to many young aspiring Native American singers. She’s bringing some of them with her. Her students will perform earlier on the Flying Eagle Main Stage at 3:00.

Meet Star Nayea: Mountain Song

New price: All seats are $ 25
New price: Season pass $ 95

Friday August 9
Parkrose HS Performing Arts Center Theater

7:00 The Keith Secola Band

Keith Secola returns to the stage with a band that features Parkrose High School graduate, bandleader and guitar player Brian Harrison.

8:30 The Free Spirits Reunion, pt 1: Larry Coryell, Ra-Kalam Bob Moses, Chris Hills, Columbus Chip Baker and Friends

This band is beyond legendary! Reuniting more than forty years after they last performed as The Free Spirits to remember and celebrate their friend and bandmate Jim Pepper.

The beginning of jazz-rock is commonly dated in the late '60s with the emergence of Blood, Sweat, & Tears, the Electric Flag, and Miles Davis' Bitches Brew, but in fact a few sporadic efforts were made at reconciling the two forms before that. The Free Spirits, a New York group featuring the guitar, songwriting, and singing of Larry Coryell, may have been the first.


Augmenting the usual guitar-bass-drums rock lineup with the tenor saxophone of Jim Pepper, the quintet's backgrounds were decidedly jazz. But their sound was considerably closer to rock, investing the early psychedelic sounds of the day with relatively adventurous, jazz-derived improvisation, horns (or one, anyway), and elastic song structures. They weren't avant-garde by any means; on their LP, their innovations were tailored to fit songs with vocals lasting between two and three-and-a-half minutes. Their moderate use of jazz idioms within pop and rock frameworks was innovative for its day and has always been unfairly overlooked. --Richie Unterberger

Larry Coryell deserves a special place in the history books. He brought what amounted to a nearly alien sensibility to jazz electric guitar playing in the 1960s, a hard-edged, cutting tone, phrasing and note-bending that owed as much to blues, rock and even country as it did to earlier, smoother bop influences. Yet as a true eclectic, armed with a brilliant technique, he is comfortable in almost every style, from the most decibel-heavy distortion-laden electric work to the most delicate, intricate lines on acoustic guitar.

Watch him demolish Ravel’s Bolero with a 12-string guitar and meet Larry Coryell and The Free Spirits:

New price: All seats are $ 25
New price: Season pass $ 95

August 10
Parkrose HS Performing Arts Center Theater

7:00 John Trudell and Bad Dog

John Trudell is an acclaimed poet, national recording artist, actor and activist whose international following reflects the universal language of his words, work and message. Trudell (Santee Sioux) was a spokesperson for the Indian of All Tribes occupation of Alcatraz Island from 1969 to 1971. He then worked with the American Indian Movement (AIM), serving as Chairman of AIM from 1973 to 1979. 

In 1982, Trudell began recording his poetry to traditional Native music and in 1983 he released his debut album Tribal Voice on his own Peace Company label. Trudell then teamed up with the late legendary Kiowa guitarist Jesse Ed Davis. Together, they recorded three albums during the 1980's. The first of these, AKA Graffiti Man, was released in 1986 and dubbed the best album of the year by Bob Dylan. AKA Graffiti Man served early notice of Trudell's singular ability to express fundamental truths through a unique mix of poetry, Native music, blues and rock. 

Since that time, Trudell has released seven more albums plus a digitally re-mastered collection of his early Peace Company cassettes. His 2002 CD, Bone Days, was executive produced by Academy Award winning actress Angelina Jolie.

His latest double album, Madness & The Moremes, showcases more than five years of new music and includes special Ghost Tracks of old favorite Trudell tunes made with legendary Kiowa guitarist Jesse Ed Davis. This internet only release offers a full range of classic Trudell poetry – there are lyrics filled with penetrating insight and others with knock out humor, all put to some of the best music Bad Dog has ever made together.

In addition to his music career, Trudell has played roles in a number of feature films, including a lead role in the Mirimax movie Thunderheart and a major part in Sherman Alexie's Smoke Signals. He most recently played Coyote in Hallmark's made for television movie, Dreamkeeper.

Meet John Trudell and Bad Dog:

8:30 The Free Spirits, pt 1: Larry Coryell, Ra-kalam Bob Moses, Chris Hills, Columbus Chip Baker and Friends

The Free Spirits and Friends re-take the stage to close out the 1st annual Jim PepperFest Native Arts Festival, Jim PepperFest 2013: Rise of The Free Spirits.

New price: All seats are $ 25
New price: Season pass $ 95

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Jim PepperFest 2013 to feature National Museum of the American Indian exhibit IndiVisible: African - Native American Lives in the Americas

The National Museum of the American Indian’s traveling exhibit IndiVisible: African - Native American Lives in the Americas will make its first Portland appearance at the 1st annual Jim Pepper Native Arts Festival, August 7 – 10 and then will return to Portland through October – November for an extended run at Portland Community College’s Cascade Campus, in the heart of the City’s historically segregated African American neighborhoods.

Admission to the IndiVisible exhibit at Jim PepperFest 2013 will be free to the public, open 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Wednesday – Saturday August 7 – 10, at Parkrose HS Performing Arts Center in NE Portland.

We will be requesting donations of two items of nonperishable food for the Oregon Food Bank.

Jimi Hendrix, rock legend
“When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.” 
—Jimi Hendrix

The rock-and-roll innovator Jimi Hendrix often spoke proudly of his Cherokee grandmother. He was one of many African Americans who cite family traditions in claiming Native ancestry. Photo: Courtesy Experience Music Project and Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame

IndiVisible: African-Native American Lives in the Americas was produced by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI), the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) and the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES). The exhibition was made possible in part thanks to the generous support of an anonymous donor and the Latino Initiatives Pool, administered by the Smithsonian Latino Center.

From the National Museum of the American Indian:

IndiVisible: African-Native American Lives in the Americas

A place of belonging. A true sense of home.

All people share this desire. For those of dual African American and Native American heritage, this powerful sense of home has been difficult to find. Because they have not fit into society’s established racial categories, they’ve been denied a true sense of belonging.

Despite this challenge, the life experiences of African-Native American peoples have become a vital part of our American identity. Faced with centuries of government policies and laws that systematically oppressed and excluded them, they came together to find creative and effective ways to fight back. They established new, blended communities that drew strength from sharing traditions and philosophies. And, for more than 500 years, with their music, dance, craft, and food, African-Native Americans developed deeply rich cultural expressions that made an indelible mark on American life.

For centuries, African American and Native people have shared cultural traditions and practices, united in common struggle and forged relationships, families and unique ways of life throughout the Americas. But at times, racist policy and prejudice divided these communities and denied their shared heritage. Notable figures in U.S. history with dual African American and Native American ancestry include Crispus Attucks, Langston Hughes and Jimi Hendrix. By focusing on the dynamics of race, community, culture and creativity, “IndiVisible” examines an important and often overlooked aspect of American history.

Since its premiere on the National Mall in 2009, the exhibition has traveled to museums and cultural centers across the country, including the Chieftains Museum in Rome, Ga.; the Standing Bear Museum in Ponca City, Okla.; New Mexico State University Museum in Las Cruces, N.M.; the California African American Museum in Los Angeles; and the Rosa Parks Museum in Montgomery, Ala.

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian opens a 20-panel banner exhibition, “IndiVisible: African-Native American Lives in the Americas,” focusing on the seldom-viewed history and complex lives of people of dual African American and Native American ancestry. Through the themes of policy, community, creative resistance and lifestyles, the exhibition includes stories of cultural integration and the struggle to define and preserve identity.

The exhibition addresses the racially motivated laws that have been forced upon Native, African American and mixed-heritage peoples since the time of Christopher Columbus. Since precolonial times, Native and African American peoples have built strong communities through intermarriage, unified efforts to preserve their land and by taking part in creative resistance. These communities developed constructive survival strategies over time, and several have regained economic sustainability through gaming in the 1980s. The daily cultural practices that define the African-Native American experience through food, language, writing, music, dance and the visual arts, will also be highlighted in the exhibition.

A 10-minute media piece is featured with interviews obtained during research and work on the exhibition with tribal communities across North America. Site work was conducted in Mashpee, Mass. with the Mashpee Wampanoag community, in Los Angeles with the Creek and Garifuna communities, with the Cherokee Nation in Tahlequah, Okla., and at the Tutelo Homecoming Festival in Ithaca, N.Y., which welcomed the Cayuga, Tutelo and Saponi Indian Nations.

“The topic of African-Native Americans is one that touches a great number of individuals through family histories, tribal histories and personal identities,” said Kevin Gover (Pawnee), director of the museum. “We find commonalities in our shared past of genocide and in the alienation from our ancestral homelands, and it acknowledges the strength and resilience we recognize in one another today.”

“The National Museum of African American History and Culture is proud to have contributed to this important and thoughtful exhibition,” said museum director Lonnie Bunch. “African American oral tradition is full of stories about ‘Black Indians,’ with many black families claiming Indian blood. However, there have been few scholarly treatments of this subject which, in the end, expresses the basic human desire of belonging.”

The exhibition was curated by leading scholars, educators and community leaders, including Gabrielle Tayac (Piscataway), Robert Keith Collins (African-Choctaw descent), Angela Gonzales (Hopi), Judy Kert├Ęsz, Penny Gamble-Williams (Chappaquiddick Wampanoag) and Thunder Williams (Afro-Carib).

The accompanying exhibition book, “IndiVisible: African-Native American Lives in the Americas,” edited by Gabrielle Tayac, features 27 essays from authors across the hemisphere sharing firstperson accounts of struggle, adaptation and survival and examines such diverse subjects as contemporary art, the Cherokee Freedmen issue and the evolution of jazz and blues. The richly illustrated 256-page book is available in Smithsonian museum stores and through the Bookshop section of the museum’s Web site at

The exhibition is produced in collaboration with the National Museum of African American History and Culture and the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES)


Jim PepperFest 2013 tickets are on sale now:


Sponsor Jim PepperFest 2013 and help us make history:

Contact: Sean Aaron Cruz

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Master drummer Ra-Kalam Bob Moses to hold master class

Among the four members of the legendary, pioneering jazz-fusion band The Free Spirits coming to Portland in August to celebrate their friend and bandmate Jim Pepper is world-renowned master drummer and educator Rakalam Bob Moses.

“Drummer, composer, artist, poet, dancer, visionary, nature mystic (Rakalam) Bob Moses's life has been a continuous quest for vision, spirit, compassion, growth, and mastery in a multiplicity of art forms.”—New England Conservatory

Bob will arrive in Portland in time to conduct a master class in doing what he does (time and place and other details TBA) before taking the stage Friday and Saturday evenings August 9 & 10 for the historic reunion concert of The Free Spirits. And then he’s off to tour Australia and New Zealand.

This will give you a sense of what you don’t want to miss:

Photo by Andrew Hurlbut

“I can see two major traditions or trains of thought colliding and merging in my music.

“One is the path of the nature visionary; one who can travel without moving, to and through various dimensions and planes of reality. In my life I have seen through the veils, kissed butterflies, envisioned animated three-dimensional scenes and stepped into those scenes, talked to and played with spirits of other worlds, past, present and future. I have been a flower, a mountain, a raging river, a stone….

“The other tradition or stream that I swim in is the Great River of African Music in all its manifestations: the importance of clave’, groove, swing, rhythm, dance, hip-shaking, rhythm and rhyme sublime, shadows and light by day, by night, Jazz, Funk, Rhythm and Blues, Hip Hop, Rap, Reggae, Calypso, Zouk, Soukous, Samba, Afro-Cuban, Salsa are all psychically if not geographically emanating from Africa….

“So the streams merge and become one vast, deep, infinite music:

“Music with groove but no walls
Music with soul but no boundaries
Music with roots but no ceilings
Music of hope and love and humor”
                                  --Rakalam Bob Moses, from When Elephants Dream of Music

–on Bob Moses’ When Elephants Dream of Music:

"Bob Moses has now emerged as the possessor of one of the grander imaginations in America's true classical music. No orchestral composer of this scope, mellow wit, and freshly distinctive range of colors has come along since Gil Evans."-Nat Hentoff, Modern Recording and Music

“Bob Moses, composer, drummer, poet, artist, conceptualizer, inspirer of people, has created a musical environment that is balanced between discipline and freedom, compositional design and spontaneous inspiration. A party with a purpose. This album is original, soulful, funny…and very special. I hope a lot of people get as much enjoyment from it as I have”. –Gil Evans

–on On Time Stood Still

"Leave it to Moses, a multi-directional shamanistic groovilator, to put all the pieces together. On Time Stood Still, another sprawling production of DeMille-ian scale, he seamlessly blends Monk, funk, tap, hip hop, bebop, big band, blues, Bahia, Tanzania, and the avant garde into one organic package while paying homage to the spirits of Gil Evans, Charles Mingus, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, and Jaco Pastorius."-Bill Milkowski, Down Beat

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Native Arts & Cultures Foundation supports Jim PepperFest 2013

“You must not forget me when I’m long gone, for I loved you so dearly….”
--Jim Pepper, Remembrance

We are very happy to announce that the Native Arts & Cultures Foundation has become a sponsor of the Jim Pepper Native Arts Festival.

The Native Arts & Cultures Foundation is a 501 (c) 3 philanthropic organization dedicated exclusively to the revitalization, appreciation and perpetuation of indigenous arts and cultures. The Native-led national foundation supports American Indian, Native Hawaiian and Alaska Native artists and communities.

This advertisement will be printed in the Jim PepperFest 2013 souvenir program:

About the Foundation

The Native Arts & Cultures Foundation (NACF) is a 501(c)3 philanthropic organization dedicated exclusively to the revitalization, appreciation and perpetuation of indigenous arts and cultures. The Native-led national foundation supports American Indian, Native Hawaiian and Alaska Native artists and communities.

Created after decades of visioning by Native peoples, the arts and cultures foundation provides support to the field and fosters creativity amongst Native peoples through grantmaking, convening, advocacy and research.

“The arts have always played a significant role in Native cultures, and are a powerful path for connecting one generation to the next. Thanks to the generous support of the Ford Foundation and others, we were able to launch this important new organization. Thanks to ongoing donations, we're able to carry out our mission to provide support to artists and organizations to help our cultures flourish. We look forward to fostering opportunities that help create positive social change in communities across the nation,” said Foundation President/CEO T. Lulani Arquette.

Thank you for your interest in the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation.

Native Arts and Cultures Foundation
11109 NE 14th Street, Vancouver, WA 98684
Phone: 360-314-2421 Fax: 360-718-2553

Jim Pepper, Quebec City Powwow, circa 1980