Welcome to Indian Country

This is Indian Country.  Welcome.  This land called Turtle Island.  This place at the shore of the Salish Sea.  The traditional homelands of the Squaxin Island Tribe and Nisqually Tribe.  The hundreds of nations who have called it home since time immemorial.  Today we gather to celebrate a point in time.  We come together to celebrate life, love and connection with culture.  We come together to honor our ancestors.

Join with us in celebration.  Tonight we are a community.

This show was realized through the hard work of many people.  We thank our ancestors.  We are the dreams of our ancestors, without whose strength we would not be given life.  They speak to us today.  We give thanks to the community who came together to realize this dream and to give voice to these stories.  We give thanks to our partners at the Washington Center for the Performing Arts and to Jill Barnes for her commitment to creating equity for Native performing artists.

Indigenous Performance Productions:

Andre Bouchard (of Kootenai/Ojibwe/Pend d'Oreille/Salish descent), Founder and Executive Creative Producer

Vanessa Marenco, Marketing and Development Intern

Lynnette Barnier, Web Designer

Cast:

Rena Priest (Lummi):  Storyteller, the Washington State Poet Laureate

Delbert Anderson (Dine/Navajo):  Music Director, trumpet and theremin

Nick Lucero (Southern Ute/Peruvian Indigenous): Percussion

Mali Obomsawin (Abenaki):  Vocals, bass and guitar

Nokosee Fields (Osage): Bass and fiddle

Julia Keefe (Nez Perce):  Assistant Director, vocals, piano and guitar

Biographies:

Delbert Anderson (Diné), Music Director of Welcome to Indian Country, is enjoying a music career as one of today's most forward thinking trumpet players in the US. Recording, touring, music educational workshops, composing/arranging and guest appearances keep Anderson busy not only in his hometown of Farmington, NM but worldwide. Anderson has been featured on NPR Tiny Desk Concert Top 10, Smithsonian Magazine, Yahoo/Mic.com, TEDx, FNX Television and more.  More information on Delbert at:  ddatlive.com

Nokossee Fields (Osage) was born and raised in Stillwater, Oklahoma, studying orchestral violin at a young age. After years of learning and performing Classical music, Nokosee turned his attention to traditional American music, performing, teaching, and touring professionally. As a bassist, he tours with the Country band Western Centuries, as well as the old time band Steam Machine. As a teacher, he has taught at the Augusta Heritage Center, tutored at Centrum’s festival of American fiddle tunes, and was the artist in residence for the Portland old time gathering. He’s placed in numerous fiddle contests and most notably took first in the 2019 clifftop fiddle competition. Nokosee’s lengthy and diverse experience in the performing arts gives him a unique approach to creating, listening and facilitating music.  More information on Nokosee at:  nokoseefieldsmusic.com/

Mali Obomsawin is a musician, activist, and citizen of the Abenaki First Nation at Odanak. She is a bassist, songwriter, composer, and singer, with an eclectic background in pop, free/avant-garde music, and American roots styles. Obomsawin tours internationally with her indie-folk-rock band Lula Wiles (Smithsonian Folkways Recordings), and gigs as a freelance bassist in New York City where she resides. As an Indigenous liberation activist and scholar, she has most recently published her work in Smithsonian Folklife Magazine and the Boston Globe. She received a B.A. in Government and Comparative Literature from Dartmouth College in 2018.  More information on Mali at:  lulawiles.com/

Nick Lucero (Indigenous Peruvian descent), was born in Albuquerque, NM and raised in Southern Colorado. Nicholas has had the opportunity to play with several great jazz artists including Doug Lawrence, Bud Shank and Greg Abate. Playing music since he was 5 – Nicholas played Tenor Sax, Piano and Marimba but eventually found his voice on the drums. Focusing mostly on Jazz and being heavily influenced by artists such as Chick Corea and John Coltrane – Nicholas has used his playing as a vehicle to perform across the US and parts of Europe. Nicholas is focused on bringing The Delbert Anderson Trio’s musical perspective to the Jazz scene.  More information on Nick at:  ddatlive.com

Julia Keefe (Nez Perce), Assistant Director for Welcome to Indian Country, grew up on the Nez Perce Indian reservation in Idaho and graduated from the Manhattan School of Music's Master's in Music Jazz Vocals program in 2019 and from the University of Miami's Frost School of Music in 2011. Pre-pandemic she made her living as a New York City-based professional jazz singer. In both recorded tunes and live performances. She blends a quirky sense of humor with jazz of the 40's and 50's, creating a jovial marmalade of smooth vocals and rapier wit! She has had the honor of opening for jazz legends, such as Tony Bennett and Esperanza Spalding. Her life’s work is the revival and honoring of the Coeur d'Alene jazz musician, and legend Mildred Bailey and is the leader of the campaign to induct her into the Jazz Hall of Fame.  More information on Julia at:  juliakeefe.com

Rena Priest is a Poet and an enrolled member of the Lhaq’temish (Lummi) Nation. She has been appointed to serve as Washington State's Poet Laureate for the term of April 2021-2023. She is also the recipient of the Vadon Foundation Fellowship (2020), and an Allied Arts Foundation Professional Poets Award (2020). She has attended residencies at Hedgebrook, Mineral School, and Hawthornden Castle. Her debut collection, Patriarchy Blues was published by MoonPath Press and received an American Book Award. Her second collection, Sublime Subliminal is available from Floating Bridge Press. Individual poems are featured at Poets.org, Poetry Northwest, Pontoon Poetry, A Dozen Nothing, and elsewhere. Priest has also published non-fiction pieces in High Country News, YES! Magazine, Seattle Met, Adventures NW, and Nautilus. She is a National Geographic Explorer (2018-2020) and a Jack Straw Writer (2019). She holds an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College.   More information on Rena at:  renapriest.com/

Washington Center for the Performing Arts

Jill Barnes, Executive Director

Chad Carpenter, Event and Operations Director

Brittania Kerschner, Art Gallery Manager

Roger McIntosh, Production Manager

Brock Sutherland, Poster Distribution

Carrie Swindler, Business Manager

Jocelyn Wood, Development Director

Nicole Kochman, Assistant Box Office Manager

Heather Chambers, Box Office Systems Coordinator

Logan Fenner, Box Office Associate

Andie Giron, Box Office Associate

Candace Palmo, Box Office Associate

Tehran Townsend, Box Office Associate

Josh Wheeler, Box Office Associate

Nani Bisset, Event Services Coordinator

Angela Dalton, Front of House Manager, Bartender

Gautam Dutta, Front of House Manager, Bartender

Darrel Fishburn, Custodian

Coral Garey, Front of House Manager, Bartender

Andie Giron, Front of House Manager

Heather Hahn, Front of House Manager, Bartender

Michelle Himlie, Front of House Manager, Bartender

Beth Kober, Front of House Manager,  Bartender

Sarah Lynn, Bartender

Donald Palardy III, Front of House Manager, Bartender, Custodian

Steve Speights, Custodian

Beckie Weatherford, Front of House Manager, Bartender

Chris Gaston, House Lead

Kenneth Glidden, House Lead

Taylor Dallman, House Crew

JR Taylor, House Crew

Kirsten Johnston, House Crew

Zac Andersen, House Crew

Brandon Cartwright, Flowstate Creatives

All stage work performed by employees represented by I.A.T.S.E Local No. 15

We would like to thank the generous supporters of this creative residency and performance:

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