4 NATIVE WOMEN: Song swap in their Native tongues
Friday, April 21, 2023 | 8:30 pm - 10:00 pm
As part of the annual OK EARTH DAY CELEBRATION, we’re proud to present a song swap by several of Oklahoma’s finest singer-songwriters in both English and the artists’ Native tongues. All three artists — SAMANTHA CRAIN (Choctaw), KALYN FAY (Cherokee) and KEN POMEROY (Cherokee) — have written songs in their Native languages, including Crain’s mindblowingly beautiful “When We Remain,” sung in both Choctaw and English. In addition, Chef NICO ALBERT WILLIAMS (Cherokee) of Burning Cedar Sovereign Kitchen will serve traditional, sustainable Native cuisine samples.
With a blow-your-hair-back vocal presence that yields to whisper-soft vulnerability, SAMANTHA CRAIN’s (Choctaw) folksy arrangements, both gorgeous and eerie, are driven by narrative storytelling as likely to detail disaster and despair as community and reconciliation. Born & raised in Oklahoma, Crain’s sound simultaneously evokes the deeply rural and southern, but also the itinerant and urban. Crain has toured internationally for many years, but her contributions to the Netflix series Reservation Dogs, in particular her mournful song “Joey,” have greatly expanded her fan base. Her songs have ranked in NPR’s Top-25 and Rolling Stone’s Top-10 lists.
KALYN FAY (Cherokee) has loved and lost, walked the line between her upbringing and her Cherokee roots, traveled and come back home to Oklahoma, questioned her faith, and figured out how to process and express all that through her art. A butterscotch tenor voice carries candid, intimate, often confessional lyrics reflecting a measured sorrow and vulnerability; they know when to say thank you, goodbye, or nothing at all. As the Tulsa Voice so deftly wrote, Fay “sings, pleads, intones birdsong, laughs and wanders through a young woman’s faith and memory with a simple wisdom.”
Singer-songwriter KEN POMEROY (Cherokee) began singing, writing songs, and playing the ukulele and guitar before she hit her teens, and she has been expanding on that base ever since. A few years ago she opened for the legendary Wanda Jackson at the Oklahoma Rodeo Centennial Opry and won the annual Jimmy LaFave Songwriting Contest. A regular at the Woody Guthrie Folk Festival and the Oklahoma Rodeo Opry, Pomeroy released her debut EP Minutes to Hours in 2017 and her second album, HALLWAYS, the following year. Her musical influences include fellow Okies Carter Sampson and John Moreland.
NICO ALBERT WILLIAMS (Cherokee), the Executive Chef of Burning Cedar Sovereign Kitchen, began her culinary education in her mother’s California garden and kitchen, preparing family meals. After relocating to Northeastern Oklahoma, the post-removal homeland of her mother’s people, she embraced the opportunity to re-establish a relationship with her Cherokee community, first and foremost through the language of food. Her journey to learn traditional Cherokee ways, dishes, and the wild and cultivated ingredients involved in their preparation, expanded into an embrace of Indigenous cuisines from many tribes, and to activism in Indigenous food revitalization and food sovereignty movements. Her work centers on the revitalization of ancestral Indigenous foodways to promote healing and wellness in the Native community. Her efforts to steadily expand her knowledge of traditional ingredients and techniques continue through research and collaboration with Indigenous chefs and traditionalists from all Nations. Nico is the recipient of the 2021 Greater Tulsa Indian Affairs Commission Dream Keeper’s Award for Leadership in Business, and the 2022 Cherokee Nation Phoenix Seven Feathers Award for Culture. Her work has been featured on Food Network Magazine, USA Today, Hulu, BBC, Cherokee Nation’s OsiyoTV, Smithsonian National Museum of American History, Atlas Obscura, and PBS, among others.
2023 OK EARTH DAY CELEBRATION SCHEDULE
Friday, April 21, TICKETED @ LowDown Jazz Club, 108 N. Detroit Ave., Tulsa, OK
7:15-8:00 – Sustainable wine tasting & traditional Native cuisine samples. GET TICKETS (tasting & concert)
8:30-10:00 – Indigenous artists swapping songs in their Native tongues. Featuring SAMANTHA CRAIN (Choctaw), KALYN FAY (Cherokee) & KEN POMEROY (Cherokee). With traditional, sustainable Native cuisine samples by Chef NICO ALBERT WILLIAMS of Burning Cedar Sovereign Kitchen. GET TICKETS (concert only)
Saturday, April 22 – FREE @ Guthrie Green, 111 E. Reconciliation Way, Tulsa, OK
ALL DAY – Community, educational & crafts booths, Electric Vehicle displays, live environmental art, family arts activities, face painting, INSPYRAL CIRCUS, sustainable Native cuisine samples, more.
3:00-4:00 – BRING THE KIDS! Circus Arts, kids crafts, Tulsa Library bookmobile, face painting, stomp dancers, more.
4:00-5:00 – Land acknowledgement by JOY HARJO (Mvskoke, via video). Speaker: REVEREND GERALD DAVIS on Climate Justice. Music by WHEAT PENNY.
5:00-6:00 – Speaker: KELSEY ROYCE on river issues. Music by MOTHER EARTH STRING BAND CHOIR with special guest ANNIE ELLICOTT. Speaker: CHEYENNE BRANSCUM on renewable energy.
6:00-7:00 – SAMANTHA CRAIN (full band)
7:00-8:15 – Speaker: PAM KINGFISHER on Okie activism. Music by KING CABBAGE BRASS BAND
Sunday, April 23 – Film @ Circle Cinema, 10 S. Lewis Ave., Tulsa, OK
Stay tuned for details.
OK EARTH COALITION is comprised of many OK environmental & cultural organizations, including Green Country Sierra Club, Carrie Dickerson Foundation, Tulsa Area Arkansas River Advocates, Tulsa Ready for 100, & OK Roots Music.
BIG THANKS TO THESE SUPPORTERS – George Kaiser Family Foundation, OK Sierra Club, Public Radio Tulsa, LowDown, Guthrie Green, and Chimera.