MARKSVILLE, La. – Oklahoma-based Blues Nation, a six piece Native American band, will headline the upcoming Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana annual pow wow celebration slated for the weekend of Friday, May 15 through Sunday, May 17. The musicians will play testament to their love of the blues coupled with a desire to explore new musical boundaries at 6:30 p.m. Friday and 6 p.m. Saturday, at the Chief Joseph “Alcide” Pierite Pow Wow Grounds on the Tunica-Biloxi Reservation on Highway One in Marksville.
Blues Nation’s performances and creativity of rhythm and blues have stood the test of time in a celebration of the blues and its contribution to American culture and music worldwide. The members of Blues Nation are gifted Native American musicians with many cultural talents, which are well known in Indian country.
Also showcasing their musical talents at the pow wow will be the unique Peruvian musical group, Wayanay Inka.
The band released an album in 2000 entitled “Blues Nation,” an all-original composition that was nominated for a Native American Music Award in the Best Blues Album category for that year. The group has shared the stage with the Bellamy Brothers, CANYON, Michael Martin Murphy’s Westfest, the Dixie Chicks, Johnny Lang, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Rita Coolidge and Walela, including performers at the 1996 Olympic games in Atlanta.
Also showcasing their musical talents at the pow wow will be the unique Peruvian musical group, Wayanay Inka. These remarkable performers will display their talents at 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. Saturday, May 16 at the grounds.
Wayanay Inka plays music from the Peruvian Andes and Latin America using bamboo panpipes and flutes, charangos, guitars, ronrocos and other natural instruments. They perform original compositions and traditional songs with unique style. Members of the audience will learn about Inka culture and the origin of their instruments while listening to authentic Peruvian musicians maintaining their culture and sharing it. Through remarkable talent and passionate drive, Wayanay Inka reveals everywhere the passion they feel for their cultural roots while preserving down-to-earth humility and love for human contact at the personal level.
Open to the general public, daily admission is $5. The fee for children 5 years and younger is $2 and $3 for seniors 65 and older. Spectators will witness resplendent dancers, musicians, artists and crafts persons from throughout the United States and Canada.
The Pow Wow Committee will present a series of free programs on Native American culture for school children on Wednesday and Thursday, May 13 and 14. In case of inclement weather, the performances will be held in the Paragon Casino Resort’s Mari Showroom. The outreach program is a rare and valuable opportunity for students to learn firsthand about Indian cultures from Native people.
Pow wow singers and dancers in magnificent regalia will gather in a large dance circle that represents the circle of life and the ever-constant evolution of Native culture. Grand Entries will be held on Friday evening, Saturday and Sunday, May 15 – 17. Selected as one of the top festivals in the state, the event has categories of Native American dance competition as well as a drum and singing contest that are popular features of the pow wow.
For further information, call (800) 946-1946.