Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Centerstage MN Is Going to Rock Your Mocs Off

by Doug MacRostie

I've always been interested in pow wow music. I used to go to pow wows with my cousins and I always really enjoyed the food, the bright colorful clothes of the dancers and the overall feeling of pride and power. But what has always struck me most is the singers and the pounding of the drum. Thursday night at 6 on Centerstage MN I'll be talking with Johnny Smith, founding member of The Red Lake Singers about the new release "Old Times," They made this recording to capture and preserve the old songs and styles of singing of the Ojibwe people of Red Lake, one of the most traditional Indian communities in the country. I'll be talking with Johnny about the culture, history and purpose of pow wow music.

I'll also play a recording of Keith Secola and Melanie Storm performing live on Centerstage MN back in Nov. 2007. Keith is an outstanding contemporary Native American songwriter, he has an innovative edge while utilizing traditional native percussion and world beats. Melanie was phenomenal, and as you'll hear she has a truly beautiful singing voice and the energy between these two is unmistakable.

I'll be starting the show off with a young lady from the Case Lake/Bena area named Ann Aitkin, she released a CD of native bibigwan (flute) music called "Minotam Injichaag." We'll also hear from Deer River mother and musician Annie Humphrey-Jimenez, multi Native American Music Award winner. She had musician and activist John Trudell join her for the song Spirit Horses from her album "The Heron Smiled."

Centerstage MN is Thursday evenings at 6, streaming live online at; or 91.7 Grand Rapids, 89.9 Brainerd and 105.3 Bemidji. All interviews are archived at and the show is rebroadcast Sunday mornings at 6.

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