Indigenous Voices and Visions has a mission statement: Inspire, motivate and cultivate the young minds, hearts and spirits of children. Beyond being a Native Grammy and Native American Music Award recipient, organizer Star Nayea is a mother.
"I go around and spend a lot of time with native kids and try to inspire them," Nayea says. "They are our future generation. It's time for this [my] generation to stand up and give them a shaking and go, 'Hey, wake up, come on! You've got to lead this environment, our homeland.' ... They've got to carry the torch."
The line-up for Indigenous Voices and Visions, to be held the opening night of Indian Market, is composed of native artists both national and local. Nayea's main requirement for bands is that they are drug and alcohol-free. "It's important for those kids to hear that," Nayea says. "They walk the walk they talk."
Headlining the show at the Paolo Soleri Amphitheater is Joy Harjo, an Albuquerque-based jazz and spoken word artist who's traveled as far as South America to perform her music. Sharing the stage are native funk rockers Little Big Band, reggae-roots by Casper and the 602 Band, hip-hoppers Culture Shock Camp featuring DJ ShockB and Quese IMC, Isleta Pueblo artist and rock musician Gregg Analla, spoken word and jazz by Happy Frejo and, representing the Indian youth themselves, Santa Fe's Chocolate Helicopter. White Mountain Apache comedian Drew Lacapa and 2000 Mohawk Olympian Waneek Horn Miller will host the event.
Building off the concert, Nayea also organized a youth forum called Future of Change, to be held at the amphitheater in the morning. Topics range from healthy eating to global warming to preserving culture and tradition. This community event is free and food will be served.
"It's about inspiring our kids," Nayea says. "It's about having a vision for them and igniting that within them."
Indigenous Voices and Visions takes over Paolo Soleri Amphitheater on Saturday, Aug. 18, at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 to $25 and are available at www.brownpapertickets.com. The free Future of Change youth forum will be held from 9:30 a.m to 12:30 p.m. at the Paolo Soleri Amphitheater on the same day. For more info, visit www.myspace.com/futureofchange.