Celebrate 30 years of Indian tacos, competitive dancing and paying tribute to tradition this year at Albuquerque’s own Gathering of Nations. The Gathering is North America’s most prominent powwow, and it will host tens of thousands of guests and representatives from more than 700 Native and Aboriginal tribes throughout the United States, Canada and all over to honor Indigenous cultures and traditions through dance, music, food and the crowning of the next Miss Indian World
This week's feature story star has undeniable writing and performance chops. Interviewing MC Lakota Jonez was a chief example of one of journalism's many pleasures: A conversation ostensibly about one topic (a woman and her music) wades into deeper waters, and an array of other issues—in this instance, racism, gender dynamics, and the evolution of the artistic and cultural movement that is hip-hop, to name a few.
Tonight presents a special occasion to watch Jonez strut her stuff en vivo, amidst a crowd of already loyal fans. In just a matter of hours, she takes the stage at Stage 49 at the UNM Arena (“The Pit”) for the Gathering of Nations’ multigenre showcase, 7:45 p.m. (On the dot!) $17 general admission at the door not only gets you access to her show, but to all the evening's varied powwow happenings. For more information, check out the Gathering of Nations website and the site of the artist herself.
While she grew up listening to all kinds of music, Lakota Jonez says hip-hop always gripped her more than any other genre. “Probably because I have so much to say. With all other types of music, the songs have, like, eight bars,” she says. “With hip-hop, there are 16 bars, so I can say a lot in one song.” Jonez is of Mohawk, Lakota and Cherokee descent, and she’s from a politically active family. She says her ancestry and upbringing infuse her work—but perhaps not overtly.
Those little trophies are heavy. They must weigh about 15 pounds, laughs Melissa Sanchez. She should know. She helped organize their arrival in Albuquerque for a presentation at the Gathering of Nations this year.
This year’s Grammy nominees include a mostly nauseating cast of sonic bullshit purveyors like Eminem, Lady Antebellum, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Justin Bieber, Jeff Beck and Kenny G. To be fair, some cool groups are nominated—Goldfrappe, The Black Keys, Iron Maiden. Another legitimate nominee for the music industry’s most prestigious award is one local organization. Yes, 2010 Gathering of Nations Pow Wow: A Spirit’s Dance, was nominated for “Best Native American Music Album.” Congratulations, Gathering of Nations. You can watch The 53rd Annual Grammy Awards on Sunday at 7 p.m. on KRQE-13.