Frank Waln is Sicangu Lakota from He Dog on the Rosebud Reservation. An award winning artist and outspoken activist, Frank uses his music and performance to address colonialism, state violence and other issues affecting Indigenous people. He has been featured in many publications, including USA Today, The Hollywood Reporter, Buzzfeed, The Chicago Tribune, and on MTV’s Rebel Music Native America episode. Frank currently lives in Chicago, IL where he works as the Youth Development Coordinator for the Chicago City-Wide American Indian Education Council.
Inez Jasper is an award winning Pop artist with powerhouse talent and universal appeal. As one of Canada’s top Aboriginal musicians, her blending of traditional native sounds with a love for contemporary Pop music brings the best of her culture to the mainstream world.
Supaman is a member of the Apsaalooke Nation living on the Crow reservation in Montana. He is a dancer and Hip-Hop artist, and has dedicated his life to empowering youth with a message of hope through culture and music. He has been the recipient of a Native American Music Award, North American Indigenous Image Award, and seven Tunney Awards. He was recently awarded The Aboriginal Peoples Choice Music Award for best video and was voted MTV’s new Artist of the Week for his "Prayer Loop Song" video. He is currently filming a show with Nickelodeon to document his life on the road as a Native artist.
Tall Paul is an Anishinaabe and Oneida Hip-Hop artist enrolled on the Leech Lake reservation in Minnesota. Born and raised in Minneapolis, his music strongly reflects his inner-city upbringing. From personal expressions of self, to thought provoking commentary on issues affecting indigenous and diverse communities as a whole, Tall Paul's music evokes a wide variety of substance and soul.
Mic Jordan is an Anishinaabe Hip Hop artist that speaks truth and passion about life and where he came from. Growing up on the Turtle Mountain Reservation, music heavily influenced his childhood. Now as a performer, he uses his voice to tackle issues such as alcoholism, suicide, and the harmful effects of Native mascots . Mic Jordan continues to spread his positive message that speaks directly to the youth and continues to change the mind of those who would suspect hip hop as being a form of verbal violence to a better understanding of the genre.
Thomas X is an independent Hip-Hop artist from the Ojibwe Nation of Red Lake in Northern Minnesota. Raised on the Red Lake Reservation his whole life, Thomas began rapping as a teenager and eventually joined a local rap group known as “100 Souls” in 2010. Thomas first used rap as a tool to release his frustrations. until he realized that he wanted to deliver a positive message through his music. Over the last two years, Thomas has dramatically changed his life-style by walking the red road of sobriety while learning his Ojibwe culture. He credits family, culture, and Hip-Hop music for helping him overcome his addictions to drugs and alcohol. After receiving an Associates of the Arts degree from Bemidji State University, he has worked for his Tribe as a Community Coordinator, Personal Fitness Trainer, and Case Manager while pursuing his dreams of becoming a full-time Hip-Hop artist. He helps organize the annual Youth Conference in Red Lake every spring and also gives motivational speeches with his presentation entitled; “The Art of Expression”.
Thomas has released two solo projects: “The Stixtape” and, his most recent, “Have A Good Day”. He has captured the minds and hearts of his community with his ability to put Red Lake history and modern-day culture into his lyrics.
Talon Ducheneaux is a recent graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, with a degree in Psychology. Talon is a proud Lakota and Dakota, originally coming from various reservations he considers home in South Dakota. While studying at Penn, Talon also performs, writes, and records spoken word and Hip-Hop.
Coming from a history of depression, trauma, struggle, happiness, spirituality, openness (and its opposite), much of Talon's content reflects that which is him and his personal experiences/interpretations. His work can be perceived as indigenous, traditional, modern, raw, questionable, or any other categorical term, but what remains true is that his work is a true reflection of his perceived self and its expressive desires from within.
DJ Young Native has moved thousands of crowds with his progressive style and trademark scratching/mixing style over the past 10 years. His advanced turntable skills and tasteful record selection have earned Young Native opportunities to perform at multiple major venues across the country & internationally, notably, at the "Up In Smoke" Tour, in 2000, when (at age 15) Young Native mesmerized over 40,000 hip hop fanatics.
Young Native has performed at club events across the country with producers like Just Blaze, DJ Element, DJ Z-Trip, DJ Mathmatics, and A-Trak. He has also shared the stage with todays Trap/EDM stars such as: Sweater Beats, Lookas, Kennedy Jones and more.
Young Native continues to entertain with some of the biggest names in the music business: namely, Jurassic 5, Talib Kweli, Immortal Technique, Chamillonare, Wu-Tang Clan, Twista, KRS-One and more. Young Native travels across the US as Wake Self's Tour DJ. He has proven himself among the most influential DJs in his market and is defiantly a star DJ continuing to rise.
Andy “Wake Self” Martinez has worked to become a staple in Albuquerque’s Hip-Hop community, Martinez is always grinding. From his work with his Hip-Hop band, Zoology, to his project, Definition Rare (with fellow emcee Christopher “Def-I” Bidtah) to his solo efforts, his work is dynamic and ever-growing. A Native New Mexican, Hip-hop has taken Martinez on a nationwide tour with Evidence of Dilated Peoples and to Portland, Oregon where he participated in and won 2 Grindtime Battles. He has shared the stage with a slew of notable hip-hop acts such as KRS-One, Blackalicous, Del the Funky Homosapien and Souls of Mischief. Recently, Zoology was named “Best Hip-Hop Group” in the Albuquerque Alibi newspaper. And that’s just the beginning. Wake Self’s debut solo album, 2011’s Like ClockWork, is a brilliant showcase of his versatility as an artist: from melancholic, self-reflective lyrics to in-your-face, bass-heavy party anthems.
The fusion of multiple genres of music embodied in one individual: EchoSlim is a DJ / Producer who lives for creating new sounds and performing those creations live. Growing up listening to House, Reggae, R&B, Hip-Hop, Funk, and Alternative amongst many other genres, EchoSlim's main objective is to expose listeners to new forms of music while giving them something that they are already familiar with. Musical enlightenment.
Reed Adair Bobroff is Diné from Albuquerque, New Mexico and a Theater Studies major at Yale University. Primarily a spoken word artist, he has been featured on HBO's "Brave New Voices" and has performed in Los Angeles, New York, Argentina, and New Zealand. He has shared the stage with artists such as Jessica Helen Lopez, Mayda Del Valle, Buddy Wakefield, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, and Rise Against. His work has appeared in various publications, namely, La Llorona an anthology of New Mexican myths, which won the 2013 New Mexico-Arizona Book Award, and The Break Beat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip-Hop. Reed is also the founder of Spoken Roots: an organization teaching poetry in underserved and Native American communities as a tool for identity development, grief counseling, and substance abuse and suicide prevention.
Tanaya Winder is a writer, educator, motivational speaker, and spoken word poet from Southern Ute, Duckwater Shoshone, and Pyramid Lake Paiute Nations. She grew up on the Southern Ute Indian reservation before earning her BA in English from Stanford University and then her MFA in creative writing from the University of New Mexico. Since then she has co-founded As/Us: A Space for Women of the World, a literary magazine publishing works by Indigenous women and women of color.
Tanaya guest lectures, teaches creative writing workshops, and speaks at high schools, universities, and communities internationally. A winner of the 2010 A Room Of Her Own Foundation’s Orlando prize in poetry, her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Superstition Review, Drunkenboat, Kweli, and Bellevue Literary Review among others. Her poems from her manuscript “Love in a Time of Blood Quantum” were produced and performed by the Poetic Theater Productions Presents Company in NYC. In addition to her artistic endeavors, Tanaya is also the Director of the University of Colorado at Boulder's Upward Bound, a high school to college pipeline for underserved youth.
Autumn White Eyes is a Lakota and Ojibwe poet and activist from the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. White Eyes has competed and performed at the Brave New Voices Poetry Slam in 2010 and 2011. She has written for Last Real Indians, Indian Country Today, and The Dartmouth Newspaper and has contributed poetry to Savage Media, Last Real Indians, Indigene Studios, First Voices, and Lakota Children's Enrichment. White Eyes will serve as a judge for Lakota Children's Enrichment's Third Annual Writing and Art Challenge. White Eyes currently resides in New York City.
Lee Francis IV is the National Director and President of Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers and Storytellers, an organization to promote the work and words of Native American/Indigenous peoples throughout North America and the world. He is a National Champion slam poet and was the coach for the 2008 ABQ Slams team. Francis has had the distinct pleasure to work with youth at the Laguna-Acoma Middle/High School, the University of New Mexico, and the Native American Community Academy. In 2008, he received his Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from the University of New Mexico and his PhD in Education this fall from Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas. He is also an Indigenous activist, humble husband and proud father. He lives in Albuquerque with his wonderful family and crazy dog.
Lyla June is a Diné/Cheyenne woman from Taos, New Mexico. Her prayer to assist in the healing of Mother Earth and humanity has led her around the world on many adventures. Her passion for creating and distributing a message of hope and unity manifests as spoken word, radio production, Hip-Hop, graphic design, web design, acoustic singing/songwriting, and public speaking. She did her undergraduate work at Stanford University in Human Ecology where she developed a deep desire to understand and influence Western society. She is currently working to embody the revitalization of indigenous lifeways through self-sufficiency, food sovereignty and prayer. She will spend the coming years learning her mother tongue, growing the three sisters, and serving her people in Diné Tah.
Bobby Wilson (Sisseton-Wahpeton Dakota) has painted dozens of murals and performed spoken word at events across the country, and appeared in television and radio commercials. In 2013, Bobby Wilson was selected as a participant in the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of the American Indian, Artist Leadership program culminating in the creation of a community mural involving American Indian youth in the Twin Cities.
In addition to numerous artistic accomplishments, Bobby has garnered attention in Indian Country as a member of the comedy group“The 1491’s,” appearing in comedic videos and live performances. Bobby’s work is heavily influenced by his Dakota heritage combined with a lifelong city upbringing. Much of his visual work strives to convey a social and political message, tackling issues of racism, homelessness, and imperialism while maintaining a sense of humor and hope. He was born Minneapolis, Minnesota currently based in Phoenix, Arizona.
David Rico was born in Socorro, New Mexico but moved all over the country before settling in Blue Ridge Summit, Pennsylvania. He is Choctaw/Chickasaw and Pascua Yaqui. David attends Yale University where he is currently a junior studying History of Science, Medicine, and Public Health, (aka Photography). He is a singer in the Blue Feather Powwow Drum Group; a member of Morning Banana Diet, a punk band; and spends his free time at the Native American Cultural Center. After graduation he hopes to pursue his artist passions and tackle issues facing Indian country. Additionally he hopes to get in shape.
Roanna Shebala, a Native American spoken word artist, of the Dine' (Navajo) Tribe was born and raised on the Navajo Nation. Given the gift of storytelling from her father she combines story, poetry, and performance. Roanna constantly brings the voice of her heritage into her performance, and written work often treading into spaces where hearing native voices is unlikely. On four National Poetry Slam Teams, Two time Women of the World Poetry Slam Representative. Individual of the World Poetry Slam Representative. And this year 2015’s Sedona Women of the World Poetry Slam Qualifier.
Hannabah Blue is Diné (Navajo), originally from New Mexico. Her clans are the Red Bottom Clan, born for Anglo, her maternal grandparents' clan is the Tangle People Clan, and her paternal grandparents are also Anglo. Hannabah has a breadth of experience working on racial and social justice issues in health, particularly those affecting Queer People of Color, and Native and Indigenous communities. She worked as a Capacity Building Assistance Specialist at the National Native American AIDS Prevention Center. She recently earned a Master of Science degree from the Harvard School of Public Health. She currently is the Public Health Services Manager at the North Dakota State University American Indian Public Health Resource Center.
Desirae Harp is a member of the Ona*staTis (Miwhsewal Wappo) Nation and a descendant of the Navajo Nation. She is a poet, college student, and community activist who grew up in Santa Rosa, California. Harpworked hard to learn and incorporate her indigenous language into her music and found her voice as a writer through her culture. Harp's lyrics inspire her to be strong and to deal positively with the challenges she has faced growing up as a Native youth. Though she had been writing songs since she was a girl, it was not until Harp started singing with Audiopharmacy that she gained confidence in her ability to become a professional singer and to use her voice as a tool for social change. Harp now uses her voice to advocate for the healing of mother earth and her community. She also works to empowers others by teaching them how to sing and to use their voices to tell their own stories. She has performed in the Native American Contemporary Arts Festival, Bioneers Conference, Native American Journalist Associational Awards Ceremony, One World Beat Festival, and Dancing Earth’s Origi-Nation: Roots and Seeds. She has performed with grammy award nominee R. Carlos Nikai, as a lead vocalist with the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra, and was the lead vocalist in an opera conducted by Grammy Award nominee Sara Jobin. She has shared the stage with acclaimed poets such as John Trudell, Jimmy Santiago Baca, and Lorna Dee Cervantes.
Marlon Footracer is Diné, Water-Flows-Together, born for One-Who-Walks-Around-You clan. He grew up in Tsé Síaní (Lupton, AZ). He attended Stanford University where he majored in Creative Writing with an emphasis in poetry. He was also a member of the Stanford Spoken Word Collective. He has used his training as a writer to consult on and with indigenous art projects and artists such as Project 562 and b.Yellowtail. He recently was named the recipient of the 2015 Taos Writer's Conference Native Writer Award. Currently, he works as a non-profit strategist and consultant for development and capacity building, specifically focusing on non-profits that work to end homelessness. twitter: @bethepoetry
"I stand for the transcendent power of art - art that comes from spaces of trauma, resiliency, and hope. We can all be a north star for someone else. We allow the future to emerge through us."