The Native American Dance Theatre is a nonprofit 501c3 that began in Nashville with the dream of taking the NADT to other cities. In 2006 the last Ryman show would be the travel production. The NADT is a production that evolved through the NADT Out Reach Programs. Within my first ten years as president I produced a series of shows five of which were held at the historic "Grand Ole" Ryman Auditorium in
Legendary, Nokie Edwards, of The Ventures, played his designer-guitarline HitchHiker guitar on stage at the Ryman Native American Dance Theatre. Nokie choose an Eric Clapton song, "Tears in Heaven", playing solo (without a band) receiving a standing ovation!
Nokie Edwards is an award winning songwriter--a favorite written for his Cherokee Mother called, "Cherokee Smoke," which won a NAMMY in 2010. Guitar Legend, Nokie Edwards, song,"Ginza Lights" was voted the “All-Time” Number One Song in Japan (1994). Nokie's musical talent recognized in 1959 when Nokie Edwards was playing lead guitar for singer Buck Owens. Guitarists, Don Wilson and Bob Bogle, asked Nokie to join them in forming what became The Ventures band that went on to become the most popular rock instrumental band in history selling over 100 million record albums. The first single was a remake of guitarist, Chet Atkins’ tune ‘Walk Don’t Run,’ (written by jazz guitarist Johnny Smith). Nokie played lead and is recorded on many of The Ventures famous hits such as ‘Hawaii 5-O’ , ‘Fugitive’, 'Pipeline,' ‘2000 Pound Bee’, ‘Yellow Jacket’, ‘Hokkaido Skies’, ‘Driving Guitars’, ‘Surf Rider’ (known as ‘Spudnik’,) ’Moon Child’, ‘Pedal Pusher’, ‘Sleep Walk’, ‘Wipe Out,' 'Let’s Go’, 'Slaughter on Tenth Avenue’ to name a few. Nokie is a tribal affiliated Cherokee from Oklahoma to be inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame as well as into the Native American Hall of Fame. Nokie Edwards is recognized by GPA receiving Guitar Player Certified Legend Award, Nokie is recognized among the world's premier guitarists as well as inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Nokie's new CD won a Nammy 2010, New CD "Hitchin' A Ride" was voted Best Instrumental. NokieEdwards.com
The show is listed among the Top Twenty Southeast Events and segments of the show featured on Nashville Public Television running three months. What is the most remarkable about the production is the fact that I did not use one signed contract with an artist! Unusual to say the least in Music City USA. And the standard of using contracts are not needed among the American Indian Tribes where relationships are built on trust. I've said one needs to go to the heart of the tribe to find great working friendships if sincere about accurate authentic tribal representation which should be a high priority.
Charles John Querto and Michael Martin Murphy writer[s] on "Geronimo's Caddilac" made appearances on NADT stage donating talent. Performing with Michael Martin Murphey was Grammy winning, Bill Miller, who played the guitar on song, "Geronimo's Cadillac," and Native American flute and guitar on song,"Wildfire." Artist, Bill Miller, is from the Mohican tribe and written in much of his songs are the plight of his people since the frontier days of the nineteenth century to present day. Bill Miller is a painter and accomplished musician.
Cowboy Poet, Songwriter, Actor, Michael Martin Murphey, has made over 35 albums and Six Gold Records with millions of music fans worldwide! Murphy was voted, Best New Male Vocalist, Academy of Country. Murphey performed his musical creations with over 50 symphony orchestras, including the National Symphony Orchestra. MMM appeared in film, Lonesome Dove and Hard Country. His TV appearances and music scores include PBS/RFD-TV hit series America’s Heartland, Tonight Show, David Letterman, Austin City Limits, CMT and TNN. He hosts the highly-rated outdoors television show and Best of the West with Murphey and in 1997 was presented the Will Rogers Cowboy Philosopher Award. Murphey is a real cowboy from Texas Panhandle, he writes and sings about the cowboy life.
The NADT featured Hollywood actor, Wes Studi, tribal affiliated from Eastern Band of Cherokees. Wes Studi traveled from Sante Fe, New Mexico with wife Maura Dhu Studi for three appearances on the Native American Dance Theatre as well as played the bass guitar with his musical group. Maura Dhu Studi is the lead vocalist for the group, Firecats of Discord, which has a California sound unique and upbeat tempo. Website: StudiGroup.com.
Wes Studi has appeared in more than 50 film and television productions including Dances with Wolves, Last of the Mohicians, Geronimo: An American Legend, Comanche Moon, Streets of Laredo, Mystery Men, The New World, Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee and Seraphim Falls. Within a few years of his arrival in Hollywood, Studi caught the attention of the public in Dances with Wolves. In 1992, his powerful performance as Magua in Last of the Mohicans established him as one of the most compelling actors in the business. Making memorable appearances in such films as Heat (1995), Crazy Horse (1996), and Deep Rising (1998). Studi flourished in his new calling, finding frequent work with his expressive features and warm sense of humor.
Born in Nofire Hollow, Oklahoma, 1946 (or maybe 1947, Studi, laughingly admits that there is some uncertainty to the actual date), Wes Studi, the soft-spoken actor was the eldest of four sons and spent the majority of his childhood in Northeastern Oklahoma. The son of a ranch hand, received his early education at Chilocco Indian School before graduating high school and being drafted into the army. Wes Studi served 18 months in Vietnam. Recently, Wes Studi, starred as Tony Hillerman's Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn in a series of PBS specials produced by Robert Redford, Skinwalkers, A Thief of Time, Coyote Waits and film, Avatar, directed by James Cameron.
Marcus Hummon and Actors Bridge Ensemble performed songs from musical "WARRIOR." Playwright, Marcus Hummon, sings the songs about life and times of Olympic Gold Medal recipient, Jim Thorpe. Marcus Hummon, is successful as a producer, songwriter, playwright and author! Turning to theatre, Hummon has written 5 musicals and 2 operas. Two of his musicals, WARRIOR and The Piper, were featured Off-Broadway as part of the New York New Musical Festival (NYMF) in 2005 and 2006. Marcus Hummon is a Grammy award-winning American Music Star. Six of his songs have charted at #1 on US billboard charts and his country discography includes a list of country notables over the last fifteen years, including Rascal Flatts, Tim McGraw, Garth Brooks, Alabama, Patty Loveless, Wynonna Judd and Hal Ketchum, The Dixie Chicks.
Conversation back stage at showtime was entertaining as well. Marcus Hummon had not met songwriter, Charles John Querto. Marcus said that he would like to meet Charles John because Geronimo's Cadillac was the first complete song he played on guitar when his mother offered to pay him a dollar to learn a complete song. I shared this with Charles John Querto backstage and Charles John smiled saying, "...tell Marcus he owes me 33 cents," which is standard pay songwriter's receive from each dollar.
Songwriter's humor aside to Marcus Hummon is given much credit for advancing the Native American Dance Theatre by appearance on our stage as others would follow. The NADT presented an award to Marcus Hummon on stage recognizing his contribution as well as expressing our appreciation to the Actors Bridge Ensemble. After Marcus Hummon made his appearance on stage others stars would follow resulting in the NADT being invited back to the Ryman for more shows. Marcus Hummon is a top-ten songwriter in Nashville, Tennessee.
Storm Seymour, Native Ameican Dance Theatre performer and a board member, songwriter, musician. Storm traveled to Ryman each year from the Mesquaki Nation in Iowa bringing talented artists and dancers like group, Redtail. Storm Seymour was responsible for drawing great performers from the Mesquaki Nation to include his band of Seymour brothers, Ira Dean, Curtis, and Dwayne all performing on stage with Storm Seymour. It was in 2000 when Storm won a national vocal competition on the same Grand Ole Ryman stage singing a Roy Orbison song, "Crying," acappella winning the show!
Songwriter, Dan Wunch, founder of Nashville Music Guide, called me from the song competition and said, "You have to call Storm Seymour and have him on your show!" And the rest is NADT history. Storm and Cheryle are the new parents caring for ten American Indian children they have adopted. Another standing ovation was when Storm and his young daughter, Danielle, took the stage at the Ryman singing a tribute to our soldiers. Storm Seymour and group from Mesquakie Nation closed the show with a gospel hymn Amazing Grace, acappella in English as well as in three tribal languages.
..."just another story with a happy Indian." Cherokee Mangus, Producer. NADT Founders: Cherokee Mangus, M'jaie Marijane Morris and Storm Seymour.
Inter-Tribal Cultural & Education Ctr. Inc. nonprofit 501c3 since 2002.
Ricky Lynn Gregg made appearances on th Native American Dance Theatre stage each year with his full band at the Ryman donating his talent to help advance the Native Americans in the arts. Ricky Lynn Gregg, is an actor made appearances in films such as Quanna Parker and others. Accomplished musician and humble man grateful for his fans.
JD Edge, champion fiddle player, singing Hank Williams, I'm So Lonesome I could cry. Standing on the Ryman Grand Ol Opry stage where Hank stood.
"Thought we discovered JD" at CMA Fan Fair, heard JD singing a Hank song. His parents said he could sing on the NADT show the next year. Mom explained they travel from NC each year so JD can fiddles at the home of Charlie Daniels.JD Edge attended college in TN and played on Native American Dance Theatre. He played, "Devil went down to Georgia," lightening fast. And played the song at the famous Palace--the band allowed him on stage. JD had his granddad's fiddle and why they kicked the song off so fast (one can only guess) but JD didn't miss a beat and totally entertained the house surprising the band with his fiddle.
| Nokie Edwards recipient of the NAMMY Award|
The "Trail of Tears" moved through Nashville area 1830's along the Cumberland River. Later the Ryman was built as a church which is today affectionately known as, "the Mother Church of Country Music." NBC began broadcasting from the building which was used for the Grand Ole Opry Saturday live broadcast that actually began inside the WSM radio station on November 26, 1925 but the adoption of the Grand Ole Opry name was not until December 10, 1927. The Grand Ole Opry remains the oldest continuous show in the history of American radio. The Ryman also was used for a "fireside chat" by President Roosevelt that aired and a Will Rogers Memorial. The Ryman is a location Johnny Cash was invited to broadcast shows and in 1968 released his new song, Ballad of Ira Hayes, (written by Peter LaFarge) that went to #3 on the single charts but DJ's refused to play the record that was written as a tribute to Ira Hayes (Pima/Gila River Indian). The song tells the true story about Ira Hayes, a Pima Indian, and Untied States Marine heroes of the epic WWII battle at Iwo Jima. When Cash realized that radio stations weren’t playing his "Ballad of Ira Hayes” because they deemed it too controversial, he constantly harassed his label. He took out full-page advertisments in Billboard shaming DJs for their cowardice in censoring the song and eventually Cash bought 2,000 copies of the single himself and mailed it along with the full-page advertisment to stations that he knew were trying to keep him from being heard. The album: Bitter Tears (1964), were songs highlighting the plight of the Native Americans which helped bring awareness to social issues and others spoke out in protest as well. Actor, Marlon Brando, 1972 Oscars, (Califormia) sent a Apache woman to refuse his Best Actor statuette for the Godfather on the grounds of the film industry's mistreatment of American Indians. Info. www.peterlafarge.com
Johnny Cash was the first to invited tribal leadership to Ryman during turbulant times introducing the Peter LaFarge song about a Native American hero, Ira Hamilton Hayes, and so I ask June Carter Cash specifically at a luncheon and June said, "I'll ask Johnny." I did not have a chance to speak with June Carter Cash again as she passed away unexpectedly within months of our conversation. June being a member, as well as the guest speaker, at the Nashville Association of Talent Directors. We were delighted and totally entertained by her cheerful personality as June invited us to ask her questions. June shared her musical journey with laughter speaking about her life, music, and Johnny's illnes adding fun memories.
We are sad and there are no words that describe the loss with her passing sudden having spoken with her, listening to her laughter, during the luncheon as well as hearing June talk about the many times Johnny Cash was ill 'on his death bed' and would recover.
June said, "I decided that Johnny Cash will never die! " she concluded.
Year 2002 the Native American Dance Theatre made its grand entry on stage at the world famous Ryman Auditorium featuring a production that began as an awards presentation in 1997 at a theatre in the Opryland area ajacent to the famous Earnest Tubb Theatre. The multi-cultural presentation was immediately applauded by the Nashville community having country music acts on stage along with authentic tribal dancing and drum from Cherokee North Carolina performing on the grand historic stage used for the famous Grand Ole Opry. The production featuring tribal Elder Whitebird (from Oklahoma) participating in the dance wearing regalia made of 70 Eagle feathers. At age 72, Whitebird danced across the historic Ryman stage! Elder Whitebird said backstage that when he was a young man he was stationed at 101 Airborn Military Base. He said, "I would thumb a ride to see the Grand Ole Opry and I never dreamed that one day I would dance across that stage!" At that moment I realized the importance of the work involved in creating the Native American Dance Theatre. Elder Whitebird shared a dressing room with Oklahoman, Nokie Edwards, of The Ventures.
Its fun backstage at the Ryman hearing the jokes and laughter from singing stars arriving to sound-check. Its a fun atmosphere for entertainers and producers as we don't get to watch the live show. Photograph: (L) Charlie Wolf (R) John Grant
At a later date the Ryman Auditorium became the stage for the famous American Indian Entertainers, Wayne Newton. He made his first appearance on Monday, December 8, 2003 at the hallowed auditorium. I had tickets! I watched live! It was amazing! Wayne Newton's band filled the Ryman stage to the limit and the Las Vegas show-musicians played to a packed house! The Ryman drive-way was lined with Limousines and luxurious automibles. On stage the first words I heard spoken by Wayne Newton, 'I bet you didn't think you would see an Indian standing here on this stage entertaining you." He said, "I know my Mom and Dad are looking down right now saying, those music lessons really paid off." Wayne Newton said on stage that he always wanted to play at the Rymam stage because of the history of the Grand Ole Opry recorded live at Ryman.
New Book life & music of Peter La Farge. Sandra Schulman's book tour begins at National Museum of American Indians.
Destined to become reality, Native American Music Awards (NAMMYS) & Native American Dance Theatre (NADT)
Nokie Edwards and also The Ventures were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame on April 2008. Nokie Edwards won a NAMMY.
Special guest Nokie performed songs from his award winning CD, Hitchin' a Ride, in NY at the Native American Music Awards, (NAMMYS).
Nokie Edwards was also inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame on November 2011. Website & bookings: NokieEdwards.com
Nokie Edwardw New CD Hitchin' A Ride Visit Website NokieEdwards.com to purchase the NAMMY Award winning CD
BOOKINGS for the Legendary Nokie Edwards of the VENTURES Nokie is member of Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Oklahoma Hall of Fame. Native American Hall of Fame as well as recipient of Int'l Japan Emperor's Award.
Nokie Edwards is TOURING again to Japan and US after his surgery. Fans supported his recovery!
Thanks to the Nokie Edwads Fans! TOURING INFORMATION: www.NokieEdwards.com
CD "HOMEGROWN" wins!
Popular CD "Best of Storm Seymour." Award-winning CD two years by Rural Roots Commission, features his niece, Stephanie Snow. Storm Seymour also is recorded the duo's new CD for touring this summer at festival thru November. Buy CD Contact: EKKO Entertainment Phone 641.484.6087 Mailing Address P.O. Box 342 Tama, Iowa 52339. See Highlights page on this site fro Stephanie Snow and Storm Seymour performing on NADT.
New Exhibit/Book Peter LaFarge Visit PeterLaFarge.com Author, SandraSchulman.com Exhibit: Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian at Gustav Heye Center NYC, August 2012-2013. The DVD and Tribute CD was released July 1st 2010 with bonus video and a film on Karen Dalton in conjunction with: Up Where We Belong: Native Musicians in Popular Culture. PeterLaFarge.com
Native American Dance Theatre, "One of the Greatest Shows On Nashville's Earth" Native American Dance Theatre!!
Look for the Native American Dance Theatre booth at CMA Fan Fest 2015
Contact Producer/Founder: Cherokee Mangus Email: email@example.com
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