Chandler Public Library receives grant to support Native American Performance Series in 2019, in partnership with Canyon Records

Oct. 30, 2018
Orona Family

The Arizona Humanities has awarded the Chandler Public Library a $3,500 grant to host a free performance series beginning April 2019. The Library will host performances by Native American musicians, dancers, and storytellers in conjunction with One World, Many Voices, a photographic exhibition featuring the artists of Canyon Records. Grammy Award winning Canyon Records is an Arizona-based record label specializing in Native American music for 67 years and will produce the concerts.

The five performances of the series are an opportunity for all ages to experience, enjoy and learn from Native American artists through music, stories, poetry and dance. Canyon artists will provide a diverse look at some of the many communities and cultures of Native America and how their artistry influences and is influenced by the worlds they live in. Each performance includes an opportunity for audience discussion with the artists.

The five performances will be held at different Chandler Library branches and include: 
R. Carlos Nakai presents Coyote in the Outer World, a discussion of Native American identity, as well as flute music, Saturday, April 13, Chandler Downtown Library; Tony Duncan presents Hoop Dance 101 and flute music, Wednesday, May 15, Basha Library; Joel, Roman and Tahj Orona present Sons and Fathers, Apache music, stories and poetry, June 1, Hamilton Library, Xavier Quijas Yxayotl presents Our People of the South, Aztec-inspired music and Mexicá stories in a bilingual presentation, Saturday, June 15, Sunset Library. 

The series will finish with a dance concert featuring Southern Scratch performing waila, the dance music of the O’otham people of the Arizona deserts, Saturday, June 22, Chandler Community Center. For the waila concert, a dance area will be setup for the audience to move to the polkas, cumbias and two-steps of Southern Scratch. 

"This grant and our partnership with Canyon Records will afford Chandler Public Library the opportunity to provide quality cultural and educational events to our community members and ensures accessibility for everyone,” said Chandler Library Manager Dan Lee.

The One World, Many Voices performance series is made possible by the Arizona Humanities, an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Since 1973, Arizona Humanities has supported public programs that promote understanding of the human experience with cultural, educational and nonprofit organizations across Arizona.

For more information, contact the Chandler Public Library at 480-782-2800.  


  • Coyote in the Outer World with R. Carlos Nakai
    Chandler Downtown Library, 22 S. Delaware St. 
    Saturday, April 13, 2019, 1-4 p.m.
    (The One World, Many Voices exhibit will be on display at the Downtown Library, April 13-April 28)
    In a special presentation, R. Carlos Nakai will discuss how Native Americans form identity on their journey into the outer world beyond their cultural homes and how this journey applies to and can teach all of us about how we form identity. An 11-time Grammy nominee, Gold and Platinum Record winner, and recipient of the Governor's Arts Award, Nakai will open his cultural exploration with a performance of the Native American flute. Robert Doyle, President of Canyon Records, will moderate the presentation and lead the audience discussion opportunity.
  • Hoop Dance 101 with Tony Duncan
    Basha Library, 5990 S. Val Vista Drive 
    Wednesday, May 15, 2019, 6-7:30 p.m.
    (Exhibit at Basha Library, May 1-17)
    Five-time world championship hoop dancer Tony Duncan will conduct a master class in the art of hoop dancing. After demonstrating the dance that has taken him around the world, Tony will invite children (and brave adults!) to pick up hoops and learn the steps, moves and grooves of hoop dancing. Additionally, Tony will perform original songs for the Native American flute. Questions and answers will follow the performance, led by Dr. David Martinez.
  • Sons and Fathers with Joel, Roman, and Tahj Orona
    Hamilton Library, 3700 S. Arizona Ave. 
    Saturday, June 1, 2019, 3-4:30 p.m.
    (Exhibit at Hamilton Library, May 20- June 1)
    Native American survival has been made possible through strong clan and family relationships, especially between fathers and sons. Three generations of the Orona family – Joel, Roman and Tahj – will share the strength and renewal of the Apache through music, stories and poetry. Questions and answers will follow the performance, led by Dr. David Martinez. 
  • Our People of the South with Xavier Quijas Yxayotl
    Sunset Library, 4930 W. Ray Road 
    Saturday, June 15, 2019, 10:30 a.m. to noon
    (Exhibit at Sunset Library, June 3-15)
    Xavier Quijas Yxayotl presents music, stories and instruments from Native Mexicá. Of the Huichol people of Mexico, Xavier will describe how he built performance replicas of Aztec flutes found only in museums and created his own variations upon those ancient designs. He will perform using clay flutes, double flutes, drums and the eerie death whistle. Questions and answers will follow the performance, led by Dr. David Martinez.
  • Waila!, with Southern Scratch
    Chandler Downtown Community Center, 125 E. Commonwealth Ave.
    Saturday, June 22, 2019, 6-8 p.m.
    Come dance to the polkas, cumbias and two-steps of waila, the popular music of the Akimel O’odham and Tohono O’odham of central and southern Arizona. A unique Native American variation on Mexican norteño music, waila (also known as chicken scratch) fills the air at all-night parties in O'odham communities on any Saturday night. Join the dancing at the Chandler Downtown Community Center.  An audience discussion will follow the performance.