Cultural Performers

Jay Begaye (Navajo)

Jay Begaye (Navajo) is an award-winning drummer, singer, and songwriter. He is the founder of the renowned pow wow group Cathedral Lakes Singers and has also won recognition as a  soloist. He has released a number of popular albums on the Sounds of America Records (SOAR) and Canyon Records labels. His musical awards include NAMMY, Indian Summer Music Awards, AFIM Indie Awards, and a Grammy nomination for a Pow Wow recording.

Dennis Bowen Sr., Seneca, of the Bear Clan

Dennis Bowen Sr., Seneca, of the Bear Clan has made his career in human services focused on youth and family wellness. In his early years, he experienced the trauma of United States breaking one of the oldest treaties with the construction of the Kinzua Dam in 1964 on the Seneca Allegany Territory. From that time, he has always maintained an intense commitment to the people and homeland. He is the former elected President of the Seneca Nation in New York from 1994-1996. During that time, he won a sovereignty court case, Bowen vs. Doyle, in February 1995. He developed the Nine-Voices Cultural Prevention Model to promote the many voices of Indian communities. He is a certified trainer to the Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training developed by the Living Works Company. He has been involved in philanthropy work with the SEVA Foundation, where he served as one of the first American Indians to chair an international foundation. Bowen is a traditional singer, artist and has been working as a pow wow MC for over 43 years all across Turtle Island. Bowen retired in 2013 from the Tuba City Unified School District on the Western Navajo Nation. He now devotes his time as a care giver to his family in upstate New York. Bowen is a father of two and grandfather of three. He makes his home on the Seneca Allegany reservation in western New York and Tuba City, Arizona with his wife of 46 years, Alita Bennett Bowen.

Cha'Bii'Tu Apache Crown Dancers

The Cha'Bii'Tu Apache Crown Dance Group represent the town of McNary, AZ as well as the White Mountain Apache Tribe. They've been in many parades far and near, entertained at various events, and entered many events on the Apache reservations.  They have won many awards in the Dance Group Category in competitions in the Southwest. 

Tony Duncan (Apache, Arikara and Hidatsa)

Tony has performed for audiences worldwide including performances at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, The Smithsonian Museum, The Billboard Music Awards, The Tonight Show, and The White House. Duncan was the 2013-14 Native American Music Awards ARTIST OF THE YEAR. As a flute player he is currently signed to the largest Native American music label Canyon Records. Duncan has toured with acclaimed Native American artists such as R. Carlos Nakai and Joanne Shenandoah, as well as International Pop Star, Nelly Furtado. Duncan was the featured dancer on Nelly Furtado's music video, "Big Hoops." In Summer 2012, he toured across Europe and Asia with Nelly Furtado. Duncan enchanted audiences with his hoop dancing as well as his flute playing to over 100,000 people in Paris, London, Tokyo, Manila, Switzerland and the Island of Malta.

Violet Duncan (Plains Cree and Taino)

Violet, from Kehewin, Alberta, Canada, was Miss Indian World 2012. As such, she represented all indigenous people of North America. Violet combines traditional dance styles and storytelling to tell stories passed down from generation to generation. She has performed for audiences across the United States, Canada and Europe. Violet is the author and illustrator of The Sweet Violet Series of children’s books, including When We Dance and Let's Hoop Dance, a delightful father and son story about sharing the gift of the Hoop Dance. Violet lives with her husband and three young children in Arizona.

William Eaton

William designs and builds innovative guitars and stringed instruments and is a founder and Director of the Roberto-Venn School of Luthiery, in Phoenix, AZ. A four time GRAMMY nominee Eaton has recorded 16 albums for Canyon Records and tours nationally and internationally. In 2015 he received the Arizona Governor’s Arts Award in the ‘artist’ category. Eaton has composed for and performed with the William Eaton Ensemble, Nouveau West Chamber Orchestra, Nebraska Chamber Orchestra and Amadeus Trio among others. He has performed and collaborated with R. Carlos Nakai, Will Clipman, Claudia Tulip, Allen Ames, Mary Redhouse, Arvel Bird, Edgar Meyer, Anthony Mazzella and Fitzhugh Jenkins. Along with his wife Christine, William is the co-Director of Old Town Center for the Arts, in Cottonwood, Arizona.

First Nations Warrior Society Color Guard

Led by Michael Smith, the Color Guard is comprised of Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine veterans. This group of Native American veterans has proudly presented the colors at the Heard Guild Fair for many years.

Indigenous Enterprises / Kenneth Shirley (Dine')

Throughout his travels across the country, Kenneth has developed a passion for both filmmaking and dancing. He has had numerous opportunities to dance and perform for audiences ranging from coast to coast.

In 2014, Kenneth had the opportunity to gain valuable experience by performing with “Spirit of the Mist” in Niagara Falls, New York, where he performed for thousands of tourists weekly ranging worldwide. A champion dancer within powwows, Kenneth has also transitioned his time and effort to his undergraduate studies where he is currently a junior majoring in filmmaking production.

Eric Manuelito

Eric Manuelito is the Arena Director, an addition to the Amphitheater stage in 2015. Eric brings national experience to our event – he has served as Head Man, Arena Manager, educator, flute player and more. Eric will offer the morning prayer at the Opening Ceremony.

Montee Sinquah (Hopi/Tewa/Choctaw)

Montee Sinquah (Hopi/Tewa/Choctaw) is a well-known singer, flutist, dancer, drum maker, and artist. He also is a music producer and has co-written songs with other award-winning Native American artists. Montee is a champion Hoop Dancer and Grass Dancer. He has performed with Buffy Sainte-Marie, Bonnie Raitt, and many others and is owner of Montee’s Monster House Music.

Sinquah Family Dance Troupe (Hopi/Tewa/Choctaw) features the family trio Sampson, Scott, and Montee who enjoy sharing their dance styles and songs. In addition to Hoop Dance, the group also performs Men’s Fancy War Dance, Men’s Grass Dance, and the audience participation Friendship Dance. The group has toured and performed throughout Europe, Canada, and the U.S.

Thunder Springs Drum Group

The Thunder Springs Northern Drum Circle, led by Lamon Barehand (Hopi/Pima) is prominent in the opening and closing ceremonies. The Hopi drum group includes Lamar Barehand, Lamon Barehand, Budge Mahle and Nate Barehand.

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