‘Vibes with the Tribes’ indigenous music festival premieres on Saturday


A new Detroit festival aims to bridge the gap between Native American tradition and modern music. Saturday “Vibes with the Tribes” bills itself as Michigan’s premier indigenous music festival and celebrates Anishinaabe culture. It will take place in southwest Detroit on traditional Anishinaabe lands.

Anishinaabe is a collective term that encompasses the Native Americans and First Nations of the Great Lakes region, including the Ojibwe, Odawa, and Bodewademi Nations.

“We wanted to create a space where we can highlight who we are in modern times and how we are still connected to our traditional teachings,” said Raymond Elwart Jr., who founded the festival with his partner, Hadassah GreenSky.

The festival takes place in two parts. Beginning with an opening ceremony, the afternoon will celebrate cultural traditions and feature inter-tribal powwow dances, including fancy shawl and jingle dress dances. There will also be three drum groups and a hand drum competition.

The evening will turn into a modern music festival with performances by indigenous musicians from the United States and Canada. First Nations singer Fawn Wood heads the festival, traveling from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada to Detroit to perform traditional Cree hand drum music. The rest of the lineup includes Native American hip hop artists including Stuart James (Dakota), Def-I (Navaho), Kitto (Ojibwe and Dakota), Suppynvrldies (Bodewademi), and Elwart himself (Ojibwe), who is named after Sufi stage.

“There has never been a music festival like this,” GreenSky said. “We’re going to write history. “

In addition to music and dancing, the festival will also feature a 20-foot tipi, an interactive installation from the Bawaadan Collection in Toronto.

“I’m really excited,” GreenSky said. “They put out a lot of really awesome art.”

Elwart and GreenSky both come from Indigenous families and share a passion for their cultural traditions as well as art. Elwart had many friends who were also Indigenous artists and said that having a festival in his hometown felt natural, especially with Detroit’s Native American history and people.

“Often we have to travel far to experience our culture,” he said. “Now it will be right in the city. “

“Vibes with the Tribes” was scheduled to debut last year but had to go virtual due to COVID-19. Artists came from all over the country and the event was broadcast live on Facebook.

Elwart said the festival is not only a place for indigenous people to celebrate their culture, but is an opportunity to educate those who may have misconceptions.

“If people come in and have old thoughts and beliefs about how Native Americans live, they can introduce themselves on the 28th and see what we really are like,” he said, “and not just stereotypes on TV. . “

“Vibes with the tribes”

1 p.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday

4132 Bagley Street, Detroit

Tickets: $ 20 online or $ 25 at the door; dancer tickets are half reduced; VIP tickets cost $ 100, which includes access to the Exclusive Artist Lounge, a meal voucher and a gift box.

Visit www.vibeswiththetribes.com


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