GRIC Member Launches “Save Our Stages” Concert Series
December 3, 2022
“Music is the language of the world,” proclaimed District 6 member Jackson Harris as she began to discuss her “Save our Stages” concert series she will launch in Mar. 2023. Spanning over 20 years in the Native American music scene, Harris has her eyes set on providing new spaces for Native American musical artists after the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The pandemic forced a lot of artists to pack it up, go back to school, or work full time to support themselves and while the music may have been on pause, I know they still want to perform,” said Harris.
After three years of the pandemic, many artists and concert venues experienced increased hardships. Many performance venues closed their doors due to financial burdens leaving many musical acts without a space to perform. After the pandemic, providing that space for musicians again is vital to Harris’ goals with the Save our Stages effort.
Another goal is to provide live music experiences once again, specifically by Native American musicians and performers.
“They [musicians] tell me, ‘Seeing the crowd during performances is what drives us to keep going, making music, and performing,’” said Harris. She recalls numerous instances where people leave changed, for the better, after a concert. As a concert promoter, these experiences also drive her need to provide more shows for the Native American community.
Utilizing her resources and network, the Mar. Save our Stages concert will feature a wide range of performers from Arizona, mainly, if not all. From rock & roll to reggae, the audience will be treated to such acts as Ed Kabotie and the Yoties, Casper Lomayesva, Gertie ‘n’ the T.O. Boyz, and Smokestack Lightening, to name a few.
The Save our Stages concert will take place Mar. 4, which will coincide with the Heard Museum Guild Indian Fair & Market. The timing will capitalize on the influx of Natives in the valley during that time and draw on them to attend the concert.
While the first set of plans for next year are in place, she hopes this initial concert will reinvigorate Native performers. Harris looks forward to continuing the concert series throughout 2023 and plans to host two more.