Native American flutist, traditional storyteller and flute maker Keith Bear is returning to the Colusa County Fair June 9-12.
Bear will be among the performers appearing in the Etchepare Garden. This will be the debut of the Garden as a Fair performance area. Performances in the area are sponsored this year by Central Valley Gas Storage and Premier Mushroom Inc.
“It is a great relaxing area and just right for Keith’s music,” said the fair’s CEO Jonathan Howard.
“Keith Bear gained a lot of fans at the fair last year, and we are excited he is coming back,” said Howard.
Keith Bear (O’Mashi! Ryu Ta – “Northern Lights”) is a world renowned Mandan-Hidatsa storyteller and musician from the Three Affiliated Tribes in Fort Berthold, North Dakota.
After growing up outside the tribal traditions Keith Bear returned to his people and reconnected through the “sacred branch of the Tree of Life,” the flute. Through extended family members, friends, and ceremonies Bear learned traditional songs, beadwork, porcupine quillwork, flute music, and traditional stories.
He has appeared as a solo presenter, performer and storyteller at the Smithsonian Folklife festival, the Kennedy Center, Lewis & Clark Bicentennial signature events throughout the US, the International Storytellers Festival in Wales, UK; for the North Dakota Arts Council, and in cultural programs throughout Europe. He has soloed with the National Symphony and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra in performances of the Old Turtle Symphony (composer: Linda Tutas Haugen).
A few years ago Bear spent a week in Colusa County doing artist in residency programs at schools throughout the county. He also performed at the annual Stamp Out Stigma Rally that year.
Bear said he loves coming to Colusa County. “I enjoy performing at your great fair, and I especially enjoy getting to know the people there,” he said.
“I’m treated like family in Colusa County. I especially enjoyed my visit with the elders at the annual Senior Citizen picnic,” he said.
For more information call the Colusa County Fair office at (530) 458-2641 or visit www.colusacountyfair.com.