THE FRESH FRUIT FESTIVAL and URBAN PRODUCTIONS present:
A TWO-SPIRIT EVENING:
Celebrating the LGBT Native American Community
producer & host - Robert Urban
- singer/songwriter GEORGIE JESSUP and Big Love -
- poet MAURICE KENNY -
- singer/songwriter ROGER KUHN accompanied by flutist Tiokasin Ghosthorse and violist Michael Alas -
- performance artist JOE BIRDSONG -
- comedy drag troupe THE BRUSH ARBOR GURLZ - Landa Lakes & Samantha Richards -
Gay Native American elder Kent Lebsock honored by Native American singer George Stonefish
and members of the North East Two Spirit Society at our show.
when: Thursday, July 13th - 9pm to 11pm (meet & greet reception immediately after the show)
where: Collective Unconscious Theater, 279 Church street, NYC 212-254-5277
TWO-SPIRIT EVENING - A stellar performing cast of glbt Native Americans
including Cherokee, Mohawk, Chikasaw, Navajo, Creek , Lakota, Kumeyaay and Cree -
along with Native American allies - celebrate the deep contributions of America's first lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons.
live-in-concert photos by Tom Ziegler
"Robert - Congrats on putting together such a wickedly fun evening, I had a blast" - Patrick Tafoya, American Indian Artists, Inc. Newsletter
"Just a quick delayed thank you for a wonderful Fresh Fruit show! It was wonderful being part of that energy and vibe, and to share in the merging of spirits in that room." - violist Michael Alas
The BRUSH ARBOR GURLZ - Landa Lakes & Samantha Richards
SAMANTHA RICHARDS of the Brush Arbor Gurlz
"I had a wonderful time! Thank you so much!" - Samantha Richards
"Thanks so much! I really had a blast. What a great evening. Such an honor to be a part of it. Again, thank you and I look forward to working with you again in the future!" - Joe Birdsong
LANDA LAKES of the Brush Arbor Gurlz
GEORGIE JESSUP & Big Love (Christina Van Norman - bass; Ken Gutberlet - guitar)
"Thanks for your hard work (and for playing wth me!) bigloveandhugs" - Georgie Jessup
Guest of honor Native American elder KENT LEBSOCKleft to right: Clover Honey - Landa Lakes - Carol Polcovar - Robert Urban
"It was a wonderful show. I'd love to bring the Brush Arbor Gurlz back next year! You give good production!!!" - Carol Polcovar, Artistic Director, Fresh Fruit Festival
"Standing Room Only! You did a great job." - Jeffrey Leeds, Managing Director, Fresh Fruit Festival
"The real applause goes to you" - Harry Wieder, Fresh Fruit Festival Board of Directors
"the fotos look fantastic! and the event really was incredible..congrats! xo" - audience member Matthew Duffy
It was great working with you - Respectfully" - Ted A. Sterns, House Manager, Collective Unconscious Theater, NYC
TWO SPIRIT Cast:
Hailing from the Maryland region, GEORGIE JESSUP is a three time WAMMIE nominated singer songwriter, a 2004 INDIAN SUMMER MUSIC AWARD'S nominee and winner of the 2005 Silver Arrow Award for work in Native American Music.
Georgie has released four CD's AMERICAN HOLOCAUST, SWEET GRASS SMOKE, WINKTE & CRAZY SACRED DOGS and WOMAN IN A MAN'S SUIT. Inspired by a chance meeting with the Lakota holy man Frank Fools Crow and a life long interest in the plight and struggle of all indigenous people, ten songs were selected to form the concept album American Holocaust. The recording addresses the genocide that was aimed at Native Americans.
Georgie performed at the 2002 Vancouver International Aboriginal Festival, and was invited by the Morning Star Foundation to perform at the 1992 anti-Columbus day celebration, Native Voices 500 Years After in front of the Capital in Washington DC. She has performed at various powwows and Native American gatherings in the Mid-Atlantic region.
On the east coast of Virginia, Georgie was chosen by Assateague spiritual leader Quiet Storm to carry the bones of the ancestors before they were re-buried. She was personally welcomed into the Yellow Thunder Camp by Russel Means when it was still occupied in the Paha Sapa. She is a spiritual volunteer for the Native Prisoners at the local prisons in Maryland. More info at: www.georgiejessup.com
“…provocative....It, (AMERICAN HOLOCAUST), questions the values that put "progress" before humanity and answers that the only true progress is acting in harmony with earth, sky, plants,animals, and...fellow humans” - News From Indian Country Magazine
JOE BIRDSONG - performance artist
A resident of NYC, Joe's bloodlines are equal parts Cherokee, Irish and Scot. His monologue entitled "The Shift" (that references the Shoshone Ghost Dance and its modern version - Naraya) was just published in the Cleis Press HOT GAY EROTICA anthology.
He has performed in NYC as part of The Jackie Factory's "Cabaret Magique" series, in Atlanta at Outwrite Books & Coffee, and most recently as part of an evening of spoken word he hosted for Le Petit Versaille in October and was broadcast on MNN.
A contributor to Gay City News here in New York, Joe is currently working to open a new NYC bookstore/coffeehouse/performance space in September to be called RAPTURE CAFE & BOOKS.
MAURICE KENNY, Mohawk, was born in Watertown, NY in 1929. He was educated at Butler University, St. Lawrence University and New York University, where he studied with the eminent American poet, Louise Bogan.
Maurice's work has been published in almost 100 journals, including special issues on Native American writing. He has also been published in the American Indian Quarterly, Blue Cloud Quarterly, Wicazo Sa Review, Saturday Review, and the NY Times.
Maurice has been involved in several radio, television and film productions, including Reno Hill . . . Little Big Horn written especially for John Rouillard and NBC-TV in San Diego for the Custer Centennial
He has been the co-editor of the literary review magazine Contact/II as well as the editor/publisher of Strawberry Press. He has also been poetry editor of Adirondac Magazine; Poet-in-Residence at North Country Community College near Saranac Lake, NY; Visiting Professor at the University of Oklahoma at Norman, OK, the En'owkin Center at the University of Victoria in British Columbia and at Paul Smith's College.
Among the panels on which he has served are: NY Foundation for the Arts, North Carolina Arts Council, NY State Council on the Arts and Arts Recognition and Talent Search for the Educational Testing Service. He has served on the Board of Directors for the Coordinating Council of Literary Magazines, the NY Foundation for the Arts and WSLU-FM. He has coordinated the Iroquois Arts Festival at Saranac Lake and Writer's Week at Tupper Lake.
BRUSH ARBOR GURLZ
Landa Lakes (at left) (Chickasaw) is the matron of the Brush Arbor Gurlz aka the
BAGz, a Native American Drag ensemble. She is a former Ms Gay Indian
Nations, Ms Osage Hills and Ms Trannyshack Starsearch. She has
performed throughout San Francisco, Oklahoma and Texas, often
introducing audiences to Native American politics through humor. Most
recently, Landa was involved in the Queer Artfest's "Rally The Troupes"
held in San Francisco where she walked the crowd into a hot bed of
Native American protest with a smile, sly humor and warm embrace.
Landa's BAGz are constant contributors via fund raising, working in
community projects and providing Native American visibility to the
larger LGBT community. In 2005, the BAGz events contributed the largest
amount of funds to the 17th Annual Two-Spirit Gathering hosted by the
Bay Area American Indian Two-Spirits. Landa also worked with the SF
Pride Committee to create Two-Spirit Nations, a Native American space
and stage, for last year's Pride event and campaigned successfully to
elect Randy Burns (a LGBT Native American Activist) as the 2005 Grand
Samantha Richards (Navajo) is an expert costume designer and builder,
as well as a mask maker, actor and singer for over 20 years. Some of
her credits include a featured role in "Honor Song for Crazy Horse" at
Theatre Works, and vocalist in "The Barber of Seville" and "The
Marriage of Figaro" for Opera San Jose. In "Peter Pan" for San Jose
Civic Light Opera she portrayed a pirate (not an Indian!). Also at
Civic Light Opera she appeared in "Dreamgirls" and "Evita." She has done
costume/mask work and design for hundreds of shows, including "Taming of the Shrew," "Sweeny Todd," "Into the Woods," "Tommy," "Honor Song for Crazy Horse," "Royal Hunt of the Sun," "Peter Pan" and "Follies" for theaters such as Theatre Works, San Jose Rep, San Jose Civic Light Opera, American Musical Theatre, Western Stage, and California
Shakespeare Festival. Richards has designed for Ableza's productions of
"The Breath of Life," "Touching the Earth," "Full Circle" and "Dancing the Circle."
NYC-based Native American (Poarch Band of Creek Indians) Singer/Songwriter Roger Kuhn has music fans all over the world proclaiming Roger as the 2nd coming of Elvis. With his powerful guitar strumming and smooth vocals, he offers listeners insight into his biracial heritage and his life as a Two Sprit male in modern society. Roger has perfomed throughout the United States including the national Two Sprit gathering in Tulsa, OK and at the American Indian Community House in New York City. He is an active member of the Native community in New York and is a member of the North East Two Sprit Society.
Roger's new CD, Proof, is available via his website at www.worldofrogerkuhn.com -- let the beauty and the light shine!!
Kent Lebsock - honoree (Lakota), is Executive Director of the American Indian Law Alliance., grew up in Denver, Colorado and attended Boston University where he majored in International Relations and French. He has worked for the American Indian Law Alliance since 1992 and was the Legal and Corresponding Secretary for the Teton Sioux Nation Treaty Council from 1993 to 2004. He is currently working with the Owe Aku (Bring Back the Way) traditional tiospaye at Pine Ridge, supporting their varied and comprehensive community based and international activities. Over the years, he has written dozens of reports for the Lakota peoples, organized treaty gatherings on Lakota territories, and attended the WGIP, the WGDD, and the PFII as a delegate of the Teton Sioux Nation Treaty Council and the American Indian Law Alliance. In 2003, he was an invited as an “expert” by the Commission on Human Rights to attend the Expert Seminar on Treaties, Agreements and Other Constructive Arrangements between Indigenous Nations and member states of the United Nations. He was also asked by the chiefs and leaders present to be the co-author of the recommendations that resulted from the seminar and submitted to the Commission.
Kent Lebsock’s has also had a long-time commitment to HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention on Native territories in North America. This evolved into an international program of health and environment for the American Indian Law Alliance consistent with an Indigenous worldview. In conjunction with the Committee on Indigenous Health of the United Nations Indigenous Peoples Caucus, the Barcelona Initiative was developed for the XIVth International AIDS Conference in Spain in 2002. In 2006, he began working with an international group of Indigenous peoples led by the Maoris to ensure increased awareness of and participation by Indigenous peoples in the 16th International AIDS Conference to be held in Montreal in August 2006. Also in 2002, Kent Lebsock was unsuccessfully nominated by the Committee on Indigenous Health to sit on the Program Coordinating Board of UNAIDS.
In addition to his commitment to advocating for the human rights of Indigenous peoples, Kent Lebsock also has more personal interests. He is a painter utilizing oil and watercolor, with a particular interest in portraiture and still life. He has been a participant in group shows in the Southwest and he also writes poetry and has published a few poems in journals and community magazines. He speaks French fluently which has been of assistance in his work on behalf of the American Indian Law Alliance. Although he grew up in the west, he is now an avid New Yorker, who loves all the city has to offer.
George Stonefish - Delaware/Chippewa
George is a life long resident of New York City, and known as a native singer, dancer, activist and speaker. He is also active in theater and perfomance venues in the New York area. Most recently he spoke at the United Nations. He has worked at the American Indian Community House since 1997.
George is a member of The SilverCloud Singers. He appeared in the 1981 Hollywood film Wolfen.
ROBERT URBAN - producer/host
Born and raised in Fairfield County, CT, this award-winning singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, composer, producer and published literary writer is also owner/operator of the Manhattan-based URBAN PRODUCTIONS Recording Studio. Robert performs everywhere, either solo or with his own progressive rock group The Robert Urban Band. He has composed music scores for numerous professional dance, theater, and film productions. In addition to his own 4 CDs, Robert's work (esp. as guitarist) can be heard on the recordings of many other musical artists. Robert is also an accompanist, session-musician, arranger/sound engineer and private music teacher. He supports the GLBT music community through producing/hosting Urban Productions BOLDLY Presents, the all-GLBT multi-artist live-in-concert music series (now in its 6th year).
Robert is the author of the poetry book Abominations; proud founder of Gay Guitarists Worldwide; contributing writer to several glbt arts & culture magazines including AfterElton.com, and a Board of Directors member for the Fresh Fruit Festival glbt performing arts organization. In 2006 he was voted "Outmusician of the Year" by members of the Outmusic GLBT music organization and in 2005 was inducted into the Stonewall Society's GLBT Hall of Fame. The 2005 "Transgender Rock Explosion" concert he produced and hosted for the 2005 NYC Fresh Fruit Festival garnered three awards, including best event, at the Fresh Fruit Awards Gala in April of 2006. More info on Robert at: www.roberturban.com
Return to Homepage More Concerts