Inspire Community

Hip Hop: First Peoples, New Voices Program

The artists featured in the Hip Hop: First Peoples, New Voices program come from around the block - across the country and Mexico’s Southwest - and each draws from their deep and iconic histories and experiences to create contemporary practices as a framework for sharing their modern realities. This work will be an ephemeral and heady mixture of mystery, metaphor, poetic expression, raw lyrics and a deep dive into the pool of indigenous identity.  

Now a global music form, Hip Hop has been embraced and adapted by the Native American, Canadian First Nations, and Mexican Indigenous peoples.  It has grown in popularity via expanding media outlets not only in urban settings but also on reservations and in rural settings as a path for political activism and its expression in art. Its influence grows and the need for this form of protest will continue as humankind struggles with issues of equity, globalization and the growing scarcity of natural resources.  John Trudell’s spoken word poetry and Russell Means’ rap-ajo music stand as early inspirations for the Native American rap artists in much the same way as The Watts Prophets and The Last Poets on their respective West and East coasts.  The artists performing for you this evening are among the most important emerging voices of their generation.

Inner City Arts and East LA Performing Arts Magnet High School and Jr. High School students spent considerable hours with our visiting artists this week in dance, creative writing, and community gathering workshops sharing their individual and collective creative processes, beliefs, advocacy and art practices that help them to illustrate the direct relationships between everything and everyone.  Physics, geopolitical history, plane geometry, biology, social media, identity politics, the connections between healthy bodies and healthy minds, the value of righteous indignation and the need for forgiveness. 

Please help us welcome these fine artists to Grand Performances. 

This evening’s performers in order of appearance:
Tina Orduno Calderon - Gabrielino Tongva & Ventureño Chumash
- Jessa Calderon  - Tongva, Chumash, Mexica
MC RedCloud - Huichol
Mare Advertencia Lirika - Zapotec

Dream Warrior Collective featuring: 
- Samsoche and Lumhe Sampson - Mvskoke Creek/Seneca
- Frank Waln - Sicangu Lakota
- Tanaya Winder - Southern Ute/Duckwater Shoshone/Pyramid Lake Paiute
- Anne Pesata - Jacarilla Apache
Special thanks to DJ Jonny Miles for his work on the ones and twos.


First Peoples, New Voices

This two-year series features extraordinary artists from various North American Indigenous communities who use contemporary music, dance, and theater to share their compelling stories.

Upcoming Performances: 

Fri Jul 7 - 8:00 pm |The Thanksgiving Play - Larissa FastHorse (L.A. premiere)

Sat Jul 22 - 7:00 pm | Her Voice: Riffat Sultana [Pakistan] + Meklit [Ethiopia] +  Ulali [First Nations]  

Sat Aug 5 - 8:00 pm | Entre les Etolies (Among the Stars) - Dorian Wood + Kaumakaiwa Kanaka'ole [Hawaii]





Artist travel is provided by United Airlines.