Performers at Ganondagan’s summer festival on July 27-28 reflect the recent name change to the Indigenous Music & Arts Festival, formerly the Native American Dance & Music Festival.
“The new name better reflects the deep connection of all indigenous people on Turtle Island while underscoring the meaningful commonalities of indigenous people worldwide,” said Meg Joseph, executive director of the Friends of Ganondagan.
This summer’s appearance of the Soh Daiko Japanese taiko drummers is an example of expanded festival offerings. Soh Daiko increased its repertoire to include traditional compositions from Shinto music tradition — adapting existing taiko compositions — and original arrangements by its own members.
In addition to drums, the group incorporates accessories such as bamboo flutes, brass bells, conch shells, gongs, African shekere and Tahitian toere (wooden slit drum). Soh Daiko also features visual elements of movement and choreography.
Making their Ganondagan debut are contemporary native music performers Robert “Freightrain” Parker and his band, Freightrain. The culturally diverse, soulful band takes a distinctive and energetic approach to American roots. It won the 2018 Indigenous Music Award for best blues album.
Iroquois social dancing will return with two performances each day. Bill Crouse (Seneca) will lead the Allegany River Dancers in full regalia.
The slate of festival activities include the Native American Arts Market, traditional arts demonstrators, Hodinohso:ni’ juried art show, storytelling, indigenous food, guided trail walks, raffles and the Family Discovery Tent.
Admission at the door is $10 for adults, $7 for seniors, $5 for children, and free for Friends of Ganondagan members and children younger than 2. Two-day passes cost $15 for adults, $12 for seniors and $8 for children. Visit for information.