Southern Utah News Articles
Top Stories for May 3, 2018
Navajo classical pianist Connor Chee to perform at the Amazing Earthfest - plus Paiute Cultural Friendship Dance
The style and scope of Connor Chee’s music is breathtaking. His exquisite compositions highlight the depth and richness of Navajo heritage. Kaibab Paiutes share a cultural talk and interactive dance.
To hear Connor Chee perform live is an extraordinary musical experience! Chee cultivated his prodigious talent from a young age under the tutelage of instructors in his hometown of Page, Arizona. At age 12, Connor won gold in the World Piano Competition’s Young Artist Division, earning his first performance at New York City’s Carnegie Hall, then winning multiple awards in the World Piano Competition. He received his Bachelor of Music from The Eastman School in 2009, and a master’s from the University of Cincinnati’s College Conservatory of Music. He was awarded First Prize in the 2016 Bradshaw & Buono International Piano Competition, and performed in the winners’ recital at Carnegie Hall, also receiving “Best Instrumental Recording” at the 16th Annual Native American Music Awards for his album The Navajo Piano, nominated for “Best New Artist” and “Record of the Year.”
Melodies unique to his culture and found on his CD, The Navajo Piano, awaken us to the profound insights and beauty of the Native American worldview and the Navajo people. This extraordinarily gifted musician and composer also plays works from the classical piano repertoire as beautifully as you’ll hear anywhere. Claude Debussy’s lovely and moving Claire du Lune is on the program, as well as a first performance of entirely new works by Connor Chee, expressing Navajo creation stories from his just released recording titled, Emergence.
“Connor Chee’s powerful and sensitive interpretations of Navajo chants and songs could bring a person to tears,” said Rich Csenge, President of Amazing Earthfest, a nonprofit organization based in Kanab, Utah, producing three recitals by Chee as part of its 12th annual festival celebrating land and life on the Colorado Plateau. These exclusive concerts are presented in partnership with the Center for the Arts at Kayenta in Ivins, Utah http://www.kayentaarts.com/, Z-Arts in Springdale, Utah http://zarts.org" onclick="dpSmartLink(this.href,'blankWin',0,0,'z:z','all');return document.MM_returnValue">http://zarts.org, and the Fredonia Moccasin Unified School District in Fredonia, Ariz.
Residing in Phoenix, Arizona, Chee is a voting member of The Recording Academy (the GRAMMY® Awards), and performs throughout the United States. To hear him play, visit his website (www.connorchee.com), then get your tickets early for one of these extraordinary concerts!
Augmenting the Native American cultural experience offered through these recitals, members of the Kaibab Band of Paiute Indians will speak about the Southern Paiute People who have lived in the region from time immemorial. They will present an interactive cultural circle dance, also known as a friendship dance, that encourages audience participation. Most Native American Tribal cultures have a round dance to welcome everyone in a social expression of kinship, joy, happiness, gratitude, friendship, togetherness, goodwill and harmony.
Connor Chee performs at the Center for the Arts at Kayenta, located at 881 Coyote Gulch Court in Ivins, on Thursday, May 17, at 7:30 p.m. Admission is $30 online at kayentaarts.com. For more information, call (435) 674-2787.
Z-Arts will host the encore concert on Friday, May 18, at 8 p.m. in the Canyon Community Center, 126 Lion Boulevard in Springdale. Admission is $15 online at eventbrite.com or cash at the door. For more information, visit http://zarts.org or call (435) 772-3434 x 313.
The final concert will be held at Fredonia High School on Saturday, May 19, at 7 p.m., 221 Hortt Street. Admission is $10 online at eventbrite.com or cash at the door. For more information, call (928) 643-7333 or visit http://amazingearthfest.com/events.
The 12th Amazing Earthfest features over 40 experiential events beginning Mother’s Day and running through the week of May 13-19 in Kanab, Utah. Visit http://amazingearthfest.com/events/ for details or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/AmazingEarthfest/.