The Malden Reads Opening Celebration Gala will feature a performance in the Ryder Gallery from award-winning Cheyenne flutist and storyteller Joseph Firecrow on Thursday, Feb. 21.
Hosted at the library’s historic and elegant Converse Memorial Building from 6:30-8:30, the evening will feature culture and cuisine based on themes from the featured selection of Malden Reads 2013, “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian” by Sherman Alexie. There will be information, exhibits, a variety of performances in the Lower Gallery, and tours of the library's historic section offered.
A lifelong musician, Firecrow grew up on a Cheyenne reservation in southeastern Montana. Drums and dance were a regular part of his childhood and it was there, he was inspired as a young boy to become a musician. Today he is recognized for his skilled songwriting and performing on the Native American flute and drums.
Having seen Firecrow perform, Malden Reads Committee member Linda Zalk said it’s spiritual, informative and very beautiful. “He was such a positive influence,” she said. “He reflected and imparted the traditions of native Americans and he was able to impart these feelings, information and stories…it was quite beautiful.”
Firecrow has released seven albums and won numerous awards including Native American Music Awards for songwriter of the year, best instrumental recording and flutist of the year. His fourth album, Cheyenne Nation, earned him a Grammy nomination in 2001. His work can also be heard in the Ken Burns documentary “Lewis and Clark: The Journey of the Corps of Discovery.”
The evening will also include discussion of contemporary native American issues, which wil be lead by Joanne Dunn, who is executive director of the North American Indian Center of Boston.
The “Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian” is about a contemporary Native American youth caught between the worlds of white culture and his life on a Native American reservation. In many ways, it echoes the experience of Malden's immigrant community, where youth straddle the two worlds of their traditional heritage and contemporary American life.
Likewise, the novel explores universal themes of family struggles, identity, overcoming obstacles, and harnessing the tools of one's own resiliency.
The Open Celebration Gala headlines a series of Malden Reads events organized to bring the community together around these themes. Detailed information about all of these events is coming soon. For the current info, please visit www.maldenreads.org.
If You Go ...
What: Malden Reads Opening Celebration
When: Thursday, February 21, 6:30 - 8:30pm (doors open at 6:15)
Where: Malden Public Library, Converse Memorial Building (entrance on Salem Street)
Admission: Free. (Donations welcome.) Recommended for adults and children, ages 12 & up
Ryder Gallery Performance: presented in two seatings at 7:00 & 7:45
More Info: www.maldenreads.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org