Press Releases

WCNY, Native American and Indigenous Studies at Syracuse University and Indigenous Values Initiative present free preview of ‘Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World’

WCNY, Central New York’s community-owned flagship public broadcaster in partnership with Syracuse University presents a free preview of “RUMBLE: The Indians Who Rocked the World” at Syracuse University’s Shemin Auditorium, at 4 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 31. Shemin Auditorium is located in the Shaffer Art Building.

“RUMBLE: The Indians Who Rocked the World” is an electric look at Native American influence in popular music, going deep into the Indigenous foundations of rock.

“RUMBLE” traces the melodies, rhythms, and beats of traditional Native music as they took different forms across the spectrum of 20th-century American rock. Native Americans such as Robbie Robertson and Buffy Sainte-Marie helped to define its evolution, while Native guitarists and drummers such as Link Wray — the electric guitar pioneer whose titular instrumental hit was banned from the radio, Hall of Famer Jimi Hendrix, who was part-Cherokee, Jesse Ed Davis, and many more forever changed the trajectory of rock and roll. Their stories are told by some of America’s greatest rock legends who knew them, played music with them, and were inspired by them, including George Clinton, Taj Mahal, Slash, Jackson Browne, Taboo, Buddy Guy, Quincy Jones, Derek Trucks, Tony Bennett, Iggy Pop, Steven Tyler and Stevie Van Zandt.

The film will be introduced by: Sandy Bigtree, Bear Clan, and citizen of the Mohawk Nation at Akwesasne. In 1980-82 she performed with Native Americans in the Arts theatre troupe (an affiliate of the American Indian Community House) at LaMama, New York City, and toured the northeastern United States. From age 1–18, Sandy performed weekly on radio, TV and other venues around Central New York. The Sandy Bigtree Band was well known throughout the 1970s. In 2008, Sandy was the recipient of the Syracuse New Times “Hall of Fame” Sammy Award. Show business is a “tradition” that began with her grandfather Mitchell Bigtree’s escape from Thomas Indian Boarding School to join Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show in Europe. His most memorable performance was at Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee. Philip P. Arnold, Associate Professor and Chair of Religion; core faculty of Native American and Indigenous Studies; Founding Director of Skä·noñh—Great Law of Peace Center; President of Indigenous Values Initiative will also provide remarks.

About WCNY
WCNY was founded in 1965 as The Educational Television Council of Central New York. Today it is a community-owned media company that produces content across multiple platforms, including television and radio programs, dynamic web and targeted email content, the WCNY CONNECT member magazine, and social media. Through online stream technology, WCNY has a global broadcast audience of viewers and listeners throughout the United States and 17 countries. WCNY operates five digital, pledge-free broadcast channels and three radio stations. Towers are located in Watertown and Utica, and WCNY’s radio programming extends into Canada. Classic FM is one of a few radio stations in the world dedicated to locally programmed music.

Educational services include workshops; a 10,000 square-foot building with dedicated Education Center; Read Out, a radio reading service for the visually impaired; Enterprise America for middle school students; and a media and marketing communications program for high school students.

WCNY is LEED® Platinum Certified by the U.S. Green Building Council, the highest certification level achievable in Leadership, Energy & Environmental Design. Other achievements include Business of the Year in the nonprofit category in 2014 by CenterState CEO.

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