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10/16/2012 1:46:00 PM
Plateros and Dawa hit stage Friday and Saturday at Western Navajo Fair
Pepsi Center Stage to feature rock, blues, and traditional musical performances
The Plateros (top), including Levi Platero, Bronson Begay and Douglas Platero, play Friday and Saturday at the Western Navajo Fair in Tuba City. Submitted photo
The Plateros (top), including Levi Platero, Bronson Begay and Douglas Platero, play Friday and Saturday at the Western Navajo Fair in Tuba City. Submitted photo

David Yankus

TUBA CITY, Ariz. - As the 44th annual Western Navajo Fair continues in Tuba City this Thursday through Sunday, the Pepsi Center Stage at the Fairgrounds will be rocking Friday and Saturday night with featured bands like the Plateros and Dawa.

Other performers include Guilty Wilson, Miracle Dolls, Cold Fusion, Moonlight Howlers, Voodoo Swing, the Blissins, Fayuca, Independents, Sihasin, Writtyn/Honey, Jimmy Farrell, and Steven Crane Ministries.

The Plateros is a three-piece family blues-rock power trio from Tohajiilee, N.M., in the Eastern Agency of the Navajo Nation. They first came on the music scene in December of 2004 at a small music fest in Arizona. By April of 2005 they were invited to the biggest Powwow in the world, "The Gathering of Nations," for a 20-minute set. At the time, lead guitarist Levi Platero was only 12 years old.

Today, Platero is still lead guitarist but also lead vocalist. Bronson Begay is on bass guitar and backup vocals, and Levi's cousin Douglas Platero plays drums.

The Plateros musical journey the past eight years has taken them from a small Indian Reservation across the entire country, even to the 2009 U.S. Presidential Inaugural Ball at the John F. Kennedy Performing Arts Center. The Plateros recently finished up their cross-country Kinship Tour with another Native American family band, Indigenous.

"We started off in Oklahoma, made our way to Wisconsin, then Iowa, we stopped in Kentucky, and just the other night we were in New York City at B.B. King's Blues Café. And that was a really fun show," said Levi Platero. "We haven't been home for over two weeks now."

According to Platero, this will be the first time their band will play the Western Navajo Fair.

The Plateros take the stage Friday at 6 p.m. and Saturday at 8 p.m. at the Pepsi Center Stage to play their unique blend of rock, blues, and more.

"We don't really have a genre, people say we're blues, people say we're rock, and some people say we're something else," Platero said. "We usually just tell them we're southwest Native blues rock. It's kind of a long title but we think it fits perfectly."

Phoenix based live music performance group Dawa, currently up for six NAMI awards, is also featured this weekend.

Dawa's relationships and achievements within the Native music scene run deep. A blend of culture and music, Dawa combines influences from genres such as rock, reggae, acoustic, and indigenous sounds to create its uniquely original style.

Collectively experienced on local and international levels, the band strives to convey positive vibes, a respect for life and a sense of cultural dignity through its music. With the ability to perform as a duo, trio, or a full live band, Dawa is capable of handling all music performance needs, customized to fit all events and venues.

Dawa takes the stage from 8-10 p.m. on Friday, after the Plateros, and 6-8 p.m. on Saturday, immediately before the Plateros.

Guilty Wilson, another act performing this weekend at the Pepsi Center Stage, is a rock band that formed in the spring of 2003. Michael Thomas is on guitar and vocals, Roxanne Thomas is on bass, and Roman Thomas is on drums. According to band members, their mission through music is to bring hope to those who struggle with addiction, loneliness, and rejection.

Miracle Dolls is an alternative/punk/indie band from southern California. The trio is fronted by twin sisters and will be on tour this fall as well as performing at this year's "Gathering of Nations."

Cold Fusion are young, high-energy rockers, harnessing a new intense alternative sound that takes charge of the airwaves and assaults major southwest venues, amphitheatres and arenas, as well as other major events such as the Taste of Chaos, Nintendo Fusion Tour, Van's Warped Tour and P.F. Chang's Rock and Roll Marathon.

The Moonlight Howlers are a rockabilly family trio out of Williams, Ariz. Their love of old 1950s rock and roll and honky tonk came from their grandfather, who still attends their shows.

High octane best describes the music and the performances of the Moonlight Howlers. Their stage show includes a blast of dance music, with a mix of originals and selected covers. The band plays a fusion of old style rockabilly with jazz, blues, and swing. With just a three-piece band they achieve an amazing sound and are always fun and entertaining.

Voodoo Swing is Shorty Kreutz on lead guitar and vocals, Leeroy Nelson on drums, and Tommy Collins on his "doghouse" double bass. Their unique "rip-it-up" rockabilly attracted England's Nervous Records to sign them in 1993. They have released multiple albums and have appeared on several soundtracks and compilations.

Punk band the Blissins describe their music as "distorted harmony," due to the distorted sound of the vocals, guitar, and harmony created using three basic guitar chords. Their inspiration is every day life - working to capture emotions and dreams expressed through their lyrics and music.

Sihasin is brother and sister Jeneda and Clayson Benally of Blackfire, an indigenous band from the Navajo Nation. They have created their own unique brand of music with bass and drums. They grew up protesting the environmental degradation and inhumane acts of cultural genocide against their traditional way of life. Their music reflects hope for equality, healthy and respectful communities, and social and environmental justice.

Performing hip-hop to R&B, Jimmy Farrell started jumping from studio to studio back in high school. However at that time it was just a hobby and something they did for fun and for the love of music. Jimmy Farrell has their own studio now and they have a plethora of unheard music that they want to get out there because they feel the people will really love it and appreciate it.

The Cultural Night Performance and Exhibition starts at 6 p.m. Saturday as well at the "Pepsi Inter-tribal Stage" on the Fairgrounds. Highlights will be White Mountain Crown Dancers, Aztec Dancers, Japanese Laido, Hopi Dancers, plus more.

Free parking is available everyday at the Fairgrounds except for Saturday. Advance tickets for the carnival are available at the Tuba City Chapter House. Vendor spaces are $50 per day.

Fairgrounds admission is $5 per person, kids 11 and younger and seniors 60 and older are free. Rodeo admission is $6 per person.

For a complete schedule of events, show times, more information, maps, entry fees for competitions, awards, or more contact information visit or call the Tuba City Chapter House at (928) 283-3284.

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Posted: Tuesday, December 11, 2012
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