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Special Events

The Ninth Annual Ralph Rinzler Memorial Concert was A Tribute to Jeanette Carter and the Carter Family, featuring The O’Quinn Brothers and the Bluegrass Travelers, Still Waters, New Ballard’s Branch Bogtrotters, Laura Boosinger, Randy Wilson, and Will Keys from the Appalachia program (documentation is thus found within that series). Five evening concerts featured National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Fellows from Appalachia (one also included ballad singers from Scotland), and other special evening concerts are also included within the documentation for the Appalachia, Mali, and Scotland programs respectively.

Beautiful Beyond: Christian Songs in Native Languages was a special event presented by the National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI). Several years earlier, NMAI had begun a project to document the singing of Christian songs in Native languages. As of 2003, more than twenty-five groups in fifteen communities had been recorded, including Mohawk, Cherokee, Navajo, Kiowa, Comanche,Yup'ik, and Hawaiian. In some communities the hymns are translations from English-language hymnals, sung in three- or four-part harmony, while in others the songs are "made" by Native singers and sung in unison. Besides singing in church, the singing groups are in demand for community events, especially funerals and wakes. The concert brought together five groups - Navajo, Cherokee (from the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma and the Eastern Band of North Carolina), Oneida (New York), and Lakota. Their presence at the Festival represented a strong force in Indian communities throughout the continent and demonstrated that among the many tools of cultural survival the power of language is one of the most important. A related Smithsonian Folkways recording was later released on the occasion of the NMAI's opening in 2004.

Howard Bass was Program Producer and Linda Martin and Ceni Myles were Program Specialists for Beautiful Beyond. Support for the program was provided in part by the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma.

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