By Nadia Werby
Special to The PREVIEW
Chimney Rock Interpretive Association (CRIA) presents the first annual “Solstice on the San Juan” this Saturday, June 22, at the Geothermal Greenhouse Partnership (GGP) amphitheater at Centennial Park located at 80 S. 5th St.
Starting at 6 p.m., guests will enjoy live Native American flute music and drum music in addition to Native American storytelling. Charles Martinez, a Pagosa native with Jicarilla and Navajo ancestry, will be playing his own handmade flutes. Andulia Davis, a CRIA volunteer and Jicarilla Nation member, will be telling stories about her native culture, and Marlon Magdalena, a member of the Jemez Pueblo in New Mexico, will also be playing his flutes and drums, while telling of his people’s history and culture.
This will be a night of cultural entertainment for the whole family. Decadent desserts will be provided and alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages will be available for purchase. There will be door prizes, too. Bring chairs, blankets and a picnic dinner if you’d like or sit at the amphitheater.
The cost is $25 for adults in advance and $30 at the gate. Children ages 5-15 are $5 and children ages 5 and under are free. Advance tickets can be purchased at the Chamber of Commerce at the Visitor Center on Hot Springs Boulevard, at The Choke Cherry Tree located at 56 Talisman Dr., or visit www.ChimneyRockCo.org. All proceeds go to CRIA to help fund educational projects, volunteer recruitment/training and the interpretive programs that help keep Chimney Rock National Monument a local attraction.
Martinez is a true Pagosa Springs native, born at his grandparents’ house. He has had a connection with Chimney Rock since youth, when he worked with Y.C.C. reconstructing ruins. His connection with the Native American flute came as recovery from an illness. Martinez is a traditional flute maker and player. His spiritual melodies have a peaceful, healing effect. He has performed for Chimney Rock full moon programs since 1999. He hand carves all his flutes, using wood that is chosen specifically for each one. He also composes all of his own music.
Davis is a Native American tribal storyteller and a member of the Jicarilla Apache Nation in Dulce, N.M. Storytelling is an important part of the Jicarilla traditions and is used to educate the younger generations about the history of the nation and how it came to be. Davis’ father was a medicine man and her grandfather, Augustine Vigil, was one of five chiefs who went to Washington, D.C., in the 1880s to secure reservation lands for Jicarilla Apache Nation.
Magdalena is a Native American artist, educator and performer from the Pueblo of Jemez in New Mexico. He performs with Native American style flutes of his own making and some made by other makers. He is also the instructional coordinator at the Jemez Historic Site where he educates the public about his Jemez culture.
This is a unique event, bringing Chimney Rock’s cultural and historical significance down from the pinnacles to Pagosa through Native American stories and music.
CRIA is a nonprofit organization which operates the interpretive program at Chimney Rock National Monument under a participating agreement with the USDA Forest Service/San Juan National Forest. For more information, please visit our website at www.chimneyrockco.org.