Legendary saxophonist and Sound Tribe front man Al Stager headlines “Rising From the Ashes,” a benefit concert to assist Interior communities hit hard by the 2017 wildfire crisis being held in the traditional territory of the Lytton First Nation on April 15.
Stager leads an all-star cast of talented, veteran First Nations musicians that includes Ritchie and the Fendermen lead guitarist Ritchie Adams in an evening of country, rock and roll and blues music. Adams will perform with fellow Fendermen Jim Billy and Big George Kirstenstein. Francis Charlie of the Black Owl Blues Band and Gordon Dick of Sound Tribe and the Baby Fats Blues Band will join the jam along with solo artist Willard Wallace.
The concert at the Lytton Memorial Hall at 8:00 p.m. is a joint-project of the Lytton First Nation and the New Pathways to Gold Society (NPTGS). Organizer Byron Spinks of the Lytton First Nation says all are very experienced musicians who can put on a good show – especially for a good cause.
“This will be the first time that all of these musicians will have an opportunity to play together,” said Spinks, who is also an NPTGS Director. “They’re very excited and the audience will get a mix of good old country, rock and roll and blues.”
NPTGS First Nations Co-Chair Cheryl Chapman says the concert shows the resilience of the communities along the Hope-Barkerville corridor.
“Once again we see the people and communities coming together to uphold each other and rebuild after challenging circumstances,” Chapman said.
Stager is known throughout B.C. and has played all over the province for over 30 years and Spinks says organizers are “very fortunate to have him perform. He’s in his 70's and only plays a few times a year now.”
The concert is part of the NPTGS’ “10+” anniversary celebration, April 14-15 in Lytton. In partnership with the Lytton First Nation, NPTGS will also hold the Chief Cexpe'nthlEm Recognition and Reconciliation Storytelling Circle, celebrating the courage and wisdom of Chief Cexpe'nthlEm in bringing peace to B.C. in 1858 by negotiating an end to the Canyon War with American militia Captain H.M. Snyder.
Descendants of Chief Cexpe'nthlEm and Captain Harry Snyder will participate, as will traditional knowledge keepers, drummers and dancers from the Nlaka’pamux and other First Nations. Plans to renovate the memorial to Chief Cexpe'nthlEm will be unveiled at the event, which takes place at the Parish Hall in Lytton, commencing at 4:30 p.m.
The New Pathways to Gold Society is a non-profit, non-partisan organization founded in 2007. The Society partners with First Nations, communities, corporations, local businesses and government to develop and deliver projects supporting local economies and creating heritage tourism assets. With financial support from the Government of British Columbia and other partners, NPTGS has raised and/or leveraged over $4.5 million for projects and contributed nearly $3.55 million to local communities. In partnership, the Society has also built or restored over 230 kilometers of heritage trails launched and/or completed 19 major projects and staged over 150 events, performances, symposia and lectures.
The Lytton First Nation is located on 14,161 acres of land divided into 56 reserves, located at the site of the Indian Village of Kumsheen, meaning, “where the Rivers Cross.” Rich in natural resources, they’re a vibrant First Nations community that has survived adversity by continuing to practice their core traditional values of generosity, respect and welcoming strangers into their territory.