Gary Ogan is our musical cornerstone for the festival performances this year which includes serving as band-leader and drummer for the Flying Eagle All-Stars tribute group (which headlined for the 30th anniversary concert for KWSO in Warm Springs), playing solo (guitar and singing), with the Gary Ogan band (keyboards) and playing with our guest musicians from San Francisco (instruments TBD but it will be great!). His professional music career as spanned almost 45 years since his signing to Elektra Records in 1972 and his list of musical contributions and collaborations are probably too long for any web-page. He has been inducted into the Oregon Music Hall of Fame and won Songwriter of the Year in a Willamette Week magazine readers poll. Gary will be performing at Gilhooligans and the all-day festival at Parkrose High School on September 24.

For more information, visit, Photo from Gary Ogan's Twitter page.

José B. Cuéllar, originally from San Antonio Texas and a performer since he was the age of 5, is currently professor of Chicano Studies at San Francisco State University. "As a saxophone player, he is 'Dr. Loco', a nickname given to him by one of his research subjects; in this role, he leads the musical group Dr. Loco's Rockin' Jalapeño Band, which plays at a wide range of community events ranging from county fairs and political benefits to educational lectures on Chicano music. Cuéllar holds a Ph.D. in Anthropology and is a scholar of Chicano culture." (source Wikipedia) Photo from Yerba Buena Garden Festival webpage For more information, visit:

Francis Wong (Chinese name: 王世明; pinyin: Wáng Shìmíng) is an American jazz saxophonist, flutist, and erhu player.

He is of Chinese descent; his father is from Shanghai and his mother is Cantonese. He specializes in the fusion of free jazz and Asian musics, and is a central member in the Asian American jazz movement. His distinctive saxophone playing incorporates very high, shrill notes amidst much squeaking.

He has worked with Glenn Horiuchi, Jon Jang, John Tchicai, James Newton, Cecil Taylor, Anthony Brown, and Liu Qi-Chao. He has recorded for the Asian Improv label. Wong lives in South San Francisco, California (source Wikipedia)

(from Francis' webpage) ”I choose for my work to build community and to seek out how I, as an artist can meet the challenges that our community faces. In the Asian American community, the biggest challenge is continuity of culture and the impact of assimilation. Through music, I envision a way to create continuity through the integration of tradition and innovation."

Photo of Francis Wong from Visit for more information

Avotcja Jiltonilro reads her Poem for Jim Pepper
Winner Lifetime Achievement in Poetry Award
City of Berkeley, California, With Special Guests
Avotcja Jiltonilro has been fighting the good fight her entire life, and at 73 she hasn’t lost a step. As a poet, radio producer, playwright, multi-instrumentalist, bandleader, and invaluable DJ on KPOO (89.5 FM) and KPFA (94.1 FM), the Emeryville resident is a one-woman cultural force who champions a vast and varied array of artists, including many of the region’s greatest figures in jazz, blues and Latin American music.
A riveting performer, she regularly collaborates a dazzling array of improvisers, including violinist Sandy Poindexter, tenor saxophonist Francis Wong, bassist Eugene Warren, percussionist Hector Lugo, and pianist Jon Jang. As a word-artist she delivers rhythmically charged verse while contributing grooves and textures on hand percussion.
Describing herself as a “theater baby,” Avotcja grew up in a Puerto Rican family of professional dancers and musicians in New York City. By 15, she had lit out on her own and landed in Los Angeles, where she found a home in the Southland’s thriving folk scene. At the end of the 1960s Avotcja spent several years working in Europe, based mostly in Denmark. When she came back to the states she gravitated to the Bay Area, moving to San Francisco in 1971. While active on the folk scene, she also forged close ties with resident jazz masters like pianist Ed Kelly and drummer Smiley Winters. But it wasn’t until she was goaded by charismatic reed legend Rahsaan Roland Kirk that she performed her original work publicly. Using a bit of reverse psychology, he got her to read at the Both/And Club, and she’s been sharing her words ever since.
Sweetwater Nannauck (Tlingit, Haida, Tsimshian),
Director of Idle No More Washington Photo by JC Epong 2012
Idle No More Washington at Jim PepperFest 2016
Sweetwater Nannauck (Tlingit, Haida, Tsimshian), Director of Idle No More Washington, will speak at the 2016 Jim Pepper Native Arts Festival.

Sweetwater is an Idle No More activist that advocates for the protection of the fragile environment of the Northwest Coast, for tribal sovereignty rights, and the traditional way of life of Native people. She is a long-time community organizer, advocate for police accountability, and for Native artist’s rights.

November 10, 2014 was the second anniversary of Idle No More, and since then she has organized over 50 Idle No More Washington events and peaceful nonviolent direct actions that address local and global issues.

These actions include rallies, marches, call-in campaigns, on-line petitions, teach-ins, blockades, Idle No More workshops, creative tactic workshops for Native youth, light brigades, presentations, action camp, town-hall meetings, flash mobs and round dances.
Bigg B (aka El Guapo Baez)– It’s all about the music with Bigg B
Brutis “Bigg B” Baez grew up on the Warm Springs Indian Reservation and California and feels equally comfortable on the Rez or hitting the city streets. He is of the Warm Springs, Wasco and Nez Perze descent and a Warm Springs tribal member. He learned traditional teachings from his mother’s family and continues to participate in ceremonies that help to keep him balanced in his personal and professional endeavors.

Brutis has been creating music since 2002 and has released three solo CDs “ Lifestyle Muzik”, “The Bigg Inspiration” and his latest “Here Today, BiGG Tomorrow”. As part of the hip-hop collective group Rezhogs, he received a Native American Music Award in 2010 for the “All Day All Night” release. In April 2013, he released a new CD titled “Double Feature” with N8 of the Rezhogs. Behind the scenes, he also works in video production and editing.
KO-NA Foster J. Kalama was born in Portland, Oregon to Roland Kalama, Sr. and Edith Albert-Kalama. His father is Wasco, Nisqually, Pitt River, and Hawaiian and his mother is Yakama, Nez Perce. Foster is descended from such venerables as Hawaiian King Kahmahamae and Queen Kalama as well as Old Chief Joseph and his son, Young Chief Joseph. Foster grew up in Warm Springs, Oregon.

Foster prefers to stay as close as possible to traditional ways: He is a peace pipe carrier for his family and people; spent more than thirty years as a Treaty Fisherman, fishing along Oregon's Columbia River; and was chosen to be Tribal Ceremonial Fisherman and Hunter for the Tribe’s Salmon Feast Huckleberry Feast. Much of Foster's art thus depicts the culture and traditions, people and creatures of the Columbia River and of the area around Warm Springs. His drawings include a series on Fishing for Salmon from traditional platforms on the river and another on the legendary Stick Indians, sometimes called Stick-shower Indians, spirits that may be hidden under cover of the woods or rocks and are, in the opinion of some, considered Tricksters of a kind.
James Edmund Greeley (Warm Springs)
James is proud of his Warm Springs, Wasco and Hopi heritage. He has spent most of his life in Warm Springs, OR on the reservation. As a Native American, he identifies strongly with his Mother's Hopi ties. He admires Hopi resistance to European assimilation and feels a strong affinity to one of the legendary forefathers, the flutist Kokopelli, whose image is found in 3000 year old petroglyphs.

It is said the presence of Kokopelli, a symbol of fertility and abundance, can be felt when life comes forth. The notes that flow from James' flute, evoking timeless themes of earth and man, could well be those of his ancestor, so universal are they in their call to advocate spirituality and serenity.

He realized that his talent brought spiritual solace, not only to himself, but others as well. This was displayed when he was asked to perform at the funeral of a friend's grandfather. As he began an unrehearsed, spontaneous composition, he instinctively knew where its beginning, its middle and its ending were. He was honored to learn that his music comforted mourners as they released the spirit of their loved one on the ethereal notes of his flute.

His music continues to be unplanned; neither written nor rehearsed. As sparse and elemental as the poetry he once planned to write. Listen well, for you will not hear the same piece repeated. The music comes from his soul and the inspiration of the moment. As a fellow artist once advised, "Don't play like anyone else. Play from your heart."
Northwest Indian Veterans Association Color Guard