The next Our Stories speaker series on Saturday, Jan. 11, 2020, will share the story behind the social dance music, Waila, and its roots in the Tohono O’odham peoples’ fiddle band tradition of the 1800s. This free, public presentation will be from 10:30 a.m. to noon at Basha Library, 5990 S. Val Vista Drive.
Angelo Joaquin, Jr., a Coyote Clan member of the Tohono O’odham Nation, will tell the story of this music and dance that is unique to the southwest. Waila, also sometimes called “Chicken Scratch,” was influenced by the southwest borderland’s polkas, schottisches, and mazurkas. It is a common type of music heard on the Tohono O’odham Nation, Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, and the Gila River Indian Community.
Joaquin, whose family is closely tied to the music, helped create the annual Waila Festival in Tucson, Arizona. His father’s Waila band, The Joaquin Brothers, has performed at venues such as New York City’s Carnegie Hall and events like the World of Music, Art, and Dance festival in Toronto. His work with museums includes the Arizona Historical Society, Arizona State Museum, Library of Congress, the National Museum of the American Indian, and the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix.
Our Stories is a free speaker series open to the public, with each session sharing first-hand accounts and expert insights into the history of Chandler, the Valley, and Arizona. It is produced and hosted by the Chandler Public Library and the Chandler Museum, with support from the Friends of the Chandler Public Library and the Chandler Historical Society.
For additional information, call 480-782-2751, or visit chandlerlibrary.org.