Letter from City of Marion, Monday Aug. 27th
Hello Brule Crew,
I hope you all had safe travels back home yesterday! I just wanted to reach out to you and hope you will share with the rest of the group, but thank you again for working with us and bringing all the talent of the group here to little ol’ Marion, Iowa. All of the members in group with nothing but a joy to interact and work with. Everyone was so polite and easy going and it just made the day/night that much more enjoyable!
We heard nothing but good things from people before the show and you guys not only reinforced that with the performance, but went above and beyond expectations. From the dancing, to the instrumentation and flute playing, to Paul’s storytelling, it was just a special night for many people in attendance and one that will be remembered here in Marion. I know you had a fair share of pre-existing fans here in attendance, but I think it’s safe to say you gained A LOT of new fans here in Eastern Iowa as well (myself included).
I’m so glad Gaylord Hauschildt mentioned you guys in a brief conversation a couple years ago, and I’m even more happy that followed up with that recommendation and that you guys were willing and able to work with us and give us the opportunity to bring you into our community. I truly feel bad for those that missed the performance or choose to do something else for entertainment on Saturday night because they missed their chance to see something special in their own backyard. I had some people tell me before the show it was hard to put your performance into words or describe it…and I have to admit, they were right. To explain it to people vs. witness it in person were two very different things. I’m happy I got to experience it in person, because it was much more than just a concert or show or performance…it was an EXPERIENCE!
From all of us here in Marion, thank you again! We hope to have you back in the future!
Recreation Supervisor | Parks and Recreation
4500 N Tenth Street | Marion, Iowa 52302
p 319-447-3590 | c 319-538-4700
Brulé Returns from Saudi Arabia Tour Monday, May 7, 2018
Brulé was invited to visit and perform by the Saudi Arabian Embassy with assistance from the US Embassy, US Consulate General and American Voices. The group was hosted by the Saudi General Culture Authority and performances were programmed by the Arabian Centers. The tour ran from April 8th through the 21st, 2018 and included performances and workshops in the Saudi Arabia Cities of Riyadh and Jeddah.
Performance venues included Al Faisal University Theater and Arabian Centers Al Hamra Mall (indoor), US Consulate General Marine Garden (outdoor), workshops were held at Nafisa Al Faisalia Charitable Society Training Center for Folkloric Arts and Saudi Arabian Society for Culture and Arts. The tour also included visits to Dirah Souq Najd Downtown Village, Almasmak historical Palace, Riyadh National Museum and historical old Jeddah.
The Brule Saudi Arabia tour cast included Paul LaRoche (keyboards), Nicole LaRoche (flute), Shane LaRoche (drums), Vlasis (guitars), Jade Summers (dancer), Petur Redbird (dancer), Theresa St Syr (dancer), Garan Coons (dancer), and Simon Washee (dance). For more tour info www.brulerecords.com
Brulé was joined on the tour by visual artists Growing Thunder including Ms. Jessa Rae Growing Thunder, Ms. Juanita Marie Fogerty and Ms. Joycelyn Rae Fogerty.
The tour was presented through entertainment agency American Voices. AV is a nonprofit organization that has been conducting cross-cultural engagement with audiences in over 110 nations worldwide since 1993. The American Voices tour manager was Spencer Dunlap.
Serving as a cultural bridge, American Voices has introduced American music and culture the world over, showcasing a wide variety of genres ranging from jazz to classical symphony to hip hop in counties including Iraq, Afghanistan, Sudan, Thailand, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Lebanon. www.americanvoices.org
Additional Brulé Saudi Arabia tour support personnel:
Robyn Yeager, Cultural Affairs Officer
Jennifer Hall Godfrey, Counselor for Public Affairs, U.S. Embassy Riyadh
Kyle Cassily, Assistant Cultural Affairs Officer
Sara Elhilo, Cultural Programs Coordinator
Anne Shue, Grants and Contracting Officer Representative
Kevin Mayner, Cultural Affairs Officer
Consul General Matthias J. Mitman
Lynn Longhauser, Assistant Cultural Affairs Officer
Eng.Naif S ALGhamdi, Communication Sponsorship and Support Manager
Ali Al Ghadban, Seinor Cultural Affairs Advisor
Sabah Jama, Cultural Assistant
Amal Gazey, Education Advisor
Dr. Mubarak Alkhatnai, Tour Translator for Brulé
Motor pool, procurement and contracting, travel, general services and financial services in Riyadh and Jeddah
Joe Adam, tour Audio Engineer for Brulé
Henry the Sound Guy, backline equipment in Saudi Arabia
Kathy Summers, Brulé manager and Saudi Arabia Tour Administrator
Brulé Brings BruléTV to Website Sunday, Oct.22, 2017
Brulé TV is a video streaming service for the "Hidden Heritage" series, Brulé concerts, behind the scenes videos, and the Brulé video vault (20-year archives). The service was previously available for a monthly subscription fee of $8.99 for access to all Brulé TV videos and options to purchase individual episodes/videos from $0.99 to $4.99. Material is suitable for all viewers. Due to upcoming changes to our website Brulé TV will soon be available as a free service to our loyal website viewers. Watch for FREE Brulé TV and check it out!
Brulé TV is an innovative internet video streaming service built by Brulé and hosted on the popular Vimeo platform. The flagship series "Hidden Heritage" was produced by Brulé and launched in 2010 on RFD-TV, a cable TV network dedicated to rural America.
The original 70 Hidden Heritage episodes featured positive stories from across Native America. Show content includes: conversations with the elders, successful Native American entrepreneurs, traditional stories and legends, modern Tribal living, and featured artists and performers.
Positive Native American TV program content is unique in that most documentaries concentrate on culture hardships and trauma. Hidden Heritage is written, filmed, directed, edited, and produced, within the culture by enrolled tribal members of the Brulé film production team.
The culture now has one more voice in the independent film industry. Brulé TV will offer the full "Hidden Heritage" existing series, over 70 episodes, and include new episodes as well. Additional Brulé TV programs will include: The Brulé Concert Series, Live from Paul’s Place (a series of intimate concerts with Brulé and friends filmed on location at the Brulé studio), Trails and Tales (a behind the scenes reality series that follows Brulé on tour), and The Brulé Video Vault (vintage Brulé video footage from the past 20 years). Watch BruléTV!
Press Release: Monday, Jan 16th, 2017
Brulé to Release 21st CD "Best f Brulé Vol 1".
Best of Brulé (Vol 1) is a collection of 15 songs that would best be described as “classics” from the early Brulé catalog. This is Brulé’s 21st release in as many years. Best of Brulé captures that early Native American spirit that pioneered the way for what has become known in the music industry as American Indian soul (contemporary Native American music).
Best of Brulé includes all the “hits” from the first 8 CD’s and is sure to become a standard for the Brulé audience. This CD also feature “Dakota Rainstorm”, the groups first vocal release which is an autobiographical musical version of the Brulé story. The song has gained popularity over the years. Watch Video!
The CD will be available to purchase at the groups appearance at the Colorado Indian Market, Jan 20th, on this website starting Jan 20th and at various retail location across the country.
Press Release: Monday, Dec 5th, 2016
Pioneer Public Television to broadcast Brulé Holiday Concert with Worthington Symphony Orchestra.
The concert was filmed Nov. 24th, 2015 at the Worthington Memorial Auditorium and will be broadcast Sat. Nov. 26th, 6:30PM and Sat. Dec 3rd, 8PM by Pioneer Public Television based in Appleton, MN. The 90 min special broadcast is part of the Pioneer Public Television annual pledge drive fundraising campaign. To watch the concert on various PBS Network channels, check these links. 3rd broadcast just added (Tuesday Dec 6th, 7:00PM)
The Nov/Dec 2016 broadcasts will primarily include the South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota, and Wisconsin area. If you are outside of this viewing area and would like to see the program broadcast in your area, you can help us expand the number of PBS broadcast affiliates by contacting your local PBS affiliate or contacting our host affiliate (pioneer public television) at: Nicole Zempel at (320) 212-3945 or e-mail email@example.com.
Additional concert information:
The Worthington Area Symphony Orchestra and multi-award winning Native American performance group, “BRULÉ”, are proud to announce their collaboration for the Symphony’s “Holiday Concert” November 24, 2015” at the historic Memorial Auditorium Performing Arts Center.
“This is a very special collaboration for us” said Kathy (Frisch) Summers, manager for Brulé, Worthington is where both Paul Summers (LaRoche) & I grew up as well as our children for most of their years. “Beth Habicht, WASO Music Librarian and 2nd Violinist, holds a special place in my heart as she was the orchestra teacher during my junior & senior high school years in orchestra in the 70s”. Paul’s dream of performing with symphonies become a realty in 2008 when the Sioux City Symphony performed with BRULÉ and again in 2011.
Symphonic charts were created by Jeremy Hegg of Sioux Falls, SD based on Brulé’s award winning music. With the artistry of the Worthington Area Symphony Orchestra, this is a must see concert for all.
The repertoire includes Silents Start Night, Shelter from the Storm, Creator’s Prayer, Listen to the Silence, Ancestor’s Cry, when warriors rest, Canon of Life, Orange Fire Rising, Silent Grace, Song of the Bells, Maka Canté, O Holy Night, Star People. The performance called “Red Nativity” was commissioned by the Sioux City Symphony for Brulé.
Conductor Dr Christopher Stanichar celebrates his 6th year as the music director of the worthingtonArea Symphony Orchestra since it was founded in 2010. Christopher is an active director, composer, and educator. He is a popular conductor, having directed some of the finest orchestras in Europe, russia, Mexico, and the US.
The concert was an emotional reunion for Brulé and worthington Symphony Orchestra. it marked a 60 year reunion with their hometown and 40 year reunion with the Worthington Symphony orchestra and director Beth Habicht
Paul and Kathy went on to have two children, Son Shane and Daughter Nicole. After the loss of both of Paul Parents in 1987, Kathy discovered Paul’s adoption papers and began a secret search for Paul’s biological family. The search culminated 5 years later when Paul was reunited with his biological family living on the Lower Brule Sioux Indian Reservation in central SD. Neither had known the other had existed all this years. The life changing discovery and reunion eventually led to the formation of the Native American music and dance group Brulé which included Paul Kathy, Shane, Nicole, and many other family members and friends.
The performance cast for the Worthington Holiday Concert included: Paul LaRoche, Nicole LaRoche, Shane Summers, Vlasis Pergakis, Rene Avila, Garan Coons, Chris Estes, Bruce Neconie, Hunter Reed, Lauren Reed, Michelle Reed, Theresa St. Syr, Avery Summers, Haley Summers, Jade Summers, Larry Yazzie. Sound engineer Joe Adam, Backstage Manager Christal Moose, Brulé manager Kathy summers.
Please support your local PBS affiliate and groups like Brulé by watching the Pioneer public television broadcast of the holiday concert and making a pledge in any amount.
A brief retrospect by founder Paul LaRoche 11-26-15
A 20-year anniversary is a bit misleading when you calculate in that we began touring and performing professionally in 1971.
The full Brulé/Paul Summers/LaRoche career includes 7 years as church organist, 10 years as a touring solo pianist, 15 years as a civil engineering tech/draftsman/surveyor, 20 years with various rock bands as a keyboardist, vocalist, and songwriter, and 46 years as a entrepreneur, performer, recording engineer, music producer, and composer.
We have shared our story openly and honestly from the beginning. Many know that I grew up without the knowledge of my Native American (Lakota) heritage for the first half of my life and that I was reunited with my biological Lakota family on Thanksgiving Day of 1993. My family and I returned to celebrate Christmas on the Lower Brule Sioux Indian Reservation that following December and I became a product of two worlds and a son of two mothers.
Following the reunion, the family returned to our home in Eden Prairie, MN and we tried to resume life as normal, but the calling of the new culture was overwhelming. After a brief stint in Albuquerque, NM where I recorded “We the People” with the help of SOAR Records, we made the decision to move to the Lower Brule Sioux Reservation and began a process of reverse assimilation into a culture removed at birth, a radical change of life.
During the summer of 1995, I was scheduled to perform at my first art show in Rapid City as a soloist. Our daughter Nicole suggested that she join me and that we perform as a duo for what was to become the first Brulé performance.
The success of that first performance was followed by many other local and regional art shows and festivals organized and managed by my wife Kathy. This experience lead the groundwork for Brulé to develop into a large multi-faceted performing arts theatrical stage production with cultural roots. Joined by Son Shane on guitars and a host of many other seasoned professional performers including traditional Native American dancers, the group went on to capture a large national and international audience who had an affinity for the Native culture. Our 5-time ”Native American Group of the Year” went on to sell well over 1 million CDs worldwide.
Pioneering the Last Musical Frontier
The group has received numerous awards and recognitions and released over 20 CD titles, 6 DVDs, 1 biography, and produced over 70 episodes of the TV show "Hidden Heritage".
The group has remained underground for the most part as our music genre, contemporary Native American music, is still in the development and emerging process. Pioneering the last musical frontier, as we call it, has been a delicate and on-going process. Native America is one of the last if not the last culture to attempt to bring it’s traditional music and dance into the mainstream. For us within the culture, it is a matter of respect over commerciality. We are supported by our culture but watched carefully as well. One example of this delicate cultural exploitation is the use of the traditional drum. In the traditional way the drum is more than an instrument, it is still considered the heartbeat of Mother Earth and the Grandmother of the people. The drum is handled by the men only, wrapped in a blanket whenever transported, and prayed over with a tobacco offering before every use. When we use the drum in a mainstream environment such as a concert hall or arena, we must find a way to include these traditional elements without compromising the performance for the public or distracting backstage and pre-show protocol. It is a fine line to walk and requires constant attention. One slip-up with elders present would set us back years in our effort to bring our culture into the mainstream entertainment industry.
At the 20 year mark one has to wonder if the group has “made it” or not. The perception is that the group has achieved national status and reaches sales plateaus reserved for a small percentage of successful artist and acts. As a group we have passed on several opportunities over the years that other groups would have jumped at. The decision to maintain independent control of our career was easy to accept. The lack of cultural understanding by mainstream management and agents would have been devastating in the long run for a group like Brulé. For Brulé the long road has been the high road. Our career is, and will always be, a combination of producing professional music and performances as well as advancing the cultural arts into the mainstream, step by step. When it comes to our traditional dance, we have cultural concerns that other mainstream dance troupes don’t worry about. In most cases dance choreography is a precision discipline based on music tempo and meter. In our world, most of our traditional dance steps simply do not fit into that structure. Therefore we have to develop or pioneer a new form of choreography in which we can control the timing of the steps without disrupting the traditional movement of the dance. In other words, you can put Native American dance into broadway, but you can’t put broadway into Native American dance.
At the core of every Brulé performance is the mission and the story. Ironically at the beginning of the Brulé journey, the term reconciliation was seldom heard or understood. As time went by and we shared his story of homecoming and reunion during each performance. It became clear that the story was as important as the music itself. Not more or less but the combination of the two seemed to have a profound effect on the audience causing what some might term a transformation or paradigm shift. The result was a unique examination of the reconciliation process that is on-going between Native America and mainstream America. Only after a 20 year perspective has the big picture began to emerge revealing the contribution that the group has provided to the healing process that is happening between the cultures. It happens slowly, one hand shake at a time, one hug at a time, and one performance at a time. We have come a long way as a culture but the fact is we have a long way to go. I have a growing sense of urgency at this point, I know where we stand and what needs to be done. Time is short for us now and there is so much to be done. The good news is that the healing process is well underway, I know that and that needs to be heard as well. I have never heard a negative or derogatory comment over the 20 years. With each handshake and brief conversation that follows I feel the healing emanating and how far that goes and who it reaches we will never know. We are not intended to know that information, it requires faith, faith that we are somehow making a difference when it comes to reconciliation.
I would have to say that we have been especially blessed and have been the recipients of good synchronicity. If you look at from a spiritual perspective you realize that it was all part of a grand design. Planned out well in advance of birth itself. It is a very heavy thought but at least I can grasp it now much better that I could have before Brulé. I believe that we all have such a grand design, each and every human being. The trick is to recognize the call, follow the direction, and stay the course. Without the support of countless friends and family I would have lost my way along this journey. That is the importance of family and friends. The family structure is changing and many of us neglect our spiritual health. I believe that accounts for many of the current global crises we are confronted with.
As for the future, we will continue to pioneer this musical frontier, work on the healing process, write music, and perform as much music as possible. We will roll with the changes and adapt to the times. Even at 20 years, it seems like we are just getting started, finding our pace, and figuring it out. This has always been intended to be an independent project. We have been looking to others for the help, but we need to write the book on how to do this so others can help. It is a fulfilling mission. Time is moving so fast now. I try to enjoy every moment of every day, especially during that precious performance time we get on stage. I sometime have a sense that the old ones are dancing with us, watching and guiding us. It keeps you alert and steadfast.