Florida Seminole Tourism

2nd Annual Big Cypress Indigenous Arts and Music Festival

Festival Season is here! This week on the blog, we are giving you the inside details on the first of three back-to-back events from the Seminole Tribe of Florida. The 2nd annual Big Cypress Indigenous Arts and Music Festival will be held on the Big Cypress Reservation February 2 & 3, 2024. Both days gates will open at the Junior Cypress Rodeo Complex at 9:30 am and close at 6:00 pm. Admission is FREE for this exciting event. This year’s theme is “Honoring Our Youth.” Stop by for Indigenous performers, speakers, vendors, and more from throughout the United States and Canada. Below, you can see comprehensive profiles on many of the musical artists, speakers, and more!


Master of Ceremonies: Chance Rush

Chance Rush will emcee the event both days. Chance travels throughout the United States and Canada to work with Native communities in effort to inspire, heal, motivate, and energize. He has a talent for using his energy and humor to spread a simple message, “Use your personal talents to lead you to greatness.” He promotes healthy living and lives his life alcohol and drug free. We encourage you to follow him at his website, Facebook, and Instagram.

Chance Rush

Musical Performances

One Way Sky

One Way Sky returns to IAMF and will perform both Friday, February 2nd and Saturday, February 3rd. One Way Sky is a budding Indigenous indie rock band from the Gila River Indian Community and the Tohono O’odham Nation. The passionate four-piece consists of Adrian D Thomas (vocals, rhythm guitar), Cody Bruguier (drums), Loma Manuel (lead guitar), and Damien Carlos (bass). Their sound is a unique blend of hard-hitting riffs and soaring vocal melodies. Their lyrics are both empowering and poetic, touching on themes of identity and resilience in the face of adversity. Since their formation in 2019, One Way Sky has made an impression on the local Arizona music scene with their captivating and soulful performances. Their latest single, “Indian Route 15,” has been well-received by critics, who have praised its dreamy sound and thoughtful lyrics. The band also draws heavily from their Indigenous roots, showcasing the band’s rich cultural heritage and deep appreciation for their heritage. We encourage you to follow them on YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram for the band’s latest updates!


Mattmac will perform Saturday, February 3rd. On his website, Mattmac explains his story:

“Originally from Garden Hill First Nation, born blind, and growing up surrounded by music, Mattmac quickly found it to be an effective coping mechanism and took to singing in his community’s gospel choir. From there, he started making beats and writing songs, teaching himself how to play piano and guitar along the way. He attributes his competencies to the support of the Bling & Famous group — a USA-based collective of blind music artists who collaborate and connect with one another through the internet.
Mattmac debuted his entry to the music scene in 2016 when N’we Jinan, a traveling music studio program, visited his community and invited him to collaborate on a project. Pulling inspiration from his personal story, they created a song and video titled “Help You See” that has received over 250,000 views on YouTube and Facebook. From there, Mattmac has connected with International artist Nelly Furtado and performed alongside her at Indigenous day Live and We Day Canada Day in 2017; they continue to work together.

In 2020, his debut music project, “20/20” catapulted Mattmac’s music and story into the national limelight, landing him on CTV National News and all major media outlets. His debut single, “Paradise”, reached #1 on the Indigenous Music Countdown and top 50 on the mediabase charts. In 2021, he won the Broadcast Dialogue Emerging Artist Radio Award and took home the Rap/Electronic Album Of The Year at the Summer Solstice Indigenous Music Awards.

Mattmac hopes to continue to use his platform to inspire others to know that they can accomplish anything they set their mind to.”

Find more of Mattmac’s work and upcoming event news on his Youtube, Facebook, and Instagram.


Supaman will perform Saturday, February 3rd. On his website, he explains his background and story:

“As a member of the “Apsáalooke Nation”, Supaman makes his home on the Crow reservation in Montana. “Supaman” Is Christian Takes Gun Parrish, a Native American dancer and innovative hip hop artist who has dedicated his life to empowering and spreading a message of hope, pride and resilience through his original art form. He is a multi-national award winning artist including the MTV VMA award for “Best Fight Against the System” and numerous Indigenous Music Awards. His videos have received millions of views on YouTube and Facebook which have put him in high demand touring extensively to festivals, colleges, conferences, communities, and schools throughout the U.S.A and internationally. He has performed for Google at the Google headquarters in San Francisco. He recently was asked to audition for America’s Got Talent and the Broadway play Hamilton.

He is currently working with Taboo from the multi-Grammy award winning group “Black Eyed Peas”. Supaman’s one-of-a-kind presentation combines Native American culture, comedy and urban hip hop culture which dazzles audiences and captivates listeners. For this he has gained the respect of his community and generation. The communicative talent along with the compassion that exudes from his storytelling of his experiences with foster care, suicide and cultural identity, allows him to connect with people from all walks of life. His uncanny ability to motivate, encourage, and inspire through dance, and hip-hop music keeps him at the forefront among his contemporaries which gives him a platform to educate on Indigenous issues.”

Keep up to date with Supaman’s latest music, shows, and more through his Instagram and YouTube.


Testify will perform Friday, February 2nd. Testify is a promising positive hard rock/metal band hailing from southeastern Navajo reservation, combining thought-provoking lyrics with melodic metalcore influences. Testify is committed to inspiring the youth and anyone that has a desire for metal music. Testify was formed in 2011, have 3 record releases, and have shared the stage with national acts such as Devildriver, Butcher Babies, Death Angel, Hemlock, Mushroomhead and more. The current lineup of the band is Darius Yazzie, Edmund Yazzie, and Nick Willie. Testify recently released their latest EP “Rage,” in the summer of 2023 and continue to promote it as their “heaviest,” sound yet. Check out their Facebook for the latest updates.

The Sage Cornelius Band

The Sage Cornelius Band will perform Friday, February 2nd. Classically trained Oneida/Diné/Potawatomi violinist Sage Cornelius grew up in Northeast Kansas with Charlie Daniels and Eddie Van Halen. Even with a background in classical orchestras, Sage has always considered himself a fiddle player first and foremost upon hearing The Devil Went Down To Georgia which led to him first picking up the violin at age 8. Since then, Sage has built up a reputation as a genre bending, head banging, shredding violin act with influences of country, heavy metal, traditional Irish fiddle music.

Sage currently tours internationally with soul artist Shawn James and has been debuting his own full metal band consisting of Chad George (guitar), Aaron Arthur Paul (guitar), Steven McNair (bass) and Greg Silva (drums), all hand-picked from various local bands in Albuquerque, NM. The Sage Cornelius band has been performing as a group for the past year and have opened as directed support for renowned metal act “In Flames” last November in Window Rock, NM. The Sage Cornelius Band performs originals as well as familiar tunes such as “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” and “The Lord of The Rings theme”, which are all adapted into a hard rocking violin metal band act! Whether is country or metal, Sage hopes that there is something in the performance that everyone can enjoy.

Follow Sage Cornelius on Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook. His latest single “The Nature of Decay” ft. Cameron Losch is available now on all streaming platforms.

The Chebon Tiger Band

The Chebon Tiger Band has been performing for audiences for over 20 years throughout the US.  They bring their rock/soul/blues driven sound to the stage delivered by incendiary guitarists, Chebon Tiger and Mike Satawake. Moses Strickland (bass) and Matt Teegarden (drums) are the solid foundation giving the CTB it’s gutbucket soulful sound. They will perform Friday, February 2nd. Follow them on Facebook for the latest show and event updates!

Under Exile

Under Exile is a metal band originating from Shiprock, New Mexico consisting of Ryland Benally (Guitar), Rumeel Jim (Guitar), Wyatt Billie (Drums), Trevor Martin (Bass) and Franklin Yazzie (Vocals). Since the bands inception in 2015 with the release of their first album “Self Imposed Exile”, Under Exile has performed as direct support for a number of national touring and major label metal bands. The band released a second album titled “Make Your Peace With It” in 2017. Under Exile has completed recording 11 songs with billboard charting producer Erik Jensen (bassist in the band Escape the Fate) out of Phoenix, AZ and have released the singles “Convalescence” and “Glass in the Sage” from this collection of songs. Each song will have a visual accompaniment. “Convalescence” and “Glass in the Sage” can be streamed on all streaming platforms with music videos on YouTube. For more events and updates, check out their Facebook and Instagram.

The Capybaras

The Capybaras will perform Saturday, February 3rd. The Capybaras started in 2021 as a college band in Columbia, South Carolina. With guitarist Ben Sievert, vocalist Aubee Billie (Seminole Tribe of Florida), and newcomers Ethan Puritz and Zechariah Stockton, this young group brings back the pure drive, grit, and fun of rock n roll. Raised in the southeast with southern rock roots, they love nothing more than making music with their friends.  From blistering guitar runs to soaring vocals, they are here to make their mark on the music world. For more information, check out their Instagram!

The Afachkee School Band

Straight from the Big Cypress Reservation, join us to welcome the youth Afachkee School Band play Friday, February 2nd!

Song and Dance

The “Power of Dance” Dance and Song Troupe

The Troupe will perform Friday, February 2nd and Saturday, February 3rd. The “Power of Dance” Dancers and Singers are a pow wow troupe representing many tribes from within the US and Canada. This unique group of champion dancers represent dancers who have made their mark within their respective dance categories. These dancers understand who they are and have gained a strong sense of identity as young Indigenous people through their dance and through gaining knowledge through ceremony and their respective traditional languages. They also prioritize the importance of education and excel in athletics and the arts. Each of them understands the importance of a healthy lifestyle and the importance of being positive role models for all young people.

The “Power of Dance” dancers understand that the dances they dance are powerful and continue to focus on sharing their knowledge through a fast-paced style representing the history of the dances and ensures the rapt attention of its audience.  They show the importance of being able to live in a multi-faceted and fast-paced world while still sharing their identity through the dances of the pow wow circle.

Ashaa Takook Bird Song and Dance Group

Watch the Ashaa Takook Bird Song and Dance Group perform both days: Friday, February 2nd and Saturday, February 3rd. Ashaa Takook are a multigenerational Bird-singing and dance group from San Diego, California led by Ral Christman.

The Kumeyaay, an Indigenous people of Southern California and Northern Mexico still perform more than a dozen ancient song cycles kept alive through a process of apprenticeship and study which can last a lifetime. The Kumeyaay share this Bird-singing tradition (and accompanying dancing) with other tribes as well, but they are sometimes credited as the originators of these specific song cycles, which incorporate traditional knowledge of their history and land with philosophical and moral teaching.

The Youth Apache Crown Dancers

The Youth Apache Crown Dancers will perform Friday, February 2nd and Saturday, February 3rd.

Panel Discussion

Featured panelists Sterlin Harjo, D’Pharaoh Woon-A-Tai, and Tazbah Chavez will present a thought provoking and informative discussion panel on Friday during the festival. Below, you can find bios on each of our featured panelists.


Sterlin Harjo

Sterlin Harjo (Seminole/Muscogee) is an award winning filmmaker from Holdenville, Oklahoma.

Now based in Tulsa, Harjo is the co-creator and showrunner of “Reservation Dogs” (FX Productions), a comedy series following four Indigenous teenage friends living on a reservation in Oklahoma. After its first season, “Reservation Dogs” won a 2022 Peabody award, 2022 Television Academy Honors award, 2022 Independent Spirit Award for Best Comedy Series, was an American Film Institute Awards Honoree, and won Best Breakthrough Series under 40 minutes at the 2021 Gotham Awards. The series is now in its second season.

Currently, Harjo’s series “Poster Girls,” which he co-wrote with bestselling novelist Jonathan Lee, is in development with FX Productions. Paramount+ recently acquired his series “Yellowbird,” which he is co-creating with Erica Tremblay and which is based on Sierra Crane Murdoch’s novel of the same name. LeBron James’s company, SpringHill, is producing “Rezball” (Netflix), a series Harjo co-wrote with Sydney Freeland. Harjo has several other projects in development.

Over his career, Harjo has created and directed five feature films: three narrative dramas and two documentaries. His most recent feature, “Love and Fury,” is a documentary chronicling the work and intersection of over a dozen contemporary Native American artists. “Love and Fury” was acquired by Ava DuVernay’s ARRAY and released on Netflix in December 2021. The film premiered at the 2021 Hot Docs International Documentary Festival and was an official selection of the Seattle International Film Festival, Virginia Film Festival, and DeadCenter Film Festival.

Harjo’s first feature film, “Four Sheets to the Wind,” premiered at Sundance Film Festival in 2007 and was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize. His feature documentary, “This May Be the Last Time,” premiered at Sundance in 2014. His most recent narrative feature, “Mekko,” premiered at the 2015 Los Angeles Film Festival and had its international premiere at Toronto International Film Festival. Each of his films are set in Oklahoma and address contemporary Indigenous experiences.

A founding member of the Native sketch comedy troupe, the 1491s, Harjo co-wrote the group’s play, “Between Two Knees,” an intergenerational comedic love story/musical set against the backdrop of true events in Native American history. “Between Two Knees” was commissioned in 2018/2019 by the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and New Native Theater. In 2022, it completed a run at Yale Repertory Theater. Harjo is repped by CAA, Circle of Confusion, and Del Shaw.


D’Pharaoh Woon-A-Tai

D’Pharaoh Woon-A-Tai is an Oji-Cree First Nations actor.

For two consecutive years (2023 and 2024) Woon-A-Tai received a Critic’s Choice Award nomination for “Best Actor in A Comedy Series” for his starring role in the critically acclaimed, award-winning FX comedy series Reservation Dogs, “a slice-of-life triumph from Sterling Harjo and Taika Waititi (Variety, 7.29.21). In its first season, Reservation Dogs landed on 80+ critics’ year-end best lists, won The Gotham Award for “Breakthrough Series – Short Form,” won two Independent Spirit Awards, was honored as one of AFI’s Television Programs of the Year and won a Peabody Award. The show is also among seven programs recognized in 2022 by the Television Academy as part of its 15th Television Academy Honors, showcasing exceptional television programs and their producers who have leveraged the power of television to fuel social change. Entertainment Weekly rated Reservation Dogs the #1 show of 2021 and made every top 10 list of Best TV shows of 2021.  The first season of the show was also nominated for the 2022 Critics’ Choice Award for Best Comedy Series; a Golden Globe award for Best TV series for a Musical or Comedy; two Writers Guild Award nominations for Best New Series and Best Episodic Comedy.  Season 2 is 2022 Sentinel Awards honoree.

Woon-A-Tai recently had 2 films premiere at 2023’s SXSW Film Festival – Bloody Hell, a coming-of-age “traumedy”  opposite Emily Hampshire and Maddie Ziegler; and the indie thriller Only the Good Survive, from writer-director Dutch Southern.  His film Hell Of A Summer, opposite Finn Wolfhard and Fred Hechinger, premiered at TIFF 2023.

Woon-A-Tai’s other film roles include Beans, an official TIFF 2020 selection and winner for Best Motion Picture from the Canadian Screen Awards, Beans tells the story of a young girl coming of age during the Oka crisis in Canada – a land dispute  between the Mohawk people and the town of Oka, Quebec which lasted 78  days in 1990. D’Pharaoh was able to show a darker side in the film, as the object of the lead character’s affection, who ends up being much more than she bargained for.
D’Pharaoh currently resides between LA and his hometown of Toronto, Canada.

Tazbah Chavez

Tazbah Rose Chavez (Dinè, Nüümü, San Carlos Apache) is a performance poet turned television writer and director from the Bishop Paiute Reservation. She is a Co-Executive Producer/episodic Director on FX’s Reservation Dogs. She has worked on SyFy’s Resident Alien, Peacock’s Rutherford Falls, directed on HBOMAX’s Sex Lives of College Girls and is a Writer/Director on FOX’s new series, Accused.

Māori Ta Moko Cultural Demonstration

Throughout the festival, a collective of Māori artists will demonstrate traditional ta moko (tattoos) and art. The group, Te Ngau o te Ngira, is “united by a passion for preserving and sharing Māori art.” On their website, they outline their mission of building and preserving relationships, and sharing their Indigenous art practices. They state that they are:

“Committed to the principle of whakawhanaungatanga or building relationships, Te Ngau o te Ngira engages with other indigenous groups, sharing stories, symbolism, and techniques behind ta moko, whakairo and Māori contemporary art.

Te Ngau o te Ngira takes pride in its commitment to cultural preservation by encouraging the exchange of art in a way that respects its origins and embraces the evolution of indigenous art.”

Below, you can read more about the three artists at this year’s Indigenous Arts and Music Festival!


Marc Wymer

A practitioner of ta moko for over 15 years, Marc Wymer owns Flax Roots Tattoo Studio Hamilton, in the heart of New Zealand’s Waikato region. Wymer is passionate about Māori and Indigenous art. You can see a selection of Wymer’s work on his Instagram.

Hamuera Pugh

From the northern region of New Zealand, Hamuera Pugh has been practicing ta moko for ten years. He holds a Bachelors in Māori Visual Arts and is deeply immersed and connected with his culture. Pugh performs with Te Pou o Mangatawhiri, a cultural performing group, that has “over 100 years of history in the Waikato region.” He is dedicated to sharing the richness and beauty of the Māori culture. You can see a selection of Pugh’s work on his Instagram.

Cheyenne Knox-Novo

The third traditional ta moko artists featured at the festival, you can follow Cheyenne’s Instagram to see her work.

Vendors and More!

In addition to the exciting performers and speakers listed above, there will be a variety of Native art, crafts, and food available for festival goers. Bringing along your whole family? The festival will also include a kid’s carnival on both festival days.

On February 3rd, Choke Cherry Creek will host a fashion show. Choke Cherry Creek, owned by Angela Howe-Parrish, is an Indigenous owned and operated fashion brand that features “contemporary Apsáalooke designs that strives to elevate and inspire all generations through fashion, design, and culture.” Howe-Parrish’s couture line and the new Resiliency Collection were recently featured at the New York and Paris, France Fashion Weeks.

Interested in more Seminole events? Check back in next week for all the details for Seminole Tribal Fair & Pow Wow, held the following weekend February 9-11th, 2024 at the Hard Rock Hollywood.


Author Bio

Originally from Washington state, Deanna Butler received her BA in Archaeological Sciences from the University of Washington in 2014. Deanna moved to Florida in 2016. Soon, she began working for the Seminole Tribe of Florida’s Tribal Historic Preservation Office. Deanna was the THPO’s Archaeological Collections Assistant from 2017-2021. While at the THPO, Deanna worked to preserve, support, and process the Tribe’s archaeological collection. She often wrote the popular Artifact of the Month series and worked on many community and educational outreach programs. She lives in Lakeland, FL with her husband, two sons, and dog.

Comments: 1

  • Brian Billie
    January 30, 2024

    Looks like a Great line up, Bringing g my tent/grill for the whole weekend…👂🎶🎼🎵🎶


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