Chickasaw Musician, Storyteller to Entertain at deadCenter Fest

Zach Garcia picks up a guitar after playing piano during a past performance at the Chickasaw Hall of Fame banquet.

Zach Garcia picks up a guitar after playing piano during a past performance at the Chickasaw Hall of Fame banquet.

OKLAHOMA CITY – A deadCenter Film Festival reception hosted by the Chickasaw Nation Saturday will showcase a blossoming multitalented musician-composer and a celebrated storyteller.

Zach Garcia, an award winning vocalist, and Glenda Galvan, a renowned storyteller, will perform during a reception following the screening of “First Encounter,” a documentary telling the story of the Chickasaw Nation confrontation with Spanish explorer Hernando deSoto.

At 21, Garcia is completing a degree in vocal music performance at Ada’s East Central University. He began piano lessons at age 4 and penned his first musical composition at 8. Garcia is the only solo artist in Oklahoma to receive a sixth gold cup in the National Federation of Music Clubs for 14 consecutive superior ratings in piano performance while a student at Ada High School. He sings and plays many instruments. He graduated AHS in 2012.

Glenda Galvan’s storytelling is nationally recognized. She is a prize-winning writer as well, winning Oklahoma Book Awards in 2011-12, including the Bronze Moonbeam Award in 2013 for her book “Chikasha Stories, Vol. 2. Shared Voices.” Galvan’s books are illustrated by renowned Oklahoma artist Jeannie Barbour, who also has captured awards for her whimsical and creative depiction of wild creatures to complement Galvan’s set of three children’s books.

All are citizens of the Chickasaw Nation and will perform following a showing of “First Encounter,” a Chickasaw Nation short documentary. It, too, is an award-winner bringing home a first place trophy in Short Documentary from the Trail Dance Film Festival. The award was presented to the tribe in Duncan, Oklahoma, in January.

The film showing and the reception are free and open to the public.

It all kicks off Saturday at 2:30 p.m. at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art, located downtown at 415 Couch Drive, across the street north of the Oklahoma City Civic Center Music Hall.

“First Encounter,” the first film in the Chickasaw Heritage Series, documents the Chickasaw tribe’s initial introduction to European explorers. Spanish conquistador Hernando de Soto’s expedition came upon Chickasaws in 1540 in the ancestral homeland of Mississippi. It spent the winter of 1540-41 in Chickasaw territory. A series of unreasonable demands by the Spaniards forced Chickasaw warriors to attack the expedition. The documentary concerning events and the historical record are presented from a Chickasaw point of view.

Immediately following “First Encounter,” Garcia and Galvan will perform.

Joining Chickasaws Garcia and Galvan will be Choctaw artist D.G. Smalling. Smalling is best known for his one-line, continuous drawing technique in which his pen never leaves the paper until the image is complete. He has been commissioned to paint several portraits, including former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, U.S. Congressman and Chickasaw citizen Tom Cole, Texas oilman T. Boone Pickens and Sir Tony Blair, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

The festival’s 15th anniversary begins Thursday and continues through Sunday evening.

Full details of the entire festival are on the deadCenter website

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