Arizona’s rivers were first, lush green ribbons of life through a desert landscape. They became sustaining paths, first for the indigenous, later for immigrants leaving wagon tracks. On the Salt River, Hohokam built vast canals to direct water for irrigation. The first citizens of Phoenix used these same trenches. The Mohave tribes ruled the Colorado—that great western Nile, then gave way to the paddleboats of European explorers. The Gila provided sustenance for the Pima and passage for such brave adventurers as Father Garces and Olive Oatman. As Arizona’s only “National Wild and Scenic River,” it is home to over 50 endangered species. The history, stories and songs are shared interactively.
Jay Craváth, Ph.D. is a composer, writer, and scholar in the field of music and Indigenous studies. He crafts programs from these interests into interactive discussions that include stories, musical performance, and illustrations/photography. One of his most recent publication is Iretaba: Mohave Chief and American Diplomat. Dr. Craváth will begin an Arizona tour in late May of 2017 for his latest album: “Songs for Ancient Days.”