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Bird Singers are Focus of Talk


Musical Traditions of Southern California Indians is Topic of Talk Jan. 4

UC Riverside’s California Center For Native Nations puts spotlight on “bird singers.”

(December 14, 2007)

Paul Apodaca, associate professor at Chapman UniversityEnlarge

Paul Apodaca, associate professor at Chapman University

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (www.ucr.edu) -- Paul Apodaca, an associate professor of American Studies at Chapman University, will be the guest speaker at 12 noon on Friday, Jan. 4 at UC Riverside for the Madrigal Memorial Lecture. In his lecture, “First Voices, Musical Traditions of Southern Californian Indians,” Apodaca will focus on Bird Singers among the many tribes in Southern California.

The talk, which is free and open to the public, will be held on the fourth floor of the Rivera Library, in the room that houses the Costo Collection, an archive of books, papers and historical objects related to Native Americans. The lecture is free and open to the public, although there is a charge for parking.

“The lecture is in honor and memory of Lela Arenas-Madrigal,” said Cliff Trafzer, a longtime professor of history at UCR. “The Madrigal family is from the Cahuilla tribe and five of Lela’s children graduated from UC Riverside. They are leaders in our Indian communities, and they endowed this lecture for their mother, who inspired them to go to college and be successful.”

UC Riverside is a center for research that is done in partnership with local tribal governments. Trafzer holds the Rupert Costo Chair in American Indian Affairs at UCR, the first endowed professorship in the nation focused on American Indian Affairs. UCR professor of history Rebecca Kugel is the Interim Director of the California Center for Native Nations. They will work closely with an advisory board to continue the on-going planning, development, and research of the Center.

Apodaca specializes in folkore, mythology, American Indian studies and California, Southwestern and Mexican culture. He is a past editor of the Journal of California and Great Basin Anthropology. A founding consultant for the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of the American Indian, Apodaca was part of a team winning the Academy Award in 1985 for the feature documentary “Broken Rainbow.” Apodaca wrote and played the musical score for the film. He was curator of the Folk Art, American Indian, California and Orange County history collections of the Bowers Museum for 17 years. He earned his master’s degree and his Ph.D. from UCLA.

The University of California, Riverside (www.ucr.edu) is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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