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Chickasaw Nation Hosts Annual Lowak Sholi Native Humanities Forum


Ada, Okla. – Four native musicians will share their perspective of “Natives and Music” during Lowak Sho’li “Carry the Fire” Native Humanities Forum 6 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 8, at the Chickasaw Nation Arts & Humanities building.

The forum is an opportunity for dialogue among Native and non-Native people and will feature a panel of Native American musicians.

Supporting the theme “Natives and Music,” the forum features native musicians Zach Garcia, Katie Barrick, Gaye Gastineau and Victor Guiterrez from the band Smilin’ Vic & The Soul Monkey’s.

Zachary Garcia, senior vocal music education major at East Central University, began playing piano when he was 4 years old and composing at age 8. Throughout his musical career, the Chickasaw citizen has won 9 state championships, 4 regional championships, and 2 National championships through the Oklahoma Music Teachers Association and the National Federal of Music Clubs (NFMC) for composition. At the age of 12, he became Alfred Publishing Co.’s youngest published composer with his composition “Dream Memories.” He is the only solo artist in Oklahoma to achieve the NFMC’s President’s Gold Cup for 14 consecutive years of superior ratings in piano performance. Garcia also plays guitar and is an accomplished vocalist. Production of his first original musical entitled, “A Scary Potter Musical,” recently concluded. He wrote the script and music, directed, and performed the leading role of “Harry Potter.”

Katie Barrick is a Chickasaw fiddler/violinist, based in the Oklahoma City area. She has a range of experience in solo and ensemble performance, composition, studio work and private instruction. She recently graduated from Oklahoma City University’s Bass School of Music with a bachelor’s degree in Music Business. Her works for string quartet have been featured on the nationally released albums OSHTALI and TOBACHI, heard in commercial videos for OklaVision and the Chickasaw Nation, and performed internationally by string quartet, ETHEL.

With more than 30 years of ministry and main stage performances, Gaye Gastineau is the matriarch of her family group, The Gastineaus, of Ada. Her soulful vocals and gospel piano style are trademarks to her wealth of experience. Also a gifted songwriter, her ability to pen strong lyrics and melodies are renowned. With several successful CD projects, the most recent release entitled “Lately,” showcases the powerful songwriting that has brought her to the forefront in gospel music. Their current radio single “Wounded Warrior,” a poignant ballad of perseverance, is capturing regional attention. With a heart for the ministry, Gaye keeps the focus on the message and is known for delivering it with passion and humility.

Victor Guiterrez “Smilin’ Vic” of Smilin’ Vic & The Soul Monkey's best claim to fame came Oct. 13, 1996, as the winners of the International Unsigned Blues Contest. Since, he has shared the stage with the likes of Lou Rawls, Delbert McClinton, Etta James, Lonnie Mack and James Cotton to name a few. Smilin’ Vic & The Soul Monkey’s are a favorite at festivals, clubs and country clubs, playing a blend of Jazz standards, Atlantic Soul and Basic Blues.

Chickasaw Nation Endowed Chair Dr. Thomas W. Cowger of East Central University, will serve as moderator.

Lowak Sho’li will feature a question-and-answer format. Questions from the audience will be welcome during discussions by the musicians.

This free event is open to the public and is being conducted in conjunction with National Arts and Humanities Month.

The Chickasaw Nation Arts & Humanities building is located at 201 North Broadway Ave., in Ada.

For more information, contact the Chickasaw Nation Arts and Humanities at (580) 272-5520 or email


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