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OU School of Music to showcase Indigenous musician Quese IMC in Ruggles Native American Music Series

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The OU School of Music is hosting an Indigenous musician and producer for the Ruggles Native American Music Series at 7 p.m. Mar 18.

Quese IMC, a member of the Pawnee and Seminole Nations, will perform an online concert of some of his original songs. After the performance, he will speak about his experiences as a Native American musician and provide some information about Native American music, said Christina Giacona, a Native American music professor and curator for the concert series.

“(Quese) is very inspirational in the lyrics that he writes,” Giacona said. “He talks about heavy topics in a way that makes you think about them instead of wanting to turn away from them.”

Quese has been producing and performing music across the country for four years, according to his website. In the fall of 2020, Quese was featured in Unity Song OKC, a performance of various Oklahoma artists put together by the Artivists of OKC. The song was released to raise money for groups working toward “equity for every human,” according to the Artivists of OKC website.

Giacona said she met Quese while working on Unity Song OKC. “(Quese) gave me a CD of some of his music, and I loved it,” Giacona said. “We had to have him.”

Quese’s music falls primarily under the hip-hop and rap labels, Giacona said, and many of his songs feature traditional Native American music styles, such as hand drums and lyrics in the Pawnee language. The beginning of Unity Song OKC features this traditional style.

The performance at OU is part of the Ruggles Native American Music Series. The series has been designed to bring Native American musicians to OU, usually one each semester, to give students a chance to experience a new style of music, Giacona said.

“The idea of the series is that we are promoting Native American music, mostly to an OU audience that wouldn’t hear it otherwise,” Giacona said.

The events were previously in person, but due to social distancing restrictions, they’ve been moved online. While it has been a struggle, the event continues to draw an audience, Giacona said.

“I’ve actually been surprised how many students are still attending,” Giacona said. “Surprised, but happy. I hope everyone learns something from the concert.”

The event will be hosted at 7 p.m. Mar 18 through Zoom. It is free to attend and registration is not required. The link to the event has been posted to the OU School of Music’s Facebook page.

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