Site Map


Organization and Mission


The Nations



About Evan Pritchard

Photo Album

American Indian Radio on Satellite


Brian Wilkes Media

The Center for Algonquin Culture
PO Box 1028, Woodstock, NY 12498

(in spite of the pollution, noise, expense, and lack of tall trees)

Some of My Most Memorable Moments as an Algonquin in Manhattan
By Evan Pritchard author of Native New Yorkers


Part Three: Some More Musical/Literary Experiences I Won't Forget

Playing classical guitar at the Four Seasons for a bunch of millionaires at a dinner. The manager was very rude and made me leave through the kitchen after I was done. They asked me back however. I played there for a corporation that was announcing a huge downsizing right at Christmas. The CEO handed out real antique Colt 45s as Christmas presents to his managers. Later I played at the Lowell Hotel (also five star food) as the featured entertainer for a "Tribute to Excellence" Banquet for a man who made a breakthrough in cancer research. I had the opportunity to talk to him about his work. They treated me very kindly there, and I had some kind of grub prepared by a man they flew in from Paris for the evening. It sure wasn't Pemmican.

Playing at a wedding party and recognizing that the "deaf old guy" in the corner was Gabriel Braverman, who was copyist under Toscanini, and was the 1st chair violist in Fantasia under Mickey Mouse. I played in his ear and he could hear just fine. He told me stories of the New York Philharmonic under Toscanini, just as his successor, Arnold Arnstein had told me stories about the "Phil" under Bernstein.

Volunteering to play percussion and cowbells in Paul Winter's Winter Solstice Extravaganza at St. John the Divine was an unforgettable experience. Overwhelming; I did it several years. Paul Winter let a member of "Earth Beat's" Russian Dimitri Pokrovsky Singers play a jazz trumpet solo, his life's dream. As the man came off stage our eyes met and I said, "Krasnya Baby!" (Beautiful!) You should have seen his face.

Giving a lecture on Native New Yorkers at the Open Center in 1999, describing the ancient history of the Munsee in Manhattan and how they were exiled to Canada, then introducing to the stage the current chief of the Munsee of Muncie, Ontario, Mark Peters. What a surprise! Everyone was speechless! It was the first oration by Manhattan's indigenous leader in over 350 years. Deputy Chief of the Cherokee Yona Gadoga (Standing Bear) Brian Wilkes, Taino leader and voice of WBAI's Circle of Red Nations, Roberto Borrero, and others, were there and also spoke. Believe it or not, I wasn't thinking of writing a book about the subject yet.

Crazy Moments

The day office boy "Richard Hell" (of the punk band Plasmatics) took off his hat for the first time at Arnstein's orchestral score shop in the presence of several famed symphonic composers. It turns out Richard had blue hair! One of the composers went running and screaming out of the building. Arnstein was coming up the stairs, wondering what was going on. Richard had never taken off his hat before. Ironically, I think one of the composers that stayed was MacDermott, the composer of "HAIR."

The time I took on bad-boy Skitch Henderson in a copyright fraud case on behalf of symphonic composer Richard Schulman. Schulman's Laurentine Overtures was on the program, but the parts were still under lock and key at the publishers (where I worked!) I ran down to scout out Carnagie Hall and "counted coup," taking some programs from the floor at intermission. Skitch had heard of my plan through spies and did not perform the piece. The New York Daily News reviewer caught the discrepancy, but the New York Post reviewed it as if it had been played in its entirety. (Major Whooops!) It turns out Henderson had to pay ASCAP the composer royalties based on the program listing, even though not a note was heard that day. The composer was grateful!