Paul “Che oke ten” Wagner is an internationally-performing ambassador of the traditional songs & stories of his Coast Salish tribal ancestors. He enjoys sharing the warmth, humor & wisdom of these beautiful “teachings,” as they are know in the sacred tradition of his people, in an engaging & interactive way, interweaving his Spirit-gifted songs on Native American flute, along with traditional tribal drum songs. An award-winning Native American flutist, his instrumental songs have come to him with visions of healing & prayer for all relations (tree people, animal people, human people).
Che oke ten hails from the Wsaanich (Saanich) tribe of southern Vancouver Island, British Columbia, whose spirit helpers are the Thunderbird & the Whale. His ancestral name, “Che oke ten” carries the meaning of a feeling of “watching over & caring for the people & things you love for a thousand seasons.”
Che oke ten’s performing art has evolved into a feast for the senses, incorporating live sampling sound equipment to interlace Native flute, drum, voice & other musical instruments into a mesmerizing backdrop to the traditional spoken-word stories… accompanied by visual high-resolution projection of his stunning & surreal nature photography & videography work, which encapsulates the incredible beauty of the natural world so important to his culture.
Che oke ten’s traditional training & immersion in his tribal language enable him to share the teachings & Sacred Breath tradition of many generations of previous storytellers. He has a deep connection with the stories & ancient ways, understanding the profound life-changing effects they can have on people of all ages & cultures. He feels it is important to keep the indigenous teachings alive in the hearts of the people of today’s world & to honor the original ancestors of the place in which any gathering of peoples occurs.
Che oke ten’s debut Native flute CD “Journey of the Spirit” has been honored by the “Best Native American Album of 2009″ JPF Award, a CD-Baby-affiliated international award involving both people’s choice voting & industry critic panel selection & judging. It has currently sold more than 1,000 copies. His available recordings also include “Prophecy Teachings of the First Peoples of the Northwest Coast” (a collaboration with his cousin, Johnny Moses), & a limited-edition solo storytelling CD entitled, “Creation Stories.”
Che oke ten’s current projects include a DVD featuring his breathtaking high-resolution nature videography & photography work to be accompanied by his original Native flute music (plus other instruments); a new Native flute CD; and plans for a second tour of Japan.
Che oke ten has shared the stage & collaborated with many prominent artists such as Eyvind Kang, Gina Sala, Bill Frisell, Andre Feriante & Charlie Hill. His international performances have included the Mongolian Peoples Federation for World Peace Conference in Seoul, Korea, a recent successful six-city tour of Japan, & many venues in British Columbia. Currently in residence in the Seattle, WA area, he also performs extensively throughout the Pacific Northwest region of the United States.
His recent performances include:
■Mongolian People’s Federation for World Peace; Seoul, South Korea
■CSL Sacred Music Festival; Seattle, WA
■Pakistan Earthquake Relief Benefit; Redmond, WA
■Olympic College; Bremerton, WA
■Opening Ceremony for Fibers of Life Exhibit; Skagit County Historical Museum, La Conner, WA
■Oregon Country Fair; Eugene, OR
■Seattle Folklife Festival; Seattle, WA
■Women of Wisdom Conference; Seattle, WA
■World Rhythm Festival; Seattle, WA
■World Sacred Music Festival; Olympia, WA
■Faerieworlds Festival; Eugene, OR
■King County Library System’s ‘Many Voices, One Land’ Children’s Program
■Native Arts & Music Festival; Tacoma, WA
■Redmond City Hall Opening Ceremony; Redmond, WA
■Spokane Fall Folk Festival; Spokane
- Paul Wagner