Brulé – Program Notes

Program Pieces & Movements

Selections to be announced from stage

Program Notes

Paul Summers Laroche

FOUNDER/PRODUCER, KEYBOARD

Paul LaRoche is the founder and producer of the award-winning Native American music group Brulé. The group is best known for thrilling audiences with a merging of cultural rock and theatrical instrumentations. Now in their 20th season, their national performances carry the same contagious excitement as Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Celtic Thunder, and Riverdance—but with the emotional impact of the American Indian culture.

The group is one of the top-selling Native American adult/rock music groups and has chalked up impressive CD sales (over 1 million worldwide). Brulé has released 21 titles in 20 years and has been named “Group of the Year” five times by the prestigious Native American Music Awards, earning seven NAMMYs since 2002. Their annual performance schedule takes them extensively throughout the U.S., touring the casino, performing arts theatre, arena, corporate and festival circuits.

Brulé has pushed the boundaries of contemporary Native American rhythms and classic rock in their genreblending selections. Their electrifying show consists of a 5-piece rock ensemble augmented with an array of traditional Native American instrumentation. Paired with the stunning steps of one of the top Native American dance troupes, their authenticity brings a multi-dimensional art form to this cultural rock opera. The musical journey of Brulé’s founder, Paul LaRoche, adds an affecting story to audiences that has been well documented in the best-selling biography “Hidden Heritage”.

Brulé is seen regularly on national PBS affiliates across the country. Their history-making concert, “Brulé, Live at Mount Rushmore—Concert for Reconciliation of the Cultures”, has become the longest running Native American concert special on national TV. Brulé produced over 70 episodes of the TV Program “Hidden Heritage” for cable TV. RFD-TV is a cable TV network that broadcasts to over 40 million homes across the United States and international markets. The show “Hidden Heritage” presents positive stories from across Native America. Brulé is pioneering a new trend in the music industry: the epic Native American Rock Theatre.

Vlasis Pergakis

GUITAR

Vlasis Pergakis is from Minneapolis, born to Greek immigrant parents. A multi-instrumentalist, Vlasis began to play guitar as a teenager & soon added bass, keyboards, drums and percussion to his musical repertoire. Vlasis became a founding member and lead guitarist of the award-winning, Twin Cities art rock band, Blue Canoe. After a few years, Vlasis also began to perform as a solo acoustic artist, eventually recording two solo albums.

In 1999, after a chance meeting with Paul LaRoche, Vlasis performed drums with Brulé at the Ordway Theater, in St. Paul, Minnesota. This experience led to an invitation to tour with Brulé, full-time, as a guitarist. Over the years, Vlasis has played both traditional drums and guitar for the award-winning Native American band.

Shane Summers

PERCUSSION

Shane (Paul & Kathy’s son) is the current kit drummer for Brulé. Following college graduation, he served as the group’s guitarist following a brief hiatus of original guitarist, Vlasis. Shane’s electric & acoustic guitar performance style is showcased on the later 10 of the group’s cds. Shane is a father to 2 daughters with his wife, Heather; an avid outdoorsman, athlete and triathlon competitor. His contributions to the group include musician, music producer, audio engineer and executive producer. His daughters Avery & Haley are also dancers in the group.

Nicole Summers

FLUTE

Nicole is Paul & Kathy’s daughter and is the lead instrumentalist for Brulé. She began playing flute in elementary school and performed with the Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphony. Following a brief hiatus from the flute and upon graduation, she joined Paul in the original launch of Brulé as a Father/Daughter duo. Her unique signature sound is stamped on all of the Brulé cds.

Nicole is also a seasoned audio engineer, composer & music producer. Along with fronting the Brulé show, she is also a member of the Milwaukee Musicians Union and works as a stagehand, rigger & audio specialist for national touring acts in the Milwaukee area. Her daughter, Jade is a dancer & choreographer for Brulé.

Kathy Summers

MANAGER

Kathy has fulfilled the role as manager for the group Brulé starting in 1995. Her responsibilities include booking, promotions, travel logistics, merchandising & show advance. She provides A & R responsibilities and manufacturing coordination for all cds & dvds.

Kathy oversees the group’s national and international touring schedule and handles all the photography and video for all performances. She has accumulated one of the largest collections of Native American digital images along with a large catalog of concert video.

Brulé Dancers

Sopia Bennaly – CROW CREEK DAKOTA SIOUX TRIBE

Garan Coons – OGLALA LAKOTA

Chris Estes – LOWER BRULÉ SIOUX TRIBE

Michelle Reed – LAC DU FLAMBEAU BAND OF OJIBWAY

Haley Summers – LOWER BRULÉ SIOUX TRIBE (DAUGHTER OF SHANE SUMMERS)

Jade Summers – LOWER BRULÉ SIOUX TRIBE (DAUGHTER OF NICOLE SUMMERS LAROCHE)

Ray Washee – CHEYENNE & ARAPAHO

Simon Washee – CHEYENNE & ARAPAHO

CONCERT SPONSORS

GUNDERSON’S, PRINCIPAL SPONSOR

UNITY POINTHEALTH – SIOUX CITY

SECURITY NATIONAL BANK

DELFS REAL ESTATE GROUP

SIOUXLAND CHAMBER OF COMMERCE, COMMUNITY PARTNER SPONSOR

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