Itsa Shash is an Indipino storyteller, poet, and musician descended from Indeh (Apache), Nahua, Chichimeca and Filipino peoples. Itsa has been bringing social stories and music to schools and social gatherings nation wide since he was 4 years old. It is a means to celebrate culture, empower community, and share wisdom and joy.
"My father used to tell me that we have to continue singing and dancing, just as the birds singing in the morning make the world a happier place."
Itsa's storytelling and music are deeply rooted in his Native American heritage, particularly from growing up emersed in Sundance, Mexica danza, the Native American Church, and powwow culture. He began learning traditional music unborn, while his mother moved and sang to the heartbeat of the drum. Since moving to the Pacific Northwest in 2012, Itsa's art has been further influenced by receiving and gifting support to the Indigenous peoples of the local lands.
"When creating a song, our feeling goes into it. We have to be in a good place. So if we are not in a good place, we have wait until we've worked through it, so that we can return to that good place and continue working on the song"
Itsa Shash is an advocate for Indigenous intertribal solidarity. He directed the Bala Sinem (Red People) Choir, an intertribal college choir empowering Native American students through mentorship and the sharing of cultural song. He has caught and woven songs for individuals, the local urban Indian communities, and The Spirit of Raven Canoe Family. He has performed with such artists as NAMMY award winner Moiety and Grammy Award winner Bill Miller.
"I want to acknowledge the Indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest. I raise my hands up and say thank you for welcoming me to your homelands, sharing your wisdom and good hearts. May we continue to lift up the people together.