Jay Cravath

Jay Cravath, former director of the Chemehuevi Tribe’s cultural center, is shown here with archivist Anna Ochoa.

Jay Cravath has been the director of the Chemehuevi Indian Tribe’s Cultural Center since 2013, a position that he traded on March 9 for a chance to be on the road.

“My album is almost ready for release and my band will begin rehearsing for a tour,” he said.

Cravath and his band, Dr. Jay and the Botanicals, will begin rehearsing for their Southwest and Northwest tours that he estimates will begin near then end of May and end sometime in July with a break in the middle. They will travel from Tucson to Prescott and head to Portland and then his hometown of Whitefish, Montana, among others, he said.

His band – which consists of his son Jeff Cravath on vocals and percussion and his former wife Lynne Avril on bass – created, what he described as, a mixture of Indie Rock and Folk music portrayed in a nine-track album.

“I have one [song] called Trail of Tears which is one of those love loss kinds of songs,” he said. He added that the song, which is named after a strenuous march enforced on Native Americans in the 1800s, implements vocables, which, in his words, are syllables without meaning that help carry a tune and is used in indigenous music.

He expects copies of his album to be in his hands around March 21 and hopes to make the music available on Amazon and Spotify in the near-future.

Cravath has lived in Havasu off and on for several years, first working for the Colorado Indian Tribes where he was tasked with creating curriculum that integrated their cultural teachings, he said.

During his, almost, four years with the Chemehuevi Indian Tribe, Cravath created multiple programs, such as, Winter Camp, knowledge night, movie night, a book club, gourd making classes and even began a cultural garden behind the center.

“When I walked in I saw all this potential and I wanted to make it a place all the Chemehuevi felt proud to have,” he said. “I’m pleased with what I’ve done and I hope to go back there in maybe six years or so to see this little Garden of Eden behind the Cultural Center.”


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