A Celebration Performance 2016

Our Special Guests:  

Hal Cannon:

HAL CANNON will serve as moderator and presenter for this year’s Sheep Tales Gathering of “Celebrating Generations” on Friday evening, and will also host this year’s 20th Anniversary concert on Saturday. 

As the Founding Director of the Western Folklife Center & National Cowboy Poetry Gathering, a radio producer, musician, former Director of the Institute of the American West and former Folk Arts Coordinator of the Utah Arts Council, he is a long time friend of the Festival. Hal has published scores of books and recordings on the folk arts in the West.  Most recently, Hal along with producer Taki Telonidis, produced almost a hundred features for public radio including What’s in a Song on NPR’s Weekend Edition and television documentaries including Why the Cowboy Sings that aired on PBS and garnered them a Rocky Mountain Emmy and a Special Jury Award at the Houston Film Festival.  Their episode “A Cowboy Christmas” won a bronze medal at the New York International Radio Festival. Their hour music special, Red Rock Rondo, A Zion Canyon Song Cycle garnered two Emmy Awards.

Hal Cannon has been awarded three Wrangler Awards from the Cowboy Hall of Fame’ received the 1998 Will Rogers Lifetime Achievement Award, was given the Utah Governor’s Award in the Arts and the Governor’s Award in the Humanities.

But in his heart, Hal is first and foremost a musician who writes music, performs and records with folk ensembles, currently, the 3hattrio (www.3hattrio.com) in southern Utah. He was formerly with the Deseret String Band (a.k.a The Bunkhouse Orchestra) and Red Rock Rondo.

Hal is beloved by generations of sheep ranchers, herders, cowboys and lifelong westerners and is a skilled moderator, interviewer and host. He is most comfortable with people connected to the land.  As moderator, he can guide storytellers to remember and share the important moments in their lives.  With Hal’s encouragement, our young ranching families will provide irreplaceable snapshots of life and times in the West and the struggle to stay on the land.

Hal and his wife, author and artist Teresa Jordan live in the small town of Virgin, Utah at the doorstep of Zion National Park.

Carolyn Dufurenna:

Carolyn Dufurrena is an author, poet, film-maker and award-winning journalist from rural northwestern Nevada.  She is a regular contributor to RANGE Magazine, and was Outside Editor for C.J. Hadley’s Reflections of the West: Cowboy Painters and Poets as well as Brushstrokes and Balladeers: Painters and Poets of the American West, which received the Wrangler Award for Best Poetry Book of 2014 from the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City and the 2014 Will Rogers Gold Medallion for Poetry. She is the author of the award-winning Fifty Miles from Home: Riding the Long Circle on a Nevada Family Ranch, with photographer Linda Dufurrena, and Sharing Fencelines: Three Friends Write from Nevada’s Sagebrush Corner with Linda Hussa and Sophie Sheppard as well as a poetry chapbook, That Blue Hour. Carolyn performs regularly at the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko and is a member of Nevada Arts Council’s Artists in Schools and Communities Roster, through which she conducts residencies in poetry and digital storytelling. She is also a member of the Nevada Humanities Board of Trustees.


Diane Josephy Peavey:

Diane Josephy Peavey writes stories from her family’s Idaho sheep and cattle ranch about the history, people and the changing landscapes of the American West. Many of her stories aired weekly for 18 years on Idaho Public Radio and are collected in her book Bitterbrush Country: Living on the Edge of the Land. Her writings have appeared in numerous magazines, journals and anthologies and her librettos on Lewis and Clark in Idaho and the history of the Nez Perce Indians were set to music and performed throughout the region. She was the Literature Director for the Idaho Commission on the Arts from 1992-1997 and currently is on the Idaho Humanities Speakers’ Bureau. Diane is a board member of the Idaho Center for the Book, is on the Regional History Committee for the Ketchum Community Library and, in 2014, was appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture to the 13-member national American Lamb Board.  She and her husband John co-founded and are both still active with the Trailing of the Sheep Festival.  Diane joined the Advisory Council for the Festival in 2016. 

Pam Royes:

Author Pamela Royes lives with her husband in Northeastern, Oregon where they raise cattle and hay. They have two children and three grandchildren. Temperance Creek, a memoir and her first book is being hailed by critics around the country.  It is a story that takes place in the austere beauty and natural reality of Hell’s Canyon in Eastern Oregon, 100 miles from pavement. Here Pam, unable to identify with her parent’s world and looking for deeper pathways, has a chance encounter with returning Vietnam warrior Skip Royes. Skip, looking for a bridge from survival back to connection, introduces Pam to the vanishing culture of the wandering shepherd and together they embark on a four-year sojourn into the wilderness.

Temperance Creek is a compelling memoir about love, courage and transformation. Pamela Royes deftly chronicles her journey from a suburban college student to a “wild woman,” from hippie to sheepherder to outlaw…”This is a wonderful book.” Craig Lesley, author.


TXANTXANGORRIAK are a group of young Basque musicians who formed in April 2001 after watching triki (button accordion) and pandero (tambourine) players from the Spanish Basque province of Guipuzkoa perform as guests at the 2000 International Basque Jaialdi Festival in Boise, Idaho. 

The organizing members of Txantxangorriak, Gina Ansotegui-Urquidi, Dan Ansotegui and Ana Mendiola, understood the urgency of keeping alive traditional Basque music played on traditional instruments particularly after the death of the master accordion musician and beloved Basque Jimmy Jausoro. 

Today the three founders are committed to passing on these traditions and skills to young Basques so they can provide live music accompaniment to the nationally renowned Basque Oinkari dancers and the Boiseko Gazteak.  Txantxangorriak has sixteen triki players, five of whom are the original members and are taught by Dan Ansotegui, and eight pandero players who are taught by Alaina Gavica. The young musicians have participated in Basque festivals in Idaho, Nevada and Wyoming as well as at the Seattle Folklife Festival. 

Hot Club of Cowtown:

Hot Club of Cowtown is back for the 2016 Sheepherder's Ball.  Hailing from Austin, Texas, they perform around the globe.  Join them as they heat up the Sun Valley music scene with their hot jazz and western swing.  Named best music group by True West magazine, they have toured with renowned musicians including Bob Dylan and Willie Nelson.  We are transforming the nextStage into a night club to showcase these fabulous musicians.  You won't want to miss this sizzling special event.