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TV host turns family upbringing into part-time profession

TV host turns family upbringing into part-time profession
(DeLaune/MNN) Native News Today host Jason Salsman playing at a concert with his band June 16 at Muscogee (Creek) Nation’s River Spirit Casino 5 o’clock Somewhere Bar in Tulsa, Okla.

“Years from now when we are old and grandparents we want our children and grandchildren to know what our grandma, aunts, mother and all of us did. We never want that to be forgotten.” - Jason Salsman

Citizen hopes to pass down music tradition

Darren DeLaune/Reporter

OKMULGEE, Okla. — Most aspiring musicians get their start from music groups within the family.

Numerous artists would say they began because their family was in a band.

Native News Today host Jason Salsman is no different from other family bands. He plays the drums and shared how it began.

“What got me into playing the drums was music for the Lord, singing for Jesus Christ,” Salsman said. “My family had a southern gospel group.”

He said his grandmother was the matriarch of the group. The band was composed of different relatives in the family.

“We were called the Shipley family,” Salsman said. “Everyone grabbed an instrument and if you didn’t do that, you were singing.”

Salsman said he could do both.

“I was a pretty decent singer as a kid,” Salsman said. “Then your voice changes and I haven’t been singing that much since.”

Jason said he had always wanted to play the drums. He felt he always had rhythm when it came to percussion.

“I took one lesson,” Salsman said. “I learned the regular 4/4 time beat and from there I just taught myself.”

He remembered his drum set his mother bought for him at a garage sale for 15 dollars.

“I would just play away,” Salsman said. “I had my Walkman on and played along with songs. That is how I developed my style.”

He said he played with a band in high school where his brother was the lead singer for them.

“Everybody knows him at (Muscogee (Creek) Nation) Environmental Services,” Salsman said. “He used to be a hardcore rock leadman.”

Salsman said he went through a lull for almost ten years where he did not play.

He said he finished college and started his new job.

“I never played, and I hated it,” Salsman said. “It is one of the great loves of my life.”

Although he had not played the drums in years, playing was a natural instinct for him.

“Your body, the muscle memory knows how to do things,” Salsman said. “I was shaking the rust off because drumming is timing. You have to be on time.”

Salsman now plays in a band with a friend of his, Brent Giddens. The band is called ‘The Brent Giddens Band.’

“How that started was putting a bug in his ear that I can play the drums,” Salsman said. “One night, his regular drummer could not be there to play so he called me.”

Salsman said he had to borrow a drum kit because he did not have his own. He was very nervous when he saw the playlist.

“He sent me a list that had four pages of songs,” he said. “It is a good thing I am a fan of classic country music.”

He said he pulled it off the first night and he clicked with the band.

“We had a good show,” Salsman said. “We started talking about being a permanent member.”

He said he had to get the okay from his boss, his wife.

“We worked on our schedules and we made it to where everything is covered,” Salsman said.

Salsman said his children have shown interest in music and hopes to pass down the family tradition onto them.

“I have one video where my youngest is playing the drums and my oldest likes the piano,” he said. “There is going to be the day when I think they are going to get serious and I will be ready to teach them how to play.”

Salsman said the values from ‘The Shipley Family Band,’ is still going strong.

He said the tradition is still strong among him and his cousins.

“Years from now when we are old and grandparents we want our children and grandchildren to know what our grandma, aunts, mother and all of us did,” Salsman said. “We never want that to be forgotten.”

Salsman said to go to www.brentgiddens.com for tour dates.

918.732.7703 | DDeLaune@MvskokeMedia.com
Darren has been with Mvskoke Media since 2009. He has always (and still does) played sports so he wanted to write about it. What started with sports, turned into features, columns, articles, whatever he can find around the MCN. He enjoys trying new things, which helped him become an avid dancer of bachata. Darren has one daughter, Syeann.

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