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Native Musical Genius

"John Kim Bell"

John Kim Bell, a Mohawk Indian, was born on the Kahnawake Reserve near Montreal 37 years ago but left with his mother when he was three years old. If he had stayed on the reserve, his great musical talent might never have been discovered.

"After the trouble on the reserve in 1990, I'm glad I left when I did."

John studied piano and violin and by the age of 18 was conducting orchestras on Broadway. He was also pianist to popular singers and rock groups

including the Australian group of Saturday Night Fever Fame, the Bee Gees.

On the classical side, in 1980 he became apprentice conductor of the Toronto Symphony.

John Kim Bell was the first North American Indian to reach such heights in the music world. But he never forgot his roots. Back in Canada he discovered that native artists were not receiving Canada Council Grants to develop their talents, so he established the Canadian Native Arts Foundation and dedicated himself to giving native children opportunities for specialized education and training in the performing, crafted and visual arts.

John Kim Bell, a Canadian Achiever, recipient of the Order of Canada, helping other Indian kids to develop their talents.

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