Native American/First Nations Music (Contemporary)


Today Native American music continues to evolve, both with performing groups that reinvent and reinterpret music of past–musicians like the Porcupine Singers, members of the Lakota tribe, who create new music in traditional styles–and with artists who blend Native American music with “mainstream” forms like country (watch Keith Secola perform “Indian Car”), rock (watch XIT perform “At Peace”), jazz-fusion (synthacousticpunkarachinavajazz?),

Western classical (watch R. Carlos Nakai and Dawn Avery perform together) and hip hop. Native American storytelling traditions also blend nicely with the narrative lyrics of much “mainstream” rock and folk music; for example, Native American political activist John Trudell (spokesperson of the 1969 Alcatraz Occupation) combines spoken word poetry with contemporary rock. (In class we’re going to listen to his “Rockin’ the Res.”)

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