[Episode Summaries] [Oral Histories] [The Songs and the Artists] [Eternal Songs] [Instruments and Innovations] [Behind the Scenes] [Links] [Into the Classroom] [Credits] American Roots Music
Musicians on Stage  
The Songs and The Artists  
R. Carlos Nakai


R. Carlos Nakai has been responsible for popularizing traditional Native American music as a mainstream art form. In 1973, after studying the trumpet in college, Nakai began to play the wooden flute -- traditionally used for courting and healing -- adapting the traditional flute melodies of the Plains and Woodland Indians into his own unique style. In 1984, Nakai signed on to Canyon Records, which promotes traditional Native American music; he released 12 albums with them, including Earth Spirit, Canyon Trilogy, Carry the Gift, and Spirit Horses, a highly acclaimed concerto for wooden flute and chamber orchestra that was chosen by Pulse magazine as one of the top albums of 1991. Nakai's composition "Cycles" was set to dance by the Martha Graham Company in 1988. An internationally-known performer and composer, Nakai was the soloist for the Phoenix Symphony's 1993 world premiere of a concerto for the ceder flute composed by James DeMars.

Courtesy of palmpictures.com

Back to Artists


Home   |   Episode Summaries   |   Oral Histories   |   Songs & Artists   |   Eternal Songs
Instruments & Innovations   |   Behind the Scenes   |   Links   |   Into the Classroom   |   Credits   |   Reviews
Bring American Roots Music home

© The Ginger Group 2001