Breaking New Artistic Ground: BLM’s Artist in Residence Program to Feature Native American Jazz Fusion to Celebrate America’s Public Lands
Workshop students will help compose music for on-stage performance.
Washington, D.C. — For the first time in Bureau history, the BLM’s Artist in Residence program will feature a multi-city tour, as Native American jazz trumpeter Delbert Anderson and his ensemble D’DAT visit four National Conservation Areas and National Monuments in June and July. Anderson will teach in music workshops and then perform in concert to celebrate America’s public lands.
Anderson and D’DAT combine jazz, funk, and hip hop yielding a unique and compelling sound appealing to people of all backgrounds. Navajo spinning songs were a way for Diné to compose new pieces reflecting the present moment. Traditionally passed from generation to generation, spinning songs grew with the times and are still present today.
Anderson, a faculty member at San Juan College in Farmington, New Mexico, found a cassette tape of spinning songs and spoke with native elders to explore fusing spinning songs and today’s modern music. D’DAT merged traditional and modern music structures to create an exciting new sound.
“They had songs for everything, love, war, ceremonies and healing. The spinning songs I was influenced by were those with messages to our youth about minding manners,” said Anderson.
During The Painted Mountains Tour, Anderson and D’DAT will spend a day at each location researching Indigenous land stories and music, then a second day holding a workshop in which students will help compose two original pieces of music and conclude the final day with an outdoor public performance.
The tour will begin with a workshop on June 14 before the June 15 concert at Colorado’s Canyons of the Ancients National Monument. From there, Anderson and D’DAT move to June 17 workshop and June 18 concert at Utah’s Bears Ears National Monument.
The tour then celebrates America’s birthday with a workshop on July 2 and a July 4 concert at California’s King Range National Conservation Area.
Anderson then concludes The Painted Mountains Tour close to home with a workshop on July 8 and a concert on the July 9 at New Mexico’s Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument.
The Bureau will release more specific workshop and concert locations in April.
The workshop and concerts will adhere to any local or state Covid-19 attendance or social distancing restrictions in effect on those days. In addition, the tour will ask attendees to pre-register for the workshop and obtain free concert tickets via Eventbrite.
The tour will make Anderson available for interviews at each stop during workshop days.
The tour and residency closely align with Interior’s priority to strengthen the government-to-government relationship with sovereign Tribal Nations. For additional information, visit BLM.gov, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Medium.
The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 western states, including Alaska, on behalf of the American people. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. Our mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.