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R. Carlos Nakai

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Tucson-based gold and platinum-selling multi-instrumentalist R. Carlos Nakai is a Native American musician and cultural anthropologist of Navajo-Ute descent. Though he received classical training on the trumpet, his numerous recordings consist primarily of resonant solo performances of Native American flute improvisations with a judicious use of synthesizers, chanting, and nature sounds. Nakai only occasionally features arrangements of traditional melodies from various tribes; instead, he is primarily concerned with creating original compositions that capture the essence of his heritage in highly personalized ways. In addition to his solo recordings, Nakai has had the opportunity to create new avenues of expression for the Native American flute through collaborations with various artists over the years, including Philip Glass, the ethnic jazz band Jackalope, slack key guitar master Keola Beamer, keyboardist Peter Kater, contemporary classical composer James DeMars, and multi-instrumentalist William Eaton. ~ Linda Kohanov

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April 16, 1946 in Flagstaff, AZ

Years Active:

'80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

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