Thank you, in Ojibwa is said, megwich, it means, I will take what you give me and hold it in the highest honor. Music is a gift. My goal with music is communication.
I am a composer, a singer/songwriter and entertainer. Native Americana is my genre. I have written, songs in Anishinabe, folk, rock and roll, blues, jazz, reggae, world music and electric 49 (pow-wow rock). In 2011 I was inducted into the Native Music Hall of Fame. My work has been in feature films, documentaries, and grassroots instillations. My music is played on tribal radio stations. I perform in reservation schools and rural communities, places where music is rarely heard and many times a musical performance is a first. Musician’s cover my songs live and have recorded audio and video recordings of my compositions.
Blending sounds with topical subjects creates a musical alchemy that transforms styles and genres of music. Pluralism has created a new identity for the expression of art. This identity informs and reflects a way of life that is both spiritual and secular. Music is a chance to explore the kinetic relationship between electric instrument and human being; thus the relationship between secular and the sacred, especially as it applies to American Indians. We retain genetic memory from our ancestors’, yet we embrace and are influenced by all that popular culture offers.
Based upon humility we are creating a new music paradigm. This new musical paradigm promotes the future, preserves the past and presents the present. Music is at the cross roads of ethnic music and modern technology. The beats between the Pow wow Drum and the kick drum. The notes from an ancient melody played on an electric guitar. A cedar flute played in harmony with water flowing from a mountain spring.
Performing is part of a modern ritual. Music is elevated by the art of performance. We must entertain the people with philosophy, spirituality and bring them to do a metaphysical understanding. Humor and wit are key tools in maintaining an entertaining edge. Leading people gently to a brutal truth can show them the way to a new understanding of a misunderstood past.
Songwriting, storytelling, theater and composition are part of presenting the present. The present is where the past and future unfolds the collective consciousness. Sound and pitch are at the portal of communication. Essence must be achieved in the present tense. Communication of a heart line is a tradition concept amongst indigenous cultures. It means to express one’s spirit; music has allowed me to do this.
Opportunities have emerged for Native Musicians. We have a platform for the expression of art. Social networking has bought together grassroots musicians, speaker of Ojibwa and poets like never before in our history of Turtle Island.
The turtle is symbolic of interspecies communications.
Communication is the key element in music that brings emotion to a song. The price of a song is for us to become what we are singing. Conduct the ritual, sell the image, and perpetuate the myth. Three ways a musician makes money.