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About A Little Big Band
The members of Little Big Band come from diverse backgrounds of music, theater, visual arts and traditional Native American cultures. The concept of Little Big Band brings it all together with an exciting blend of funk music, blending dance, soul, jazz, rock and blues with theatrical performance, poetry and spoken word.
The project came together through previous collaborations between Singletary, Tagaban and Wayne Horvitz in the form of a soundtrack for a documentary produced for the Seattle Art Museum. Singletary (a Tlingit Alaskan Native) states, There are many forms of contemporary Native music, but few examples of that blend the syncopations of Funk and dance music. I decided to use the SAM session as a jump off point for developing this project.
Preston continues, In a true collaborative sense I started to discuss this concept with various performers from my travels and connections from the Seattle music scene. I feel that there is a lot that Native cultures can learn from the African American community in terms if its understanding of its self and way of dealing with history through music. Just look at Rap music and how it speaks about the conditions of society. From the roots of folk, jazz to blues and contemporary urban styles, African American music has led the way in shaping new musical standards throughout history.
Star Nayea, a Grammy Award-winning vocalist, brings a powerful pop style to the band, while Gene Tagaban performs with traditional Tlingit masks and clothing, plays flute and recites poetic verse and chants. James Luna is an accomplished visual and performance artist who was featured at the Venice Biennale by the Smithsonian. James work challenges the viewers perception of Native people while declaring , they say that Indian music hasnt gone far enough HEY LISTEN UP!
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