The concert will feature some of the world's favorite Christmas melodies in new arrangements heard on Nakai & Eaton’s best selling Winter Dreams album. Carols including What Child Is This, Angels We Have Heard On High, We Three Kings, God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman and others are infused with the spirit of the Southwest and the sonorous panoramic harmonies of the instruments and voices of Nakai, Eaton and Clipman.
The trio will also play selections from Carry the Gift, Feather, Stone & Light, and their latest release Dancing Into Silence. The trio was nominated for a Grammy award last year for Dancing Into Silence, which added to past collaborations that have resulted in 16 Grammy nominations and 12 Nammy’s - Native American Music Awards.
The winter solstice is a time for renewal and contemplation, and also a time for celebration. Winter Dreams has become a classic for many, who have found this recording to be a soundtrack for the season.
Does Winter Dream?
Yes, Winter Dreams, according to our ancestors who believed that all things were animate and participating in the ongoing dance of life. Following the sun, our indigenous ancestors observed the sun’s emergence in the morning from far off to the east, its arc across the sky, and its submersion into the earth to the far west. Nourishing the roots of the plant world with it’s warmth and vitality – during the winter months the sun spent more time underground.
We also, spent more time in the dark, close to the earth, replenishing our spirits. It was a time of storytelling, to one another and to the earth, and all it’s inhabitants, landscapes, rocks, plants, sky, the seen and unseen. It was also a time to renew ideas, mythologies and beliefs, and a time to coax the sun back to its higher arc to begin another cycle of warmth, allowing for new growth to emerge in spring, allowing for sustenance for us and all things.
Celebrating 26 years of music collaboration Nakai & Eaton have released eight albums on Canyon Records together. Their friendship began with a chance meeting at an Arizona Commission on the Arts conference where they shared ideas and philosophies about their approach to life and music. Both acknowledged their profound interest in arriving at the present moment, and being keenly aware of an intimate relationship with the surrounding environment. It is this ‘sense of place’ and acute awareness that still informs each breath or pluck of string, as they express a music born of bird sounds, rustling winds, cicadas, and the rhythms of the Sonoran desert.
R. Carlos Nakai is the world’s premier performer of and composer for the Native American flute. Of Navajo-Ute heritage, Nakai began his musical studies on trumpet, but his musical interests took a turn when he was given a traditional cedar flute as a gift and challenged to see what he could do with it, and the landscape of contemporary world music has never been the same. Nakai has released thirty-five albums on Canyon Records, receiving nine GRAMMY® nominations and two Gold Records, and selling over four million albums worldwide. He has received an Arizona Governor’s Arts Award, and has been inducted into the Arizona Music & Entertainment Hall of Fame. He is also co-founder and Director of the annual Renaissance of the Native American Flute® convocation, and has authored a book on the history and technique of his chosen instrument entitled The Art of the Native American Flute.
William Eaton, a musician, composer, and instrument maker whose imaginative harp guitars and multi-stringed instruments have been recognized world-wide, is the Director and co-founder of the Roberto-Venn School of Luthiery, a guitar making school in Phoenix, Arizona. Eaton began playing stringed instruments when he was given a ukulele as a boy, and built his first guitar in 1971. He has composed for and performed with the Amadeus Trio, Nouveau West Chamber Orchestra, and the Nebraska Chamber Orchestra, and leads his own group, the William Eaton Ensemble, with whom he has released four albums on Canyon Records. Eaton’s work has garnered four GRAMMY® nominations and a Billboard Critics Choice® award. His musical partnership with R. Carlos Nakai commenced with their 1988 Canyon Records release Carry the Gift, and has continued with seven more collaborations, including their GRAMMY®-nominated duo album Ancestral Voices.
Will Clipman draws from a pan-global palette of indigenous percussion to paint polyrhythmic soundscapes that breathe with the silent spaces between notes as they pulse with the beats themselves. A drummer since the age of three, Will Clipman has mastered a pan-global palette of indigenous instruments in addition to the traditional drum set. In a career that has spanned nearly every known musical genre, he is considered one of the foremost percussionists in the industry.
Come share in the celebration of the season, and find the timeless beauty within and without, as Winter Dreams recordings will be available and Nakai and Eaton will be present to sign CD’s after the concert.