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Music Performance

R. Carlos Nakai in Concert

Sunday, May 19 @ 6pm


R. Carlos Nakai in Concert

with special guest

Shinnecock Nation’s The Youngblood Singers

Q&A moderated by
Jason Amis of LongHouse Reserve

Of Navajo-Ute heritage, R. Carlos Nakai is the world’s premier performer of the Native American flute. He began his musical studies on the trumpet, but a car accident ruined his embouchure. His musical interests took a turn when he was given a traditional cedar flute as a gift and challenged to master it. As an artist, he is an adventurer and risk taker, always giving his musical imagination free rein. Nakai is also an iconoclastic traditionalist who views his cultural heritage not only as a source and inspiration, but also a dynamic continuum of natural change, growth, and adaptation subject to the artist’s expressive needs.

Nakai has received two gold records (500,000 units sold) for Canyon Trilogy and Earth Spirit which are the first (and only) Native American recordings to earn this recognition. In 2014, Canyon Trilogy reached Platinum (over 1 million units sold), the first ever for a Native American artist performing traditional solo flute music. He has sold over four million albums in the course of his career and received 10 Grammy® nominations.

“Our primary importance as musicians is trying to tell people that history can’t be changed, but the future can be. Personally, I feel I should try to contribute something that would encourage people to change, to become more positive about our situation, to reorganize and reorient ourselves together instead of continuing to build walls.”

– R. Carlos Nakai

Jason Amis of LongHouse Reserve, Moderator

Photo by Philippe Chang


“There was something very special about this music. When I heard R. Carlos’ music, it was very provocative and evoked ancient ‘blood memories’. It was risk to use this music, but it moved me.”

– Martha Graham, age 94, explaining why she changed her 178th ballet, Night Chant, to feature Nakai’s music.

“Nakai is a very special American artist. That he remains largely unknown is a reflection of the music industry’s inability to recognize and support artists outside of narrow commercial boundaries.”

– Aaron Howard, Public News

This event is made possible due to support from the Suffolk County Office of Economic Development and Planning.

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