16 April 1946, Flagstaff, Arizona, USA. Nakai studied classical music, concentrating on brass instruments including trumpet, then began exploring the musical heritage of his Navajo-Ute bloodline. He discovered in the 60s that the original nation, the Diné, had a long lost flute-playing tradition. By the start of the following decade, Nakai had chosen to dedicate himself to this ancient art. He studied with old craftsmen and musicians, made his own flutes, and was soon on his way to becoming a leading practitioner of instrument and music. Although he chose to bring to light ancient musical forms, he has also found ways to adapt his instrumental style to contemporary music including jazz, pop and music from other traditions including those of Japan. He has also adapted his music to the electronic age. With Larry Yañez he formed Jackalope, a jazz ensemble the repertoire of which they describe as synthacousticpunkarachiNavajazz. Other...
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