Biography All Music Guide
All Music Guide:
Tucson-based multi-instrumentalist R. Carlos Nakai is a Native-American musician and cultural anthropologist of Navajo-Ute descent. Though he received classical training on the trumpet, his numerous recordings consist primarily of resonant solo performances of Native-American flute improvisations with a judicious use of synthesizers, chanting, and nature sounds. Nakai only occasionally features arrangements of traditional melodies from various tribes; instead, he is primarily concerned with creating original compositions that capture the essence of his heritage in highly personalized ways. In addition to his solo recordings, Nakai has had the opportunity to create new avenues of expression for the Native American flute through collaborations with various artists over the years, including the ethnic jazz band Jackalope, keyboardist Peter Kater, contemporary classical composer James DeMars, and multi-instrumentalist William Eaton.