CORVALLIS - R. Carlos Nakai, the first Native American to earn a gold record for Native American music, will perform with his quartet at Oregon State University on May 4. The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. in LaSells Stewart Center, 26th Street and Western Boulevard in Corvallis.
The R. Carlos Nakai Quartet features an unusual combination of classical, ethnic and jazz elements revolving around the haunting sound of the traditional cedar flute. Nakai has been called the leading performer in the world on the Native American flute.
His 1989 solo release, "Canyon Trilogy," surpassed sales of 500,000 units last year to earn certification for a gold record by the Record Industry Association of America. It was produced by Canyon Records of Arizona.
Nakai, of Navajo-Ute heritage, has released more than 20 recordings with Canyon. He has performed as a solo artist throughout the U.S., Europe and Japan, and in concert with symphonies as well as noted individual guitarists and pianists.
A Navy veteran, Nakai holds a master's degree in American Indian studies from the University of Arizona. He has written a pair of books, "The Art of the Native American Flute" and the forthcoming "A Coyote in the Outer World," which deals with contemporary Native American issues.
The R. Carlos Nakai Quartet also features Will Clipman, who took up the drums at age three and has recorded more than 30 albums with various artists; Amo Chip Dabney, a versatile musician of African, Native American and European descent who has worked with O.J. Ekemode and the Nigerian All-Stars and Queen Ida of zydeco fame; and Mary Redhouse, a bassist and jazz vocalist whose self-described "eco-spiritual" style blends native chants, bird and animal calls, and multi-octave scat lines.
The quartet's most recent CD, "Big Medicine," was released in September.
Tickets for the concert, which begins at 7:30 p.m., are priced at $18. Advanced tickets are available for a $3 discount at Grass Roots book store in Corvallis, or the Minority Education Office at OSU. For more information, contact the Indian Education Office at OSU, 541-737-4383.
Note to Editors: Interviews with R. Carlos Nakai or other members of the quartet may be arranged through the group's publicist. Contact Janice L. Decker at 480-759-5690.