R. Carlos Nakai
& Will Clipman

R. Carlos Nakai and Will Clipman performed these songs in the Tank on September 8, 2018. Nakai is the master of the Native American flute and Clipman is a much-honored percussionist. They proved acutely sensitive to the deep resonance of the Tank, as their evocation of the Native American spirit sounded inside the structure and over the surrounding hills, potent and moving. If you listen closely, you will hear the desert wind moving over the Tank.

Recorded and mixed by Tom Wasinger, for The TANK.

Of Navajo-Ute heritage, R. Carlos Nakai is the world’s premier performer of the Native American flute. Originally trained in classical trumpet and music theory, he was given a traditional cedar wood flute as a gift in the early 1980s and challenged to see what he could do with it. Since then Nakai has released more than 50 albums (with 40 on the Canyon Records label). Nakai has sold more than 4.3 million albums for Canyon Records and earned two Gold Records for Canyon Trilogy and Earth Spirit. In 2014, Canyon Trilogy reached Platinum (over 1 million units sold), the first ever for a Native American artist performing traditional solo flute music. In addition to his solo appearances throughout the United States, Europe, and Japan, Nakai has worked with guitarist William Eaton, flutist Paul Horn, composers James DeMars and Phillip Glass and various symphony orchestras.  Nakai has received eleven Grammy nominations in four different categories and earned a Governor’s Arts Award. Nakai’s career has been shaped by a desire to communicate a sense of Native American culture and society that transcends the common stereotypes presented in mass media.

Will Clipman began playing his father’s drums and his mother’s piano at the age of three, and has mastered a pan-global palette of percussion instruments in addition to the traditional drumkit, since playing his first professional gig at the age of fourteen. His seven Grammy nominations include his solo album Pathfinder and his duo album with R. Carlos Nakai Awakening the Fire. Will is a three-time Native American Music Award winner, a New Age Reporter Music Award Winner, a Zone Music Reporter Award winner, and a two-time Tammie Award winner, and has been inducted into the Tucson Musicians Museum for his contributions to the musical community in his hometown. He has recorded more than sixty albums, including more than thirty for Canyon Records, where he is regarded as the house percussionist. In addition to his on-going collaborations with R. Carlos Nakai and other internationally-acclaimed artists and ensembles, Will’s solo performances and workshops Myths & Masks and Planet of Percussion showcase his original mask art, mythopoetic storytelling, and multicultural world music.

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