Native American flute player R. Carlos Nakai returns to Spokane with his quartet to perform at The Met on Saturday.
Nakai’s last performance in Spokane was a solo venture, in which he enhanced the sounds of his melancholy cedar flute with digital delays and synthesized effects. For Saturday’s program, he brings along percussionist Will Clipman, keyboard and sax man Amo Chip and bassist/vocalist Mary Redhouse.
Except for Redhouse, this is the group featured on Nakai’s latest CD, “Kokopelli’s Cafe.” With the added personnel, Nakai blends traditional Native American sounds and his spiritual leanings with Latin rhythms and jazz.
Nakai also comes with a message, which includes his spiritual observations, concerns for the environment and cultural diversity. He is known to weave his words between selections.
Nakai was forced to abandon his first instrument, the trumpet, because of an accident. The gift of a wooden flute initiated his exploration of his cultural heritage and the traditional music for the Native American instrument.
Nakai has released 16 albums since 1983, including “Ancestral Voices” with William Eaton, which was a finalist for the traditional folk music Grammy.
His band members bring a variety of experiences to the quartet. Chip is a veteran of reggae, world-beat, jazz and zydeco. Clipman also claims reggae and jazz, but throws in some rock and blues. Redhouse has recorded contemporary Native jazz with the Redhouse Family. Her talents range from scat to Native American chants to bird and animal calls.
MEMO: This sidebar appeared with the story: CONCERT The R. Carlos Nakai Quartet will perform at The Met on Saturday at 8 p.m. Tickets are $24.95 and $19.95 for adults, and $9 for children under 15, available at Street Music, G&B; Select-a-Seat outlets or call (800) 325-SEAT.