Jazz fusion concert tonight in the monument visitor center square – The Journal


Jazz fusion band D’DAT will perform at National Monuments and National Conservation Areas this summer. (Courtesy of D’DAT)

Summer concert as part of a BLM Artists in Residence Program

There will be a free jazz concert tonight at the Canyons of the Ancients National Monument Visitor Center, located 3 miles east of Dolores on Colorado Highway 184.

Jazz-hip hop group Delbert Anderson and D’DAT will perform a free concert Wednesday at 7 p.m. in the square. Bring a chair or blanket if needed.

The concert is part of the artist-in-residence program of the D’DAT Painted Mountains Tour and the Bureau of Land Management. The group performs “summer jazz fusion” concerts and hosts music workshops at six national monuments and conservation areas this summer across the West.

This is the first time that BLM’s Artist-in-Residence program has featured a band touring across the country on public land. Tonight’s concert also celebrates the monument’s 22nd anniversary.

D’DAT offers a combination of jazz, funk and hip-hop that appeals to people from all walks of life. Anderson, a member of the Navajo tribe, grew up in Farmington and teaches jazz ensemble at San Juan College.

He and his band held a music workshop at the Canyons of the Ancients museum on Tuesday.

Throughout the Artist-in-Residence Tour, Anderson and D’DAT will spend time at each location with local tribes in search of Indigenous stories and music.

“As an Indigenous person, I believe the land heals us,” Anders said in a press release. “In this project, we intend to show that the earth can continue to do so today.”

A free public workshop allows residents to learn about musical composition and help compose original pieces of music.

“We share how we compose and arrange our songs, how to use your experiences and your culture to be yourself and create music,” Anderson said. “When you make art with someone, you connect with them on a different level. It has a spiritual value that goes beyond shaking someone’s hand.”

The 12 songs inspired by the visit of the six regions will be transformed into an album.

The schedule:

  • June 14-15: Canyons of the Ancients National Monument.
  • June 17-18: Bears Ears National Monument.
  • June 23-24: Morley Nelson Snake River National Birds of Prey Conservation Area in Idaho.
  • June 27-28: Lower Deschutes River in Oregon.
  • July 2, 4: King Range National Conservation Area in California.
  • July 8-9: Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument in New Mexico.

In an interview with The newspaper, Anderson said D’DAT fuses spinning Navajo songs into their modern jazz and hip hop compositions. A traditional spinning song Diné uses a method to create a new song based on the present moment and pass it on to the next generation.

Anderson has been researching the lore with the elders ever since he found a tape of the songs from the 1920s.

Attendees of a free jazz concert tonight at the CANM Visitor Center will also be able to enjoy the beautiful gardens of the square. (Jim Mimiaga/The Journal)

“They had songs for everything – love, war, ceremony and healing. The spinning songs that influenced me were the ones that conveyed messages to our young people about good manners,” Anderson said.

Elders compare the process to a tornado.

“It’s all about, and what’s spit out is the new song,” he said.

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