Khu.eex shares lessons from Native American ancestors in music

By | November 25, 2022

Khu.eex can sound like trendy rock. However hear extra rigorously and also you get components of cultures 1000’s of years previous.

TACOMA, Wash. — From a Tacoma again porch, conventional Native songs mingle with the sound of an acoustic guitar. Musician Gene Tagaban has made it his mission to reply a query.

“Who the hell am I? What am I doing? What path am I on?

It was by means of music that he got here closest to a solution.

“By singing our songs, that is what we’re asking – we’re expressing ourselves and the pleasure and love of who we’re. However we’re additionally reaching out to individuals and asking them ‘who’re you?'” stated Tagaban.

Tagaban is a founding member of the Khu.eex group. From a distance, it might appear like trendy rock. However hear extra rigorously and also you get components of cultures 1000’s of years previous. Its tradition is considered one of storytelling – the transmission of generational information – and that’s the objective of this group.

Bringing the teachings of their ancestors to new audiences. Tales of ache and therapeutic are captured in songs and delivered on stage and on albums. From “Dawn Music,” which is written as a celebration of a brand new day, to “Music of the Water Protectors,” which chronicles the wrestle of tribal members protesting the Dakota Entry Pipeline.

“And that is the inspiration of who we’re, tradition is the inspiration of who we’re, if we ever get misplaced,” Tagaban stated. “Should you ever get misplaced or stray, there is a basis holding you again.”

What units this group aside are its members. Most are Native Individuals, representing tribes such because the Tlingit, Haida, and Blackfoot.

“We carry the songs, we carry the tales, we carry the language in them…we carry ourselves to the desk. It is who we’re.

Based in 2013, Khu.eex was born out of an opportunity assembly between bassist Preston Singletary and Rock and Roll Corridor of Fame artist Bernie Worrell. Worrell made music historical past by bringing synth sounds to funk – and late in his life he impressed Native artists to mix Native sounds with trendy music.

Her life mission is to protect and share the teachings discovered from her ancestors – one thing that occurs on and off the stage. Tagaban ceaselessly brings his information and lived experiences to a category of highschool college students, particularly indigenous college students.

On a weeknight in North Seattle, there have been dozens of scholars immersed in classes that, for essentially the most half, you will not get in a classroom.

“As a result of it is probably not one thing we speak about,” stated highschool pupil Jazell Jenkings. “We do not have the chance to have these conversations. We do not speak about it in any respect in school.”

And similar to his music, the drum is the spine of the teachings and songs.

“I really feel that I’ve a duty to proceed passing on this data and the methods of educating the methods of being,” Tagaban stated.

A lifestyle that predates his music will outlive the band and the followers. Music, for now, brings us nearer to a solution to this looming query: who’re we, who’re you?

“I’m a dream,” Tagaban stated. “I’m a residing dream of my ancestors. And that is who I’m they usually stroll with me.”

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