A Tribe Called Red, a native Canadian music group that blends cutting-edge electronic music with traditional pow wow vocals and drumming, will perform at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 24 at UNC Asheville’s Lipinsky Auditorium.
The three-DJ crew produces a unique sound described as “pow wow-step,” that has drawn international attention. Speaking to Al Jazeera America, Ian Campeau, better known as DJ NDN, said that what A Tribe Called Red does is “match up dance music with dance music,” showcasing aboriginal culture alongside a wild dance party. The group has become particularly popular among urban Native youth by expressing cultural pride through the contemporary form of electronic music.
The group’s debut self-titled album, released in March 2012, was included in the Washington Post’s top 10 albums of the year and long-listed for Canada’s prestigious Polaris Music Prize. Their second album, Nation II Nation, was nominated for the Polaris Music Prize as one of the 10 best Canadian albums of the year. That year they were also nominated for best group, best producer, best album and best cover art at the Aboriginal Peoples Choice Music Awards. In 2014 the group won a Juno Award for Breakthrough Group of the Year.
A Tribe Called Red also has been part of efforts to challenge use of native peoples as sports-team mascots in Canada, and to change the way aboriginal culture is viewed. “We don’t have the luxury of saying, ‘OK, we’re going to just be a band,’” says Bear Witness, one of the group’s three DJs. “We’re indigenous artists … It’s reality and it’s a responsibility.”
Tickets are $22; $13 for UNC Asheville faculty, staff and alumni; $8 for Asheville-area students; $6 for UNC Asheville students, and are available at uncatickets.com.
In addition to the concert, UNC Asheville will host a master class panel discussion with A Tribe Called Red from 2-3 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 24 in the Humanities Lecture Hall on campus. The discussion will be followed by a Q-and-A session with the band, and is free and open to the public.
The concert is sponsored by UNC Asheville’s Cultural Events and Special Academic Programs office. For more information, visit the Cultural Events website or call 828.251.6674.