Native Guitars Tour expands into a genre all its own


Jir Anderson doesn’t wait for an opportunity to come his way, he creates it. As a child, he pulled a sheet from the kitchen table and formed his own guitar, jewelry-making wire like strings nailed to a neck, with engraved frets. All he wanted to do was recreate that sound he heard through his radio on the chilly Cochiti Pueblo nights. Rock gods like Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Bob Marley created the sound he spent countless hours learning to recreate on his own. A bit of luck resulted in years of touring with various artists and led to the creation of a new idea: the first iteration of Native Guitars Tour over a decade ago.

What Jir created this time was a stage for Native American musicians of all types to show off their talents. This year, the show takes an additional turn. NGT 2022 will feature a three-day lineup of venues culminating with a multi-disciplinary spectacle of music, dance, fashion and storytelling this coming Saturday. Some of the best talent in the native country from all walks of life will be there on stage and in the audience. It is intended to be a showcase and a place for sharing experience between professionals from all walks of life and from all walks of life.

While we were talking, Jir mentioned the term “Native Americana”. I thought about that term for a moment; it first sounds like something a Scottsdale art dealer would say. But as we discussed what it basically meant, it seemed like both an interesting and apt adjective.

As Jir explains, “That’s what we created with this one. That’s what we call it, we call it Native Americana stories and songs and we use Native Americana as a genre, you know, like folk or whatever they call it, Americana. This encompasses modern music of all types, stories and art forms. “With the artists that we have, and even like Scotty, you know, we’ve had this discussion many times, why not have our own genre, you know?”

Scotti Clifford is a great person to bounce ideas off of and have epic conversations with, so it’s only natural that Jir would mention South Dakota’s Oglala Native guitar impresario when discussing this concept. “That’s what I love about NGT is that it’s literally building a stage for Indigenous America to tell its own contemporary Indigenous musical story exactly. Right? And because lately I consider myself like a Native American artist, you know, not just American, Native American. Because he’s talking about our people, you know, and our history and our world and our teachings, our mysticism and our spirituality. You know, it’s all those things that make us so ethereal and beautiful,” Scotti said.

This stage offers you three locations over three days, each with a different line-up and musical orientation. Under The Native Stars kicks off the event Thursday night on the main stage in downtown Marble Brewery with a star-studded lineup of quality artists like Olivia Komahcheet, Darren Geffre, Jir Project and more. Newcomers are treated to a Friday night showcase at Tractor Brewing with Rising Stars. This is the core of NGT, as it takes new artists and gives them a quality stage to showcase. Jir and NGT take this show as a time to teach and mentor new performers, taking care to really walk them through the process as far down the roster as going over what you need to bring as an artist to a concert. Building talent from scratch is just one of its missions.

Saturday night, the historic Kimo Theater hosts Native legend Keith Secola, Lumbee/Tuscarora artist Charly Lowry whose band “CHARLY” was selected to perform in “American Music Abroad,” hosted by the Office of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the US State Department. . Scotti Clifford is a solo artist; Sage Bond is a classically trained Navajo and Apache singer-songwriter and can best be described as a cross between Iron Maiden and Amy Winehouse as she writes songs of love, justice and MMIW. Opening the show is a local performance of Ailani from Santa Clara Pueblo. Ailani Swentzell is a self-taught singer-songwriter, writing songs ranging from love to heartbreak. She is a rising indie rock-pop artist who records and produces in her home studio built by Ailani and her grandmother.

It’s about building community capacity, perhaps why sponsorship support came from none other than New Mexico Community Capital. As Jir says, “We’re just trying to build that community and let people know that, you know, it doesn’t always have to be about the money being tied to everything. There can always be a community and the intent is for our culture, you know, we have to practice our culture and practice that in our business too, that’s what we have to do.

Scotti adds to this idea: “I think that’s probably the essence of the experience. To the right? Because, as my great-grandfather Frank Fools Crow talked about, how we’re spirits on a human journey, but that’s the essence of our experience, you know, that we share with each other at through space-time, energy, food, laughter, song and dance. To the right. That makes it the most beautiful and then that’s how I met you. It’s such a good time to just renovate or revitalize, make everything new. It’s been a long time for people and it’s the opening of what we all hope will be a good summer.

The ABQ community has long been the epicenter of what has become native SXSW. No matter what you’re looking for, Hip Hop, Metal, Rock or Art, the best of the best is in town during this time, a front row seat for something you might not see every day. So come and taste the contemporary Amerindian; everyone is invited and encouraged to come and live a musical, artistic and cultural experience. You can get tickets online or on site. Visit for details.


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