In 2011, the Mankato Symphony Orchestra, Maza Kute Singers (Dakota) and Composer Brent Michael Davids toured together with other world-renown performers for 4 concerts! This is the official Dakota Music Tour blog!


In 2011, Maestro Ken Freed conducted Mankato Symphony Orchestra, Maza Kute Singers (Santee Dakota), Trumpeter Manny Laureano (Minnesota Orchestra), M. Cochise Anderson (Chickasaw/Choctaw) and Award-Winning Composer Brent Michael Davids (Stockbridge Mohican) on tour through Dakota country with 4 concerts merging American Indian and Western classical music. The DMT was filmed by Syd Beane (Flandreau Santee Dakota) for some promo videos. The DMT radio broadcast was recorded by James E Gullickson. The DMT publicist was Liz Hill (Red Lake Ojibwe) of Liz Hill Public Relations, Ltd. The DMT evaluator was Dr. Patricia Shifferd. DMT was supported by “Arts Tour Minnesota" and the voter-approved “Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment” of the Minnesota State Constitution.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

DMT "One Sheet" Description just released!

Download the Dakota Music Tour ONE-SHEET description here (pdf)

The city of Mankato’s premiere ensemble, Mankato Symphony Orchestra, and the renowned Dakota singers from Santee Nebraska, Maza Kute, hit the road touring the orchestra music of Mohican composer Brent Michael Davids! No matter what Minnesota weather, blazing sunshine will radiate on four spirited concerts, under the baton of Ken Freed.

A lustrous fanfare opens each concert, as the composition “Honoring Kwa'apoge” leaps from the trumpets and trombones of Mankato Symphony. Suddenly, soft wooden refrains of American Indian flute spring up as composer Brent Michael Davids performs on his solo pipe of mahogany set against a gentle current of orchestral sounds. The composition is titled after the Pueblo name for Santa Fe, meaning “down at the water where they make the beads they so highly prize.” The work is inspired by Pueblo Mockingbird songs, and incorporates actual mockingbird songs into the music.

The second composition features the remarkable Maza Kute singers, taking the stage with a steady succession of drum beats in a traditional song. From the Santee Indian Reservation in Nebraska, the prestigious Native group has been singing for over 30 years, keeping the music alive. “Maza Kute” singers were named by the community in honor of Santee leader Maza Kute.

A lyrical trumpet melody soars in the third composition, “Trumpeting the Stone.” Manny Laureano, principal trumpeter for the Minnesota Orchestra, rouses a brilliant and haunting spirit from his instrument in a way both rich and satisfying. Accompanied by a dark orchestral mood and the water drum one might hear inside an Iroquois longhouse, the trumpet concerto unfolds to a hopeful future, honoring the “People of the Standing Stone,” known as the Oneida Nation. Following a Native American theme from its shimmering start to its brisk final two drum beats, the music evokes Oneida life, including Oneida brass bands and the famed Oneida hymn singing.

The composition before intermission is “Black Hills Olowan,” for drum group and orchestra. Minnesotans might recognize “Olowan” as the Lakota word for “song.” Yes, this composition honors the Black Hills of South Dakota, and the powerful Santee Dakota singers are integrated with the symphonic instruments, as another section of the orchestra. At first, a glimmer of light violins quietly flicker in the darkness, broken immediately by a swelling up of thunderous drum rolls as if the Black Hills were breathing. Glimpses of the Maza Kute song appear around rocks and crevices of orchestral color, but traveling further into the Black Hills composition, a full rendition of the final song ultimately shines majestic and magnificent.

The final composition is Davids’ fiery “Powwow Symphony.” Featuring a joke-telling powwow M.C. and American Indian dancers, the lively work is a "symphonic powwow" brought into the concert hall, and recalls the typical events of a powwow day. With Brent Michael Davids on his signature quartz crystal flute, and Chickasaw/Choctaw actor M. Cochise Anderson as the M.C., the composition starts just prior to the Grand Entry. A sublime adagio “sunset” colors a glowing orchestral landscape. With Grand Entry, a Flag Song, Contest Song, even a Tiny Tot Dance, "Powwow Symphony" vibrantly mixes together the orchestral tradition and Indigenous life, bringing orchestra music to Native audiences in a familiar way, and an understanding of the powwow to audiences already familiar with orchestra music.

Friday, February 11, 2011

DMT aired on Tribal Scene Radio: events calendar for Jan. 7!

"The 'Dakota Music Tour' begins May 22 in Mankato, Minn. The four-city concert tour features the Mankota Symphony Orchestra and Maza Kute, a traditional drum group from the Santee Reservation in Nebraska. The concerts are a musical response to the largest mass execution in American history when 38 Dakota men were hung on December 26, 1862 in Minnesota. For more information call Liz Hill at (202) 744-7629, or go to dakotamusictour.blogspot.com/."

Jodi Rave is the host on Tribal Scene Radio at KBGA Missoula. Listen in every Friday morning from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m.. Or visit the KBGA website for a live stream. Tribal Scene Radio provides listeners with a look at what's happening in Native America. Each week host Jodi Rave brings tribal newsmakers into the studio for a morning conversation about just about anything you can think of. Music. Life. Health. Diabetes. Tobacco.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

DMT featured in The Circle: Native American News & Arts!

"... The four stops on the concert tour will include:

• Mankato West High School Auditorium, Mankato (Sunday, May 22, 3 p.m.);

• Lower Sioux Community Center, Morton, Minn. (Saturday, May 28, 1 p.m.);

• Prairie Edge Casino, Upper Sioux Community, Granite Falls, Minn. (Sunday, May 29, 1 p.m.);

• And Winona Dakota Unity Alliance: 8th Annual Great Dakota Gathering and Homecoming, Unity Park, Winona, Minn. (Saturday, June 4, 1 p.m.)..." (The Circle, 13 January 2011)

READ MORE HERE: thecirclenews.org

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Dakota Music Tour is featured in Native Sun Weekly!

SAINT PAUL, Minn. — “Dakota Music Tour” – a 90-minute musical response to the Dakota-American events of 1862 in Minnesota – will feature four concerts that will reach out to Dakota and non-Dakota communities in southern Minnesota. The tour will begin in Mankato, Minnesota, which was the site of the largest mass execution in American history when 38 Dakota men were hung on December 26, 1862.

Each concert will feature traditional American Indian music, Western classical music, music that merges the two together, and “community chats.” Internationally renowned composer, flutist and scholar Brent Michael Davids, a citizen of the Mohican Nation, has composed the orchestra music, which will be performed by the Mankato Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Music Director and Conductor Kenneth Freed. The production will feature Santee Dakota Maza Kute Drummers, Chickasaw/Choctaw actor and musician Cochise Anderson, and Manny Laureano, who is the principal trumpet of the Minnesota Orchestra. Funding has been provided by the “Arts Tour Minnesota,” a new program of the voter-approved “Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment” of the Minnesota Constitution...