Kindred spirits album coming April 1, 2023
The project is anchored by the Diné-led jazz/funk/hip hop trio D’DAT from Farmington, New Mexico, composed of Delbert Anderson (trumpet), Nicholas Lucero (Drums) and Mike McCluhan (Bass). South African guest artists include vocalists, poets and spoken-word artists from diverse tribal cultures and languages (isiZulu, Xhosa, isiPedi, Lesotho, isiNdebele, and Setswana).
Undergirding the spirit of this path breaking collaboration, we hear two related concepts combined in a single album: the South African, Zulu concept of Ubuntu, that speaks to the idea of universal being and the belief in a universal bond of sharing that connects all humanity (Washington 2010: 32), and the Diné (Navajo) philosophical concept of Hózhǫ́, meaning “to “walk in beauty” and live a harmonious life” (Lee 2006: 92).
Grounded by D’DAT’s feelingful groove and the gritty, soaring trumpet riffs of Delbert Anderson, the songs on Kindred Spirits “A Navajo – South African Story” (wt) range thematically from structural inequalities, colonialisms and the legacies of apartheid and state-sponsored violence, to tender love songs, to honoring family matriarchs, to the proverbial “living in two worlds.” What is powerful, in short, are the ways these many themes touch both South African and U.S. Indigenous peoples and communities in equal measure.