Blending music and bridging cultures

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – Music has a way of bringing together people from all walks of life. And that was true at Saturday night’s South Dakota Symphony Orchestra concert.

A combination of two different styles of music — traditional and classical.

The Lakota Music Project is a partnership between the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra and Indigenous artists.

“Some of the things we’re doing haven’t been done before,” cedar flutist Bryan Akipa said. “Or if they were, they weren’t successful. We really worked hard at it and I think people are really going to enjoy seeing both of them together and they’re going to blend together. So it’s going to be music that they’re going to take away with them.”

The project came together 12 years ago to try and bridge two cultures together.

“We’re addressing racial prejudice obliquely like it’s not, we’re not talking about diversity, we’re not talking about how we’re different and worrying about the political aspects of it, we’re simply working together to create something beautiful,” Delta David Gier, SDSO music director, said. “And through that we’re creating understanding.”

And Saturday night the Lakota Music Project performed at the Washington Pavilion for the first time.

“This is an opportunity for people who have lived next door to Native Americans all their lives to come get a little closer, to have the opportunity to understand a little bit better, Lakota, Dakota culture, through the window of the music,” Gier said. “And to also see what friendship between our cultures can look like.”

“We hope that this is for the youth and to get them involved, interested in music,” Akipa said.

Usually the Lakota Music Project performs on reservations, at Crazy Horse Memorial and at multicultural centers.

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