Lakota Music Project heading to nation’s capital

Local News

On Monday KELOLAND News received a special look inside a rehearsal of the Lakota Music Project, which will perform in Washington, D.C. at the National Museum of the American Indian.

Emmanuel Black Bear is a singer from the Oglala Lakota nation. This week, he’s taking his talents to the nation’s capital.

“I’m really proud of that,” Black Bear said. “I’ve been part of this, the Lakota Music Project all these years, and we’ve had a goal in mind.”

The goal, he says, is connecting cultures.

“To show everybody that we’re all human beings, and no matter what color we are, we can make something really beautiful, and that’s music, and every culture in the world has music,” Black Bear said.

Bryan Akipa is a member of the Sisseton Wahpeton Sioux Tribe. He will be going to Washington, D.C., too.

“It’s a lot of work, but I’m excited, and it’s something I’m looking forward to,” Akipa said.

The Lakota Music Project is made up of Native American musicians as well as members of the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra.

“It’s not just us creating something and taking it out to the rez, because we think this would be good for people to hear,” South Dakota Symphony Orchestra Music Director Delta David Gier said. “It’s, we built it together with people in various locations, Lakota and Dakota elders and historians and teachers and musicians.”

“The overall theme it seems to be bridging cultures,” Akipa said.

Bridging cultures takes time, just like performing music.

“You put in the work, together you can make something beautiful, but only if you put in the work,” Black Bear said.

There is a free send-off concert Tuesday night at 7:30 at the Washington Pavilion.

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