The southwest is a vibrant breeding-ground for Native talent. A newly emerging source for musicians is the Native Guitars Tour. Led by Jir Anderson (Cochiti), NGT is in its sixth year of existence and offers an alternative venue outside of showcases like Gathering of Nations and Santa Fe Indian Market.
NGT tends to be a two-night show with bands covering a myriad of genres.
“ “What I really wanted to do was provide a stage for fellow Native artists. I wanted to [showcase] contemporary music: rock, blues, R&B, metal and reggae," Anderson said. He started the showcase after networking with bands while touring across the U.S. and Canada. His vision for NGT: “more national opportunities for Native artists.”
Jason Morgan Edwards
Sage Bond showcased her talents at GoN as well.
Anderson is not just focused on new and emerging talent. For the 2016 Under The Native Stars show during GoN, he featured singer/songwriter, Sage Bond (Navajo/Apache); indie rockers, Scatter Their Own (Lakota); Seattle soul band, Daisy Chain, featuring Leilani Finau (Haida Tsimpsian and Samoan); and veteran Navajo blues band, The Levi Platero Band (formerly The Plateros).
With NGT, Anderson is developing a strong reputation as a promoter, to complement his rep as a performer.
"It's kind of become a family,” Anderson said “Once you've done something on the Tour, we definitely try to bring people back. We mix up the line-ups from year to year, but it is a family atmosphere where we all really enjoy each other's company, not only musically, but personally. Each musician makes the magic happen."
Anderson’s work has secured sponsorship from Native-owned businesses like: Rock Gap Engineering, Exhibit Solutions of New Mexico and Lizard Tail Brewing.
Catch the next NGT showcase on August 30 at The Palace in Santa Fe, with a tentative lineup that includes: The Jir Project Band, Native Roots, Scatter Their Own and The Levi Patero Band.