Nahko tour dates
Nahko and Medicine for the People is a Portland-based music group created in 2008. The lead member is Nahko Bear, who guides the band through myriad musical styles to produce their unique sound. The group's live performances focus on environmental and social change. As an example of their activism, members may move through the audience before the show even begins, chanting a call for grassroots action and amplifying their message through megaphones as they make their way to the stage. Nahko has penned several books on the environment, and the group connects to a number of charities and organizations, including the Ruckus Society, The Bay Area Solidarity Action Team and The Wildfire Project.
Conversations about social inequities often take place before, after and during Nahko shows. The group calls upon the crowd to join them in enacting change and improving the lives of all Americans. They tell the audience that they are there for more than the music itself - they want to start a movement.
Their musical performance backs up their commitment with solid songs like "San Quentin" and "Directions," both from the album Hoka. "Risk It" talks about finding spirituality, and "We Shall Overcome" discusses public action. The pace and intensity increase as the show nears the end, with the crowd joining in on songs like "Love Letters to God" and "We Are on Time." The band often closes with favorites such as the rousing "Aloha Ke Akua" or "Budding Trees." Fans often compare Nahko to Jack Johnson and Rising Appalachia.
Nahko Bear, born Nahkohe Parayno, is the son of a Filipino father and Indian/Puerto Rican mother. He is a sixth-generation Mohawk/Apache, and his parents adopted him at an early age. He took to music as a young child, taking piano at six years old. Throughout his teen years, he gave music lessons and helped produce musicals for schools in the area. His background in music led to a job producing in Denali, Alaska, where the local beauty of the environment helped form his environmental and social change outlook.
He began to see music as cross-cultural and multigenerational. He partnered with Hope Medford and Max Ribner to form Medicine for the People as his backup band. Their music is a mix of styles that relies heavily on pounding percussion and spoken word performances. Their albums include the debut Dark as Night in 2013, On the Verge in 2014 and Hoka in 2016. Released by SideOneDummy, Hoka climbed to No. 72 on the Billboard 200 chart. In 2017, Nahko dropped a solo effort called My Name is Bear, which features a number of compositions he worked on before forming the band.
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