Indigenous Music at FAI

One of the most confusing, and most enriching features of the 2020 Folk Alliance International (FAI) conference was its co-presence with the International Indigenous Music Summit (IIMS).

Both organizations’ missions seem similar: Folk music preserves and transmits culture across multiple generations, as the members of those cultures emigrated to unfamiliar lands. Indigenous music does the same, across multiple centuries, despite being forced from the ancestral lands to which you were connected.

I enjoyed the late-night private showcase room hosting indigenous music… well, at least until the fire alarm shooed us out, and down 12 floors of stairs!

Among the IIMS showcasers: DJ DOBBY, Charly Lowry, and Doctor Nativo. Less often acoustic, more embracing contemporary technology as an instrument, I picked up on both musical elements of the culture, and the stories, pride, and stirring appeals of their lyrics.