Phoenix (Arizona), USA – R. Carlos Nakai, a leading performer of the Native American flute, journeys into the world of electronica on his latest recording, Reconnections, where he forges an exciting ensemble sound with William Baton and arranger Cliff Sarde. Randy Wood, a noted Cree round dance singer, appears as a special guest artist.
Reconnections is a follow-up project to Nakai and Sarde’s first collaboration, Enter Tribal, which also featured several Canyon Records artists in a blend of traditional and contemporary Native American music woven into the rhythms of electronica.
For Reconnections Nakai‘s traditional flute is accompanied by the unique stringed instruments of William Baton, and hypnotic electronica keyboard arrangements of Cliff Sarde. The resulting sound is a fluid resonance of the traditional cedar flute, lushly luminous guitars, and the undulating rhythms and textures of electronica.
Nakai was originally trained in classical trumpet and music theory. He was given a traditional cedar flute and challenged to see what he could do with it. Since 1983, he has recorded over thirty-five albums for Canyon Records (plus additional titles on other labels), selling over 3.8 million albums.
Nakai earned the first (and only) two gold records (sales over 500,000) for Native American music for his albums Earth Spirit and Canyon Trilogy. He is a seven-time Grammy nominee (in three different categories), and has received two Indies (the top award for independent record companies) and eight Native American Music Awards.
A designer and builder of unique guitars, William Baton began playing stringed instruments when he was given a ukulele as a boy. He built his first guitar in 1971, and co-founded the Roberto-Venn School of Luthiery in Phoenix in 1975, where he continues as executive director.
Baton’s recording career includes six collaborations with Nakai for Canyon Records including Ancestral Voices and In a Distant Place, featuring Nawang Khechog and Will Clipman. Separately, as front man for the William Baton Ensemble, he has released four albums for Canyon Records with Where Rivers Meet earning a Billboard Critic’s Choice award.