Cheevers Toppah and Kevin Yazzie
Awakening of Life (Canyon Records CR-6458, 2009)
Native American performers Cheevers Toppah and Kevin Yazzie continue their mesmerizing explorations of the Peyote songs of the Kiowa and Diné (Navajo). The music is based in unison and harmonized singing, accompanied by rattles and water drums. Peyote medicine and prayer songs are commonly used in the Native American Church’s ceremonies.
Cheevers Toppah is a Kiowa/Navajo who was raised in Weatherford, Oklahoma. Cheevers travels the Pow-Wow trail with the Thunder Hill drum group. Kevin Yazzie is a member of the Diné (Navajo) tribe. Born in Teesto, Arizona, Kevin now resides in Mesa, Arizona. At the age of thirteen Kevin grew closer to the Native American Church and its songs of prayer and started composing songs soon after.
Awakening of Life provides a fascinating portrait of the Peyote ritual music of the aboriginal peoples of the southwestern United States.
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Author: Angel Romero
Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music and progressive music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel produced several specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music and electronic music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World, Lektronic Soundscapes, and Mindchild Records. Angel is currently based in Durham, North Carolina.