Wabanag
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Wabanag

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Band World Blues

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May
31
Wabanag @ Caisa Festivity Hall

Helsinki, None, Finland

Helsinki, None, Finland

May
08
Wabanag @ On the Rocks

Helsinki, None, Finland

Helsinki, None, Finland

Music

Press


KANSAN UUTISET (People’s News)

“Ancient music produced by stones, seeds, sticks and drums (…)influenced by rock music and blues rhythms : something comparable with the modern Lapish music.”

“The ancestral culture of his (Yovan Nagwetch) people and of the modern society merge together when natural elements melt with simplicity in rock music”

SOUNDI (Sound Magazine)

“The ritual and spiritual feeling is freshly different.”

“…contagious rhythms and melodies are plenty. The effect is calming et improving.”

FRIITI (Folk Music Magazine)

“Though Wabanag’s music is strongly anchor in his Indian (Canadian Aboriginal) roots we can rightly categorize this band as multicultural.”

“…the public is interested by alternatives to the main stream culture where diversity and spiritual food are seek in a way of life in transformation more and more materialistic and in search of efficiency.”

FACES ETHNOFESTIVAL PAPER

“Native music doesn’t have limits”

KARJALAINEN (The Carelian)

“The music of “ULODI” is a rhythmic and illuminating ethno- rock in which the pieces with a mantric landscape are for the listener’s attention of a strong attaching power”

SALON SEUDUN SANOMAT (The Salo’s Paper)

“The album “ULODI” is made out of an interesting mix, partly of ideas and ancient culture’s instrumentation, partly by the modern means ex: electric guitar”

VÄSTRA NYLAND

Nagwetch was personal, devoted and offered what is central in his life, not least spirituality, and it was easy to appreciate his strong but at the same time gentle and warm expression. And the was what the audience clearly did when it forced it’s way dancing before the stage. Nagwetch was definitely one of the most positive experiences in this year’s FACES-festival.

ILTASANOMAT (Evening paper)

“The songs written in Wabanaki are full of emotions.”
“Listening this music we easily imagine the gray hair of an old Indian flowing in the wind” - various


We have not heard much from Wabanag lately. What have you been up to?

We have all been giving priority to family life and other projects. For my part, I got more involved with educational initiatives through a small charity I set up called Aborigin. We organized an educational tour in Finland last year to promote Wabanaki native culture. My brother came from Canada with his partner and their children, and we ran creative workshops in schools, involving traditional music and crafts. The experience was rewarding and many teachers are calling us today to repeat the experience. I also spent more time in Canada last year, visiting several native communities, taking part in traditional ceremonies and powwows, and learning more about the 'old ways' — especially those related to the medicinal use of plants. It was a great time and inspiration, and helped me reconnect more closely with my family and relatives, and with my people, the Mi'kmaq of Gaspésie, a First Nation of the Wabanaki Confederacy. This all stems from a new spirit, a new inspiration, which of course is reflected in Wabanag's new album that will come out this spring.

What are Wabanag´s plans for the future?
 
We have been recording material for the new album. We also created a new website and developed a kind of promotion and marketing strategy. We are confident that enough fans and supporters will get involved. It takes time. We are focusing on the Nordic countries, Benelux, Germany, of course Canada, and the US and Japan. We also want to better explore Nordic-Arctic connections. Many indigenous people live up North, and we want to connect with them. Of course, our music is open to all kinds of audiences, since we are all indigenous people of the same planet.

What about Finland?

We are preparing a promotional tour for the new release. Maybe in the summer or next fall.  There are already some dates for Helsinki area, starting with Caisa Cultural Center in the end of May. In addition, I would very much like to start working with Saami artists and take part in some of their events — though this is more a personal project of mine.

And Europe?

We are planning to take part in some festivals and showcases. Of course, it does not depend on us entirely. We are currently sending our material around and hope to attract the interest of concert promoters and presenters. We would love to take part in WOMEX, the international fair of the “world music” community. This is a great event that takes place every year in a different country. This year, it will be the turn of Wales, in Cardiff. Until now, nobody from the Native American/ Canadian Aboriginal music scene has been represented at the event. There would be room in WOMEX for such a creative community, as Saami artists for instance, have received good audiences in the past year.

And you are planning to be more active in Canada as well?

We are exploring opportunities there too. The Canadian Aboriginal music community is active, but still kept too much on the sidelines. In 2005 we took part in the Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards Festival as we received a nomination for our album Ulodi. This year we would love to be part of the Aboriginal Peoples Choice Music Awards festival, which takes place in Manitoba. If we are ready with the album by the 2013 deadline, we'll go for it. At the same time, we are approaching various record labels, PR companies, venues and festivals. We would love to find a company willing to represent us in Canada and the US. It could make our work easier and give us more time to concentrate on the music side which is of course the main thing.

Talk about your new album?

Native American music is in a period of unprecedented development and comes today in many different forms, including rock, pop, rap, hip-hop, reggae. Though the music continues to function — even thrive —in the traditions, young Native Americans listen to contemporary styles just like everybody else. I grew up surrounded by music of all kinds. Wabanag is an attempt to mix traditional content with contemporary styles. Native American music has, in fact, been as influential as African music on the development of the blues, which is not widely recognized. In the 1970s–80s, many established artists, such as Robbie Robertson, Rita Coolidge and Buffy Sainte-Marie began to show their native roots, developing a genre currently called Contemporary Native American Music. If there is a genre to which Wabanag belongs, it could be this one.
 
Native American music is primarily a vocal art, usually choral, although some nations favor solo singing. Songs are traditionally the chief means of communicating with the supernatural world and are transmitted orally from generation to generation. All credit is given to the Creator or to the spiritual entities. Of course, music also plays an important role in the daily life of every tribe. Folk songs accompany courtship, - music4you




We have not heard much about Wabanag lately?

We have given priority to familly life and other projects. I myself got more involved with educational initiatives with my small charity called Aborigin. We organised an educational tour in Finland last year to promote Wabanaki native culture. My brother came from Canada with his partner and their children, and we ran creative workshops in schools, involving traditional music and crafts. The experience was rewarding as many teachers are calling us today to repeat the experience. On the other hand I also spent more time in Canada, visiting several native communities, taking part in traditional ceremonies and powwows, and learning more about the 'old ways' – especially those related to the medicinal use of plants. This was a great time and inspiration that helped reconnect more closely with my family and relatives, and with my people, the Mi'kmaq of Gaspésie, a First Nation of the Wabanaki confederacy. This all stems from a new spirit, a new insipation, which of course is reflected in Wabanag's new album that will come out this Spring.

What are Wabanag´s plans for the future?

We have been recording material for the new album. We also created a new website and developed a kind of promotion & marketing strategy. We would love to have more fans getting involved with those activities.It takes time but we are confident. Our targets include all Nordic countries, Benelux, Germany, Canada of course, the US and Japan. We want to better explore the Nordic-Arctic connection. Many indigenous people live up North, and we want to connect with them. Of course, our music is opened to any kind of audience. We are all indigenous people of the same planet.

Finland?

We are preparing a promotional tour for the new release. Maybe in the Summer or next Fall. There are already some dates for Helsinki area starting with Caisa Cultural Center in the end of May.
On the other hand, but this is something more personal, I would very much like to start working with Saami artists and take part in some of their events.

Europe?

We are planning to take part in some festivals and showcases. Of course, it does not depends on us. We are sending our material around and we hope to catch the interest of concert promoters and presenters. We would love to take part in Womex, the international fair of the “world music” community. This is a great event taking place every year in a different country. This year, it will be the turn of Cardiff in Wales. Until now, the various actors of the Native American/ Canadian Aboriginal music scene have not been represented to the event. There could be some room in Womex for such a creative community. Saami artists have for instance received a good audience in the past year.

Canada?

We are exploring opportunities there too. The Canadian Aboriginal music community is active but still at the margins. In 2005 we took part in the Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards Festival as we received a nomination for our album ULODI. This year we would love to be part of the Aboriginal People Choice Music Awards Festival that takes place in Manitoba. If we are ready with the album for the 2013 deadline, we'll go for it. On the other hand we are approaching various record labels, PR companies, venues and festivals. We would love to find a company willing to represent us in Canada and the US. It could make our work easier and give us more time for concentrating on the music side.

What about the new album?

Native American music is in a period of unprecendented development and comes today in many different forms, including rock, pop, rap, hip-hop, reggae. While traditional functions continue, and even thrive, young Native Americans listen to contemporary styles just as everybody else. I grew up surrounded with music of all kinds. Wabanag is an attempt to mix traditional contents with contemporary styles. Native American music has been very influential on the development of the blues, at least as much as African music. In the 1970s-80s, many established artists, such as Robbie Robertson, Rita Coolidge and Buffy Sainte-Marie began to unveil their native roots, developing a genre currently called Contemporary Native American Music. If there is a genre to which Wabanag belongs, it could be this one.

Native American music is primarily a vocal art, usually choral, although some nations favor solo singing. Songs are traditionally the chief means of communicating with the supernatural world and are trasnmitted orally from generation to generation. All credits go for the Creator or spiritual entities. Of course, music also plays an important role in each tribe's daily life. Folk songs are used to accompany courtship, play, meditation and work. Story telling and singing are a strong support to education and transmission of knowledge.

Over time, Native American tribes developed very unique ways of playing and vocalising music, such as the Inuit peoples. Circ - Music4you


Discography

Single

- Canadian Native Rock , 2000, Shaman Creations (Fi)

Albums

- Ulodi (Well-being,Happiness,Harmony), 2004, Box-co (Fi)
- Bemia (Walk in Beauty) , 2013, Aborigin (Ca) -to come out in June

Compilations

- Cross Border, 2003, Taru (Fi)
- Best Aboriginal Hits, 2007, Sunshine records (USA)
- Happy Faces, 2003, Enokult (Fi)

Movie

- "Vieraalla Maalla" ("Land of Love") soundtrack cd,2003, Universal (Fi)

Photos

Bio

Native American Blues band WABANAG by Nagwetch.

Nagwetch (Little Sun) is a singer, musician, composer and cultural producer from Québec, Canada. He has been creating music since he was a child. Born in a family of Aboriginal (Native) ancestry in the Gaspésie village of Chandler, he grew up in Montreal surrounded by music. His father was a close friend of artists like Gilles Vignault, Felix Leclerc, Pauline Julien.

At an early age, Nagwetch begins writing songs, learning guitar and creating a small repertoire. At the age of 18, while living in Paris, he takes singing lessons with Klaus Blasquiz (Magma), and learns African percussion with great masters like Henri Samba, Gwem and Zebila. Exploring various genres of music, he also takes part in several local bands while touring with his own ensemble in France, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium and Denmark.

In the middle of the 1980s, following a radio appearance shared with singer Pauline Julien on France Inter, he is noticed by Barclay Music and goes into their studios for recording his first demo. Not convinced by the result, Nagwetch decides to walk his own path.

During a solo tour in Scandinavia, he ends up in Finland, where together with a bunch of young musicians interested by Native American Music, he founds Wabanag. The band blends blues with traditional Native American music inspired by the Wabanaki people, a small confederacy of First Nations located in Québec, the Maritimes and the East Coast of the U.S.

In 2004, the album ULODI is released. It is Nagwetch's first foray into writing music specifically inspired by his people. The lyrics are in native language (Maliseet, Penobscott, Mi'kmaq). The rhythm section provides the background for strong lead vocals and inspiring Native flutes. In 2005, the nomination by CAMA – Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards, the largest multi-disciplined Aboriginal arts event in North America, comes as a surprise. The band is nominated in the “Best International Album”category and invited to perform at CAMA's gala in Toronto. Nagwetch brings in his brother Riel to handle traditional percussion and his sister on backing vocals.

Following the release of Ulodi, the band takes part in various festivals. In Europe, Wabanag's music is well received, especially in the Nordic, Baltic countries and Benelux. The band is touring extensively in Finland and becomes the 'ambassador' of the Faces ethno-festival. Nagwetch shares his time between Europe and Canada.

After a break of several years, the band is back in 2013 on the net and on the road with a new album. Tour dates are available.