Photo courtesy of Cody Blackbird

Dakota and Cherokee flutist Cody Blackbird is just the right mix of traditional and modern. Now with his newly formed band, The Cody Blackbird Band, he fuses flute-music with guitar, bass, drums and percussion.

Growing up, Blackbird has lived on various reservations throughout the country, due to his father’s job with the USDA Department of Natural Resources. As a child, Blackbird had a taste of the entertainment industry when he accompanied his father, who was an accomplished songwriter and guitarist, traveled to different gigs.

Blackbird recently put together his new band, The Cody Blackbird Band, after years of solo performances and traditional flute music. His band comprises of Brian Lebrun on guitar, Mike Reardon on bass, Ed Koban also on guitar, Kurt Olson on drums, Chaske Stewart on percussion, with the leader and his flute in the front. Due to the unique blend of music Blackbird and his band create, they dubbed this sound “Alter-Native Fusion”, with the Native flute as a quintessential element of the band.

Besides music and traveling, Blackbird also partakes in giving back to his community. With his annual scholarship award he’s founded, Blackbird and his committee select a deserving Indigenous student every fall for a $2,000 scholarship. Currently Blackbird is in the process of forming a non-profit organization called Music Is Life Foundation, where he plans to provide musical instruments to reservation and rural community schools that couldn’t otherwise afford them.

Blackbird plans to release two new albums, one with his band and a solo album, within the next year.

Favorite Tracks: “Hear My Cry” and “Sacred Ground”

Photo courtesy of Marcus Tsosie


Out of Page, AZ. Navajo singer Riah decided to take her smooth, soulful chops up a notch and pursued a singing career. This rookie on the rise surely captured our attention the moment we listened to one of her most liked singles, “In the Middle”. Her soft yet powerful voice makes it hard to believe she only started singing some four years ago. Riah plans to re-release her album, Believe, December 17, which has been re-mixed and re-mastered and includes four fresh new tracks.
Favorite Track: “Sun Is Shining”