Nahko and Medicine for People (Oregon)
Nahko and Medicine for the People is an American world music musical collective formed in 2008. The five member group is headed by frontman Nahko Bear, and their music is a artful and dynamic fusion of a variety of cultural and musical influences.
Nahko, a sixth generation Apache/Mohawk with a Puerto Rican/Indian mother and a Filipino father, grew up with the family that adopted him in an Oregon suburb, and suffered some early childhood identity problems until he began to ground himself in music. He took up the piano at age six, and in his teens, gave piano lessons and directed musical productions for local schools.
His talents landed him a seasonal production position in Denali, Alaska, and there, with the wilderness around him, he began to put all the musical, cultural, and philosophical pieces of his personal creative vision together. Seeing music as international, multi-generational, and multicultural, and as a redemptive and healing force, he joined with his backing group, Medicine for the People, , anchored by horn player and Berklee School of Music graduate Max Ribner and percussionist Hope Medford. Together they began making what has been called “thump-hop,” a percussion heavy, rainbow-envisioned mix of styles and approaches that is at times as much spoken word as anything else, a sort of 21st century medicine show for the mind and soul.