Native Sounds Downtown! Derek Miller (Thursday, August 1) and Rita Coolidge (Thursday, August 8) rock the museum in New York
Derek Miller (left) and Rita Coolidge. Photos courtesy of the artists
Derek Miller (Mohawk) and Rita Coolidge (Cherokee) will rock the stage this August at the National Museum of the American Indian in New York.
Songwriter, vocalist, and guitarist Derek Miller, known for his amazing live performances and expressive lyrics, will perform on Thursday, August 1, at 6 PM in the Diker Pavilion of the National Museum of the American Indian in New York. Later this season, the museum will publish a CD of Derek Miller singing hits featured in the exhibition Up Where We Belong: Native Musicians in Popular Culture. He will perform these songs along with his own music during the August 1 concert.
Born and raised in the Six Nations of the Grand River First Nation in Ontario, Canada, Miller developed an interest in music during his early teenage years. His albums include Music Is the Medicine (2002), The Dirty Looks (2006), and Derek Miller with Double Trouble (2010). Miller has twice won the Juno Award for Best Aboriginal Recording of the Year, for his hit singles “Lovesick Blues” and “The Dirty Looks.” He performed with Eva Avila and Nikki Yanofsky at the closing ceremonies of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
Grammy Award–winning artist Rita Coolidge will perform on Thursday, August 8, at 6 PM in the same venue—Diker Pavilion of the National Museum of the American Indian in New York.
Coolidge was born in Lafayette, Tennessee. She got her start as a professional musician recording station identifications and commercial jingles for radio stations in Memphis. She went on to sing backup vocals for rock greats, including Eric Clapton, Joe Cocker, Leon Russell, Graham Nash, and Duane Allman. Her duets with country singer Kris Kristofferson gained nationwide attention. Coolidge and Kristofferson twice won Grammy Awards for Best Country Vocal by a Duo or Group, for their hit single “From the Bottle to the Bottom” (1974) and “Lover Please” (1976). Coolidge’s solo album Anytime…Anywhere (1977) went platinum, selling over a million copies. Her single “All Time High” was the theme song for the James Bond movie Octopussy (1983).
In 1995, Coolidge teamed up with her sister Priscilla Coolidge and her niece Laura Satterfield to create the group Walela, which means hummingbird in Cherokee. Walela gave Coolidge an opportunity to foreground her Cherokee heritage in the lyrics of her songs, and the group released four albums, including Walela (1997) and Unbearable Love (2000). Coolidge has released 28 albums during her career. Her most recent solo album is A Rita Coolidge Christmas (2012).
—Grant Moffitt, NMAI
To add Native Sounds Downtown 2013 directly to your digital calendar, visit the links below:
Derek Miller, Thursday, August 1, 6 PM
Rita Coolidge, Thursday, August 8, at 6 PM
Grant Moffitt, a native of Franklin Lakes, New Jersey, is a Marketing & Community Outreach intern at the National Museum of the American Indian in New York. He works for the Museum Advancement group, on Public Affairs and Visitor Services projects. His internship is funded by Pace University, Wilson Center for Social Entrepreneurship. Grant is pursuing a BA in Marketing with a concentration in advertising and promotion from Pace.