Native American music sampler

The Phoenix Symphony performed the world premiere of Mark Grey’s Enemy Slayer: A Navajo Oratorio in February 2008. The work, about a returning war veteran, to a libretto by Laura Tohe, offers distant echoes but no direct quotations of music of the Navajo tribe. Naxos released the first recording of the work in spring 2009, featuring the Phoenix Symphony and Chorus and baritone Scott Hendricks, conducted by Michael Christie.

Listen to mp3 samples from the new recording of Enemy Slayer

Enemy Slayer composer Mark Grey and librettist Laura Tohe


The Civic Orchestra of Minneapolis premiered Jerod Impichchaachaaha’ Tate’s Nitoshi’ Imali, a concerto for guitar and orchestra, in October 2007, with soloist Jason Vieaux. The work, dedicated to Tate’s wife, Ursula Running Bear, includes a love theme, a theme based on an abstracted bone whistle/war cry sound, and abstracted rattle sounds from his tribe’s stomp dances. Two of Tate’s other orchestral works—Tracing Mississippi, a concerto for flute and orchestra, and Iholba’, for flute, orchestra, and chorus—were released on a 2008 Thunderbird Records CD. That recording, by the San Francisco Symphony and Chorus, features flutists Christine Bailey Davis and Thomas Robertello, conducted by Edwin Outwater.

Listen to mp3 samples of the San Francisco Symphony performing Tate’s music:

Nitoshi’ Imali composer Jerod Impichchaachaaha’ Tate (photo: Alana Rothstein)