Band inspired by Native American melodies makes its way to international music festival

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FARMINGTON, N.M. – A group of Farmington musicians is taking the international stage, playing and celebrating their music at the World of Music Art and Dance Festival in South Africa in early October.

Nine years ago, three Farmington musicians found friendship through music said Mike McCluhan, bassist for D’DAT.

“We are all kind of a byproduct if you will of this little community here, it’s a little transient community where these three different people kind of all came together for whatever reason I don’t know if we ever would have known each other if it wasn’t for playing music,” said McCluhan. 

They ended up forming the jazz band D’DAT, but this isn’t any old jazz music said the band’s trumpet player and artistic director, Delbert Anderson.

“There is a lack of representation in the indigenous area especially ancient early indigenous music and part of what D’DAT does, is we help preserve that music by bringing the older melodies back by putting them in more of a modern society type of listening- and its received very well,” said Anderson. 

D’DAT was invited to attend the World of Music Art and Dance festival in South Africa this year. So, the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation helped sponsor the band to journey across the globe, in order to showcase their music at a festival spotlighting on indigenous artists from around the world.

“In a lot of ways its intimidating because these are musicians that are really well established there’s an Italian band for instance that has half a million followers and then there is us,” said D’DAT’s drummer and owner of D’DAT management, Nicholas Joseph Lucero.

And it’s not just an opportunity to reach a global audience but a way to help preserve the ancient melodies of the southwest.

“There are tons of South African tribes tribal music groups that will be performing so will be the D’DAT, the Delbert Anderson Trio will be featured there do to the nature of melodies being indigenous, indigenous inspired,” said Anderson. 

McCluhan added, “This is just a continuation of that it’s just a big adventure, a big adventure that reads something like from a novel.”

While in South Africa D’DAT will also record a cross-cultural album with musicians from four different South African tribes.