October 29, 2007

Classical Chickasaw composer

American Indian traditions come to classical musicAt first it would seem that classical music and the music of American Indians have little in common. But Chickasaw composer Jerod Tate is among a handful of Indian composers using classical music to express his culture and history. This weekend the Civic Orchestra of Minneapolis premieres a new guitar concerto by Tate inspired by traditional themes.

Jerod Impichchaachaaha' Tate was born in Norman, Oklahoma and grew up surrounded by classical music. He listened to his father play Bach and Rachmaninoff on the piano. His mother was a professor of dance and a choreographer. He spent evenings and weekends at rehearsals and performances of ballets and musicals.

Tate studied the piano and had no intention of becoming a composer. But at the rather advanced age of 23, his mother asked him to write an original ballet score based on American Indian stories from the Northern Plains and Rocky Mountains.

"It was the first time I actually thought of marrying the two very strong identities that I have," Tate says. "One is being a Chickasaw Indian, and the other one is being a classical musician. My mother presented the perfect opportunity for me to express both of those together."


writerfella said...

Writerfella here --
Oh, wow! Look how Native Jerod Impichchaachaaha' Tate appears! In fact, if Rob Schmidt and he stood beside each other, the only way you could tell them apart would be who was holding a $20 check! Otherwise, you only could assume that they were brothers!
All Best
Russ Bates

Rob said...

Congratulations. You made one of your tired check "jokes" without fibbing about my source of income.