A Perfect Pairing—Nakai and Kater Return - TribPapers

A Perfect Pairing—Nakai and Kater Return

Grammy Award winning pianist and composer, Peter Kater. Photos submitted.

Asheville – In the world of music, some combinations of instruments create an ethereal synergy that transcends boundaries and takes listeners on a journey through time and space. One such enchanting duet is the haunting sounds of the Native American flute with the piano. This combination weaves together the rich traditions of Native American culture with the beauty of the piano.

When the haunting melodies of the Native American flute meet the elegance of the piano, a magical fusion occurs. This musical partnership transcends cultural boundaries, creating a captivating soundscape that appeals to a diverse audience. The soft, soul-stirring tones of the flute find a perfect complement in the piano’s rich, resonant chords.

Nakai and Kater Return To Asheville

There is an opportunity to share in this experience, live, when R. Carlos Nakai and Peter Kater return to The Diana Wortham Theater for two nights of concerts, November 4 & 5, 2023.

R.Carlos Nakai, of Navajo-Ute heritage, is the world’s premier performer of the Native American flute. He is joined by grammy winning pianist/composer Peter Kater for what might be their last live performance together! Nakai and Kater’s music has been described to be of a sacred quality. “Every concert they have played together in Asheville, leaves audiences in absolute awe. The chemistry of these two musicians and their instruments does something to us all that is impossible to describe in words.”

Peter Kater

Kater, who has played with greats like John Denver and Dan Fogelberg, as well as Native American vocalists Joanne Shenandoah and Rita Coolidge; Native American flutists Robert Mirabal, Joseph Firecrow, and Mary Youngblood, and recently received two Grammy wins for best New Age album, produces a sound on piano often described as hypnotic and healing.

When a close friend gave Peter a cassette called Earth Spirit by Native American flutist, R. Carlos Nakai, Peter was completely taken by the beauty and earthiness of the Native flute. Peter tracked down Nakai and asked him to collaborate with him on a recording. In the studio they felt as if they’d been playing together forever and their first album, Natives, was completed effortlessly in just a few hours. Because of the deep satisfaction Peter felt in co-creating this beautiful music with Nakai, he shifted his focus to music of a more intimate “healing” nature.

R. Carlos Nakai

Nakai approaches each performance in a ceremonial manner, singing ancient Navajo chants while playing his flutes and blowing his Eagle Bone whistle. Nakai has said, “Our primary importance as musicians is trying to tell people that history can’t be changed, but the future can be. Personally, I feel I should try to contribute something that would encourage people to change, to become more positive about our situation, to reorganize and reorient ourselves together instead of continuing to build walls.”

According to his bio, Nakai has received two gold records (500,000 units sold) for Canyon Trilogy and Earth Spirit which are the first (and only) Native American recordings to earn this recognition. In 2014, Canyon Trilogy reached Platinum (over 1 million units sold), the first ever for a Native American artist performing traditional solo flute music. He has sold over four million albums in the course of his career, and been nominated for 10 Grammy awards. In 2005 Nakai was inducted into the Arizona Music & Entertainment Hall of Fame.

A Rich Collaboration

R. Carlos Nakai and Peter Kater have made numerous recordings together over the last 30 years and have performed in Asheville 10 previous times to always SOLD OUT audiences. Their recording “Improvisations In Concert” was recorded live at their breathtaking 1995 performance at Diana Wortham Theatre.

Their award winning albums, Migration, Natives and Improvisations in Concert are great examples of the music you will experience at their performances. This concert will also be recorded live!

An Enchanting Duo

Piano and Native American Flute, however an unlikely combination of instruments, when performed by two of the worlds most sensitive performers of those instruments, produces a powerful and profound musical chemistry, of an almost spiritual nature, that transcends cultural boundaries. This enchanting duet is a testament to the unifying power of music, showcasing the ability of diverse musical traditions to come together and create something truly extraordinary.

Whether you are drawn to the melancholic notes of the flute or the elegance of the piano, this combination offers a unique and captivating musical experience that is sure to leave a lasting impression.

Tickets run from $25 – $75 with special Meet & Greet tickets at $125
For tickets and information call 828-257-4530, or buy online at https://www.worthamarts.org/events/peter-kater-and-r-carlos-nakai-in-concert/