Following their electric performance at the 19th annual Native American Music Awards on November 2, alternative rock fusion group The Cody Blackbird Band won Group of The Year for their album The Cody Blackbird Band and Connor Chee Live at Whitehorse Black Mountain. This is Cody Blackbird’s fifth NAMMY and the second Group of the Year win for the band.

“It is a tremendous honour to once again receive the Group of the Year award from the Native American Music Awards,” Cody said. “To know so many fans and industry colleagues voted and supported and helped us bring this home is a great feeling. We are so excited and humbled.”

Raw, honest and organic: these are just a few words that have been used to describe The Cody Blackbird Band, whose music incorporates the haunting sound of the traditional Native American Flute, hide skin drums and other traditional elements to
create a truly unique one-of-a-kind sound.

Indigenous (Dakota, Cherokee and Romani gypsy) brothers Cody and Caleb Blackbird set out to form a group that would honour the sacred music of their ancestors while simultaneously infusing the revolution of rock and R&B into their style. Originally from Anchorage, Alaska, but now based in Phoenix, Arizona, the band is produced by Kenny Lee Lewis of the 2016 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Steve Miller Band.

Through their music, The Cody Blackbird Band shares the importance of finding purpose, pursuing goals and keeping Indigenous culture alive.

Cody Blackbird also performs as a solo artist. As a traditional flutist and singer, Cody has been recognized as one of the top Native American flutists touring today, reaching over 120 communities annually. He has performed in communities all over the world, including Yamaha World Headquarters “Ginza Studio”, Tokyo, Japan; Aboriginal Cultural Center, Melbourne, Australia; and Alcatraz Island, USA.

As someone who has struggled with mental health, Blackbird hopes to open up a dialogue with his listeners to help break down the stigma of mental health and depression.

Every issue of SAY Magazine includes profiles of prominent and emerging Indigenous musicians. This issue also featured Leela Gilday, Gabby Taylor, Eagle & Hawk and Xen0art. Subscribe today to read them all.