Named by NPR as one of the top 10 bands in the United States – DDAT combines hip hop, jazz, funk, and soul with an original southwestern feel. Comprised of four talented musicians, a DDAT performance is filled with energy and excitement – and full audience participation.
You can experience this truly exceptional event when DDAT performs at Flushing Town Hall on Saturday, November 16. Preceding the 2:15 PM family performance will be a panel discussion, led by Delbert Anderson and Chris Bidtah, both Navajo, on incorporating Navajo Culture in art-making and music as medicine.
DDAT – which has been described as “funky”, “poetic”, “complex”, and “forward-thinking” – features Chris Bidtah on vocals, Delbert Anderson on trumpet, Nicholas Lucero on drums, and Mike McCluhan on bass.
Music from the quartet has been heard all over the world with features on NPR, Sirius XM, Indian Country Today, SAY Magazine, Weekly Alibi and many more. DDAT tours include several West Coast Tours, Canada’s Music is Medicine Tour, Aboriginal Music Week Tour in Canada, and Van’s Warped Tour – USA. Their first album “DDAT” was released in 2017.
Anderson told us what’s in store for the evening!
What do you hope people learn at your panel discussion on November 16?
We hope to help people understand the importance of preserving cultural music especially their own. During the panel we will try to educate and expose everyone to the idea of preserving cultural music through contemporary collaboration. There are many ways to preserve cultural music but we also want to expose the struggles one might face when dealing with cultural music.
What topics or themes will you discuss in the panel?
DDAT’s Composition Process, The Struggles of Dealing With Traditional/Culture Music, Collaborating Cultural Music with Contemporary Music – What Works For Our Listeners? We will also be open to any questions or topics the attendees may want to discuss for a short period of time.
Talk about your performance that day. What will take place?
All audiences should be excited because there will be something everyone can relate to whether it’s the suspense of the improvisational solos or high energy music. MC Def-i will put on an electrifying show backed up by one of the funkiest, hip hop sounding bands. Those who are brave, expect to engage with Def-i while he shows his improvisation skills by rapping about what you decide to hold up in your hands! Together we are DDAT – a music celebration sharing our positive message of hope and collaboration through music.
When was DDAT founded? Talk a bit about its evolution.
In 2013, an instrumental trio was formed. Our trio began playing jazz standards and by the 2nd week, we noticed our trio would fall into the same box as every other jazz combo on the planet. We then began to look deep into our personal influences and cultures. Delbert Anderson brought his love of improvisation and cultural music. Nicholas Lucero, our percussionist brought his childhood favorites of Latin and funk grooves. Mick McCluhan played his early jam inspirations of the Grateful Dead.
It was not until 2015 Chris Bidtah aka Def-i would collaborate with the instrumental trio. Def-i delivered intelligent poetry through the form of hip hop and combined it with the music of the trio. At the Survival of First Voices Festival, we collaborated on our final piece of the night capturing the audience with an exciting, high energy, professional music performance. Shortly after, the collaboration played it’s first festival without even having a band name. We later called our collaboration DDAT. Since then DDAT has been creating it’s own Southwest flavor using jazz, funk, hip hop and soul amplified through each member’s inspirations.
Jazz Improvisation, funk/Latin beats, jam music and hip hop are all the types of music that make up DDAT. As far as influences, we kept to ourselves pushing whatever music came from our collaboration. After a couple of years of playing in the style of DDAT, we began to start searching for influences and who we sounded like. Surprisingly there are none that sound like DDAT but there are many that are close. We believe we sound like the styles of Guru – Jazzmatazz, Galatic, Trombone Shorty & the New Orleans Avenue and The Roots. Other reviews have stated our sound to be: post bop/hip hop, jazz hop or hip hop with a live band.
Have you performed at Flushing Town Hall before? If so/not, what does it mean to present there?
Our performance at Flushing Town Hall will be the first appearance for DDAT in the NYC area. We are very excited and honored to be guests in the birthplace of so many legendary artists! Queens alone carried many jazz giants – Louis Armstrong, hip hop – LL Cool J, Rock – Gene Simmons/Paul Stanley and composers such as John Williams, just to name a few! With Queens carrying so much diversity in music, we feel blessed and right at home. It will be an exciting experience for everyone and an honor for DDAT to perform at Flushing Town Hall.