“Deep Roots, Many Voices” is a project by the Blue Ridge Music Center exploring diversity and inclusion in roots-based music. In these videos, we pair two musicians in each episode to talk about issues related to race, ethnicity, and sexual orientation; how these issues have been part of their personal stories; and the importance of celebrating diversity in the music world. These discussions highlight contributions to American roots-based music from the many voices that make up our nation, and give us hope for a rich and diverse musical future.
The Bluegrass Situation is proud to feature this interview with Charly Lowry and Pura Fé. Lowry is a singer, songwriter, and advocate for tribal affairs, and is an Indigenous woman belonging to the Lumbee/Tuscarora Tribes of Robeson County, North Carolina. She is the lead singer of the band Dark Water Rising. The all-Indigenous band members come from the Lumbee and Coharie Tribes of North Carolina. Charly also sings and plays the hand drum with the group Ulali. Pura Fé is an Indigenous activist, singer-songwriter, and storyteller. Her mother is Tuscaroran and father is Taino, giving her roots in both North Carolina and Puerto Rico. She has been singing professionally for many years and her musical career has included many genres, including jazz, blues, and Indigenous music. Pura Fé is a founding member of Ulali, the internationally renowned native woman a capella trio, and she is recognized for creating a new genre, bringing Native contemporary music to the forefront of the mainstream music industry.
To learn more about future “Deep Roots, Many Voices” interviews, our “Deep Roots, Many Voices” symposium and other Blue Ridge Music Center news, sign up for the Blue Ridge Music Center’s email newsletter at BlueRidgeMusicCenter.org. These discussions are moderated by Blue Ridge Music Center Associate Program Director Marianne Kovatch.