The Khu.éex’ Story
Tlingit tribal member Preston Singletary, an internationally known glass artist, founded this one-of-a-kind collaboration with major musicians including the legendary late Rock and Roll Hall of Fame composer and performer Bernie Worrell of PARLIAMENT/FUNKADELIC and TALKING HEADS, Skerik collaborator with PEARL JAM, Stanton Moore of GALACTIC, Captain Raab of RED EARTH, and tribal members Clarissa Rizal, Gene Tagaban and Nahaan.
Khu.éex’ (pronounced koo-eex) translates to “Potlatch” in the Tlingit language, a Native group from Southeast Alaska. Singletary thought of the name Khu.éex' because of the notion of sharing culture, stories, and music. This is the intent of Khu.éex', to present a contemporary interpretation of our culture to empower others.
“They Forgot They Survived”, the second album by Khu.éex’, was released on triple vinyl in summer 2017 and was created at Avast Studios in Seattle with Randall Dunn (Engineer/Record Producer of the Cave Singers). This new album features Great Northwest Native storytelling driven by the pulse of funk/rock beats.
How Khu.éex’ Began
Khu.éex’ began with a chance meeting between Preston Singletary and the late Bernie Worrell through a campaign where Worrell was raising funds for a tour bus to bring the music to the people. Singletary invited Worrell to play at his birthday party, where Singletary sang Worrell a traditional Native song to welcome him. Worrell sat down at his keyboards and began improvising on the melody that was still lingering in the air. He created a spontaneous, psychedelic and soulful composition right on the spot which birthed a new direction in his music.
The next day Worrell asked Singletary’s band, “A Little Big Band” (a Native funk/soul band), to be the opening act for his show. After the concert Worrell shared with Singletary that he had several exciting ideas and that they should record together. An amazing union was formed and Khu.éex’ was created.
(Tlingit) Singletary has become synonymous with the relationship between European glass blowing traditions and Northwest Native art. He is also involved with “A Little Big Band” a Native folk and soul band.
(Cherokee) The late Bernie Worrell was a respected elder who had African American and Cherokee ancestry. He had played with countless musicians over the years, but most notably was the founding member of the legendary Parliament-Funkadelic. He had previously played with the Talking Heads and released many solo records over the years.
An avant-garde sax player who plays in notable projects including Critters Buggin, Garage a Trois and NW supergroup Mad Season.
(Tlingit) Tagaban performs spoken word, traditional singing and storytelling, as well as playing flute. He is also an influential storyteller, trainer, speaker, mentor and performer within the community.
Segundo is a visual artist, storyteller, published author, educator, Haida language speaker, community advocate and a traditional dance group leader.
Nahaan is a Tlingit language teacher, Náakw Dancers leader, and traditional Tlingit tattoo
artist who has dedicated his time to learning the Tlingit language and composing his own Tlingit songs.
Raab has played in the band Red Earth, out of Albuquerque, which is a Native Funk rock band.
An accomplished drummer based out of New Orleans, and has played with a wide variety of musicians. Moore is also noted as the founding member of Galactic.
(Tlingit) The late Clarissa Rizal was a multi media artist and weaver who performed spoken word and sang traditional Native songs. She was essential in providing guidance in explaining the songs from a traditional context.
// Producer & Audio Engineer
A highly respected producer who has worked with legendary jazz musicians such as John Zorn and Eyvind Kang.
Tim Kennedy: Keyboards
Steve Moore: Trombone, Keyboards
Davee C. Carpenter: Drums, Percussion
Indrayani Barker: Vocals
Ed Littlefield : Drums
Denny Stern: Percussion
Hans Teuber: Sax & Keyboard