Reclaiming the Sound Waves: with Connor Chee

Navajo pianist and composer Connor Chee has embarked on a mission to translate traditional Navajo vocables to the modern piano. Host Scott Blankenship talks with Chee about his artistic process, the importance of preserving Navajo music for future generations, and the Land Back movement. Music includes solo piano compositions from Chee's recordings, plus the premiere of Unbroken: Music for the Navajo Code Talkers, commissioned by American Public Media.


Scott Blankenship
Scott is a National Host/Producer for APMG with over 30 years of experience in public broadcasting. When he isn’t on the air, his attention is focused on projects that support APMG’s diversity and inclusion efforts. Scott has worked to commission new music by composers of color and women. He also writes for the Rhapsody in Black podcast and YourClassical Storytime.


One hour

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Playlist Available: September 8, 2023
Promo spot available: September 8, 2023
Program rundown available: September 8, 2023
Date content will be uploaded: September 29, 2023


Broadcast Window

October 1, 2023 - November 30, 2023

Broadcast Rights

Affiliate stations may carry this program multiple times before December 1, 2023. The program must be carried in its entirety. No excerpting is permitted. Simulcast streaming rights are available for this program. Prior to carrying this program, stations must contact their American Public Media Station Relations Representative.


Mozart: Piano sonata no. 16 K. (:30 clip)

Navajo Vocable for Piano no. 9
Navajo Vocable for Piano no. 10
Navajo Vocable for Piano no. 11
Navajo Vocable for Piano no. 12
From Connor Chee - The Navajo Piano, Wild Saguaro Records 888174 863238

Fry Bread
From Scenes from Dinétah, Wild Saguaro Records 195269 021849

Melody for Kinyaa'áanii Nos. 1 and 2 (:20 excerpt)
Commission for carillon at University of Michigan

Air Spirits
From Emergence, Wild Saguaro Records 19192 4821649

APMG Commission: Unbroken – Music for the Navajo Code Talkers
Movement 1
Movement 2
Movement 3
Movement 4

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