Indigenous Pop (Paperback)

Native American Music from Jazz to Hip Hop

By Jeff Berglund (Editor), Jan Johnson (Editor), Kimberli Lee (Editor)

University of Arizona Press, 9780816509447, 264pp.

Publication Date: March 10, 2016

List Price: 34.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.


Popular music compels, it entertains, and it has the power to attract and move audiences. With that in mind, the editors of Indigenous Pop showcase the contributions of American Indian musicians to popular forms of music, including jazz, blues, country-western, rock and roll, reggae, punk, and hip hop.

From Joe Shunatona and the United States Indian Reservation Orchestra to Jim Pepper, from Buffy Saint-Marie to Robbie Robertson, from Joy Harjo to Lila Downs, Indigenous Pop vividly addresses the importance of Native musicians and popular musical genres, establishing their origins and discussing what they represent.

Arranged both chronologically and according to popular generic forms, the book gives Indigenous pop a broad new meaning. In addition to examining the transitive influences of popular music on Indigenous expressive forms, the contributors also show ways that various genres have been shaped by what some have called the “Red Roots” of American-originated musical styles. This recognition of mutual influence extends into the ways of understanding how music provides methodologies for living and survival.

Each in-depth essay in the volume zeros in on a single genre and in so doing exposes the extraordinary whole of Native music. This book showcases the range of musical genres to which Native musicians have contributed and the unique ways in which their engagement advances the struggle for justice and continues age-old traditions of creative expression.

About the Author

Jeff Berglund is a professor of English at Northern Arizona University. He is the author of Cannibal Fictions: American Explorations of Colonialism, Race, Gender, and Sexuality and co-editor of Sherman Alexie: A Collection of Critical Essays.

Jan Johnson is a clinical assistant professor of English and American Indian Studies at the University of Idaho. Her work appears in The Environmental Justice Reader, Sherman Alexie: A Collection of Critical Essays, and American Indian Performing Arts: Critical Directions.

Kimberli Lee is an associate professor of English at Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. She is the author of “I Do Not Apologize for the Length of This Letter”: The Mari Sandoz Letters on Native American Rights, 1940–1965.

Praise For Indigenous Pop: Native American Music from Jazz to Hip Hop

“Inspired and inspiring…Indigenous Pop is a welcome first foray that asks big questions and points to some hidden corners where one might find overlooked answers.”—American Indian Quarterly