Published on November 10, 2011 by Amy
Indigenous is an American blues-rock group that came to prominence in the late 1990s. The band originally consisted of two brothers, Mato Nanji (Maiari) (‘mah-TOE non-GEE’ vocals and guitar, born 1974), Pte (‘peh-TAY’ bass guitar), along with their sister, Wanbdi (‘wan-ba-DEE’ drums, vocals), and their cousin, Horse (percussion).
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Their music is heavily influenced by guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan, as well as Jimi Hendrix and Carlos Santana. Mato Nanji’s style and skill has drawn comparisons to each of these guitarists. The band has also shared the stage with artists of varying musical genres such as B.B. King, Santana, Bonnie Raitt, Joan Baez, the Indigo Girls, Jackson Browne, Dave Matthews Band, and Los Lonely Boys. The band has headlined its own tours several times.
The Nakota Nation members grew up on South Dakota’s Yankton Indian Reservation, where their father, Greg Zephier became a spokesperson for Native American rights. A musician in his own right during the 1960s and ’70s, Zephier provided his children with records from blues musicians such as B.B. King, Buddy Guy, and Freddie King, and taught them to play their respective instruments. The family started touring together, and soon the children were performing on their own.
Birth Name: Mato Nanji
Place of Birth: Nakota Nation, South Dakota’s Yankton Indian Reservation
Date of Birth: 1974
Ethnicity: Native American