Award-winning singer-songwriter Spencer Battiest will perform at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian’s New York City and Washington, D.C. locations Aug. 3 and Aug. 5, respectively. Battiest is the first Native American pop artist to be showcased at the museum’s summer concert series.
The mission of the NMAI is to advance knowledge and understanding of Native American culture, past and present, and Battiest’s concert will give the audience a taste of his award-winning take on pop music.
“I was contacted out of the blue by the museum,” said Battiest, of the Seminole Tribe of Florida. “It’s very special to be able to perform at a place that holds the history of all Tribes. They showcase some of the best Native talent in America. It’s an honor for me to do this.”
Battiest’s performance Aug. 3 in New York City is part of the Native Sounds Downtown concert series at the NMAI George Gustav Heye Center located at One Bowling Green near Battery Park in Manhattan. The open air concert will start at 5 p.m.
Two days later Battiest will perform as part of the Native Sounds Concert at the Washington, D.C. museum, located on the east end of the National Mall. The concert is scheduled to start at 4 p.m.
“New York is one of my favorite cities and Washington, D.C. is so important,” Battiest said. “I will be able to share my voice and give my views on the world today and do it all through my songs.”
The last couple of years have been a whirlwind for Battiest, who won the 2016 Native American Music Award for Best Pop Recording for his album “Stupid in Love.” In 2015 he released the album and toured 25 U.S. cities to promote it and performed at Hard Rock Rising in Barcelona and Miami Beach. He signed with Hard Rock Records in 2013 and with his brother Doc, won Best Music Video at the 2011 American Indian Film Festival for “The Storm.” As a teenager, he opened for Aerosmith and Sting at the 2007 Hard Rock Calling music festival in London. A natural performer, Battiest grew up singing gospel music and hymns in Mikasuki, Creek and Choctaw.
For more information on the shows, visit: http://www.nmai.si.edu/calendar/.