An Art Napoleon concert is a combination of wry humor, cultural education, playful banter and a variety of musical styles including Cree tribal fusion laced with haunting chants. It is the epitome of versatility because for Art, it’s all about inspiration and connection with audiences and the stage is a platform for sharing his culture with the world. Armed with a guitar, moose-hide hand drum, harmonicas and a sharp wit, he is passionate about bringing people from various walks of life together if only for an hour. His songs were written to tell stories, some cutting and sarcastic and some with more subtle teachings akin to indigenous storytelling traditions. He is one of those rare performers who somehow manages to be both irreverent and deeply spiritual without trying. Idealistic but far from romantic, Art speaks with genuine authority and sings about real events and lived experiences. He is the real deal.
Napoleon’s music was never designed for commercial success but he has been in concert with acts like Texas song-writing master Guy Clark, John Boutte of Treme fame, musical icon Richie Havens and fellow song-writing activist Buffy St. Marie. The Paranda music legend and Garafuna priest Paul Nabor once gave him a private concert on the dirt floor of his Punta Gorda home in Belize. His music gets played around the world and his songs have been used on TV series, international documentaries and compilation albums. He has two Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards and has had several nominations in almost all of Canada’s major music awards for his bilingual, tribal infused roots music. Art’s songs have also been used by the David Suzuki Foundation, Idle No More and other movements to help support Indigenous rights. Not bad for a shy “rez” guy who has had to battle a few of his own demons along the journey. Art is available for concerts, festivals and conferences as a solo performer, duet or trio band. Napoleon’s albums are available from various sources including www.indiepool.com www.cdbaby.com and iTunes.