Formed in 1997 by musician/composer John Williams (Sisseton Wahpeton Dakota Sioux) and vocalist/lyricist Shkeme Garcia (Tamaya/Jemez Pueblos), Albuquerque based Native Roots are dedicated to the sound and spirit of Reggae music. Rooted by Native American life, cultural & music, both John & Shkeme, were also strongly influenced by Reggae music, but didn’t know of each other until introduced by a mutual friend. Determined to be more than a cover band, Native Roots focused on creating their own sound, songs & style. They have released 4 CD’s, all have been nominated for awards and 2 are award winning, they include; (1999) Place I Call Home, (2002) Rain us Love, (2007) Native Roots: Celebrate Our Lives. Their 4th CD entitled “Most High” was released April 2015.
Native Roots’ genre- melding composition uniquely reaches out to audiences through exceptional live performances which are a dynamic addition to the international reggae music scene and Native American genre. These performances have gained them an international fan base and radio play. Along with Shkeme & John the band ranges in size from 4 – 9, additional performers include backup singers and on occasion the Native Roots Rockas dancers.
Native Roots’ music appeals to a large spectrum of audience demographics (youth, elders, mainstream, native) and receives national and international airplay Well traveled, Native Roots’ has performed nationally at casinos, Tribal Nation events, conferences, private & community events, reggae festivals. A special highlight was performing throughout New Zealand. Notably Native Roots has been show cased within premier lineups which have included reggae greats such as: Stephan Marley, Katchafire, Ky-Mani Marley, Israel Vibration, Sister Carol, Black Uhuru, Third World, The Abyssinians, Burning Spear, Yellowman, Pato Banton, Culture and Toots and the Maytals. Premier venues include: Gathering of Nations Arena, Stage 49, Miss Indian World, Native American Music Awards, Salt Lake City Winter Olympics, Kennedy Performing Arts Center, Bob Marley Reggae Festival, Cherokee Tribal Fair, Seminole Tribe of Florida Fair, Sundance Film Festival and Te Matatini Festival (New Zealand). Through danceable world beats and positive lyrical themes of language, culture, elders, youth & empowerment, Native Roots soldiers on with Bob Marley’s universal and global “One Love” message.
“It's always been about the humble vision of sharing and doing our part to make an impact of Peace in the world through our contribution of Native American Reggae music. We are also very committed to our culture and communities, helping however we can with tribal language revitalization, empowerment of the youth and supporting a healthy well being. While we all have our respective day jobs, tribal community obligations and family responsibilities, the band… the music… has always been our most precious gift to share and we are grateful for the opportunities.” – E. Shkeme G.
- 2017 Best Pop Album for Most High
"Rasta Warriors" from Most High
"We Be Rolling" from Most High