Delbert Anderson (front) and members of D'DAT discuss the stories and songs of the Bear River Band with tribe members and a representative from the Bureau of Land Management in California as part of the 2022 Painted Mountains Tour.

LAS CRUCES – A 30-day musical tour featuring five Indigenous land areas in the western U.S. is coming to an end this week with jazz band D’DAT visiting the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument and performing a concert at Centennial High School.

D’DAT is a jazz group — founded as a trio in 2013 by Delbert Anderson — and based out of Farmington. Members now include Anderson on trumpet, Nicholas Lucero on drums, James Patookas on vocals and Michael McCluhan on bass.

Anderson explained that they were all influenced by Gitche Manitou, a fellow musician, who suggested the fusion of traditional Native American sound with modern jazz funk and hip-hop music. Manitou would often travel from First Nations in Canada to Germany throughout the year, Anderson said. 

“He would always go to this festival while he was in Germany and … literally paint a side of a mountain. He would rappel and do this big mural during this three-day festival that they had there,” Anderson said of the group’s mentor. “He had a big vision all the time.”

D’DAT’s Painted Mountains Tour was inspired by Manitou and a way for the group to say goodbye and thank him for his support. The band hit the road this summer taking 30 days to visit Canyon of the Ancients National Monument in Colorado, Bears Ears National Monument in Utah, Mecca Flats in Oregon, King Range in California and Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks in New Mexico.

Anderson said he had over 100 representatives of national monuments contact him about performing at their location, but they were only able to schedule five. At each location, the band spent time in the environment and meeting with Indigenous tribes. They also hosted workshops for the community to better encapsulate the culture and sounds of the area. 


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