Nahko and Medicince for the People get Hi in Snowmass | AspenTimes.com

Nahko and Medicince for the People get Hi in Snowmass

Nahko and Medicine for the People photographed at Belly Up last summer.
Lewis Cooper/Aspen Times file |

If You Go …

What: Nahko and Medicine for the People

When: Saturday, March 19, 4 p.m.

Where: Snowmass Base Village

How much: Free

More info: Satsang will open the show at 3 p.m.

Playing a self-styled blend of folk, rap and world music dubbed “thump-hop,” Nahko and Medicine for the People have built a worldwide community around their sound and their message.

A Portland native, frontman Nahko Bear surrounds himself with a rotating band of musicians known as Medicine for the People. Formed in 2008 and incorporated as a nonprofit, the musical collective travels the globe in the Michael Franti tradition, playing progressive folk music with a positive message, charming storytelling and catchy guitar licks.

The globe-trotting band comes to Snowmass Base Village on Saturday as part of the winter-long Hi-Fi Concert Series, presented by Aspen Skiing Co.

Given their itinerant, inclusive approach, it’s no surprise to find Nahko and Medicine for the People playing a free show on a Colorado mountainside.

“You’ll find us in the most unique places on earth because it’s real, raw and honest storytelling about what we’ve been through and what we believe in,” Nahko Bear said in 2013. “And that’s why people connect with it. I think that’s the most important thing you can do with music.”

The collective has two proper studio albums — “On the Verge” (2010) and “Dark as Night” (2013) — while also regularly releasing one-offs online. But the band’s sound and reputation has been built on its enthralling live shows over the past few years at festivals and clubs (including stops at Belly Up in Aspen).

Nahko has been praised for his rare ability to turn a show of any size into an intimate affair, drawing the audience in while preaching equality, respect and social justice.

“Part of what we try to convey is accountability and empowerment,” he said. “These songs direct us to look at ourselves, whether it’s about a social issue, environmental or a personal issue. They embrace Bob Marley’s idea of world-bridging, bringing people together to resolve differences. For us, music is a tool to create healing and activate people to change things.”


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