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Brian Wright-Mcleod

Centennial College
Toronto, ON, Canada
Widely recognized as “the authority” on Native music, Brian Wright-McLeod (Dakota/Anishnabe) is a Toronto-based music journalist, writer, artist, producer, archivist and educator, whose work has furthered the understanding and appreciation of Native music.
His journey in radio that began in 1983, resulted in the publication of his first book The Encyclopedia of Native Music [University of Arizona 2005], and the companion 3-CD Soundtrack of a People [EMI 2005]. The project documents commercially released Native music from 1905 to 2005 in traditional, powwow, flute and contemporary genres from the Arctic regions to the US Southwest. It was the basis for the Smithsonian Institute’s Native music exhibit Up Where We Belong (2010-2015) that launched the documentary film Rumble [Rezolution Pictures 2017] which won three 2018 Canadian Screen Awards.
He has lectured internationally, worked as a music consultant for film, television, recording projects, and institutions including the Canadian Museum of History, the Library & Archives, Ottawa; Library of Congress, Washington, DC; the Smithsonian Institute’s National Museum of the American Indian, Washington, DC; the Gustav Heye Center, New York City; the National Music Centre, Calgary, Alberta; the Juno Awards, and helped establish the Native music category for the Grammy Awards (2000-2010).
The first book in his graphic novel series Red Power [Fitzhenry/Whiteside 2011], which he wrote and illustrated, was widely reviewed. In 2017, original art from Red Power was included in Direct Action Comics: Politically Engaged Comics and Graphic Novels, University of Massachusetts, Amherst. The exhibit also included works by Joe Shuster (Superman) and Art Spiegelman (Maus).
Currently, he teaches Indigenous Music in Culture in the Music Industry Arts and Performance course, Centennial College, Toronto.

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