Jemez Pueblo, NM (July 23, 2004)–New Mexico’s Black Eagle, a prolific Native American drum and singing group, recently began using four Sennheiser Evolution wireless EW335-G2 microphone systems to capture its performances at powwows and concerts around the southwestern U.S. and beyond.
“We have one big drum and put the four mics around it,” explained group manager and performer George Toya. “Probably about 12 or 14 people are around the drum at once, singing and drumming at the same time. Then there are three girls singing backup, and they’re usually standing right behind the drum.”
“The mics are spaced around the drum so that all the voices can be heard equally,” Toya said. “We found that the Sennheiser mics have a great balance. They really pick up so much more compared to what we were using before. Plus these mics have superior range.”
The 18-strong Black Eagle group now composes its own music, which is written and performed in the ancient Towa language of Jemez Pueblo, a community located 50 miles north of Albuquerque, NM. In 1998 the group signed to Sound of America Records (SOAR), owned by Tom Bee, lead singer and founder of the legendary 70s group XIT, who has produced many of Black Eagle’s releases. In February of this year, the group won a Grammy Award for the Best Native American Music Album for “Flying Free,” which also won the Best Powwow Album of the Year award at the 2003 Native American Music Awards (also referred to as the Nammys).