Black Thunder Singers Bio

Black Thunder Singers

Northern Tradition Native American Singers, Drum & Dance

Black Thunder Singers are a Northern Traditional Native American drum located in New England. Black Thunder started in 2001, performing on the New England Pow Wow trail. We sing the songs of the Black Hills and the Great Lakes.

Every singer is also a dancer. We understand how important the drum is to the dancers, and how important the dancers are to the drum. We try to live in a traditional way, and just not at Pow Wow.

The song, White Cloud Black Thunder performed on Beyond Borders is a World Fusion song composed by Volker Nahrmann featuring Randy Armstrong on Lakota Courting Flute, guitars, percussion; Volker Nahrmann on Acoustic Bass, Keyboards, Percussion; Ken Gable on Alto Sax with the Black Thunder Singers. Produced and Recorded at Beauty Hill Recording Studios in Barrington, New Hampshire and engineered by Nicholas Phaneuf. A joyful and uplifting expression of cross-cultural music merging the genres of jazz, Native American drumming and singing traditions, old school hip-hop rhythms, 2/3 clave with groove oriented sensibilities.

Artist Statement by Ernest Proper and the Black Thunder Singers:

The Drum is the heartbeat of Mother earth and the voices carry the Mother’s spirit through the generations. The songs are not owned, but belong to the people. Those that are chosen to sing the songs have the responsibility to carry on the traditions as taught by our elders.

Ernie Proper began teaching the songs to his sons and hunka in 1999. Ernie sang with several other northern drums and was a fancy dancer, and later a northern traditional dancer over the years. The original five singers were all dancers before they started singing.

Before long, Black Thunder Singers were in high demand for pow wows on the east coast. Black Thunder added several singers, including the ladies, over the years, but remained true to the traditions as taught by the elders. All of the singers are of multicultural heritage, but choose to follow the old traditions in their daily lives. Black Thunder Singers do not believe in making a profit for singing or dancing. The songs belong to the people. Any profits beyond expenses are donated to charity. This is a good way to give back to the people.

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