Native scholar, performer, composer Alan Lechusza Aquallo, PhD (Luiseno/Maidu) is quickly becoming one of the countries top advocates for Native youth and scholarship. Alan Lechusza is currently the Native representative for the National Associate of Independent Schools (NAIS), Scholar-in-Residence for Young Native Scholars and Inter-Tribal Youth (YNS/ITY) and the Faculty Advisor for the Native American Student Alliance at Palomar College in addition to sitting on many Advisory Boards for Native youth and education. Alan Lechusza’s interdisciplinary research has been received around the globe including: The American Technology and Music Instruction (ATMI), Queen’s College (London), Southwest Popular Culture Conference, and The Society for Ethnomusicology (SEM) just to name a few. His groundbreaking work on Native Hip Hop has been followed up by numerous publications and guest lectures at universities/colleges throughout Canada, Europe and the U.S. Alan Lechusza is an active performer/composer who can be heard on such major recording labels as Tzadik, 9Winds, pFmentum Lira Productions.
Lechusza’s piece for SW2012 “What is the sound of the urban drum?” is situated in the artistic expression of what it means to be a sovereign sounding Native artist in the 21st century. Collectively juxtaposing Native music that stems from both traditional and contemporary contexts, his work strives to deconstruct presumed notions of tribal identity while actively reconstructing the interconnections and complexities that exist within the binary of reservation-urban Indian identity.