Native Youth Make Modern Music

Beats Lyrics Leaders (BLL) is a music mentorship program for youth based out of Portland, OR hosting a 16 month long apprenticeship program for 12 teens from the Yakama Nation this year. The program teaches skills for careers in the music industry, and will culminate with their recording and marketing an original album – a hybrid of contemporary and traditional music. A news article from the Oregonian this August includes remarks from J. Ross Parrelli, one of three program founders, on the need to direct more grant funding to Native Americans. Youth in the program are also speaking up, saying, "It's a chance to show other people that Native Americans can actually do stuff and that we are still here!" (See this quote from Kiani Picard, 14, from Warm Springs, OR and more at

Watch “Round Dance Dubstep”, a video recorded in the Music Mentors program with youth from the
Yakama Nation, and find more music with commentary from program participants in Beats Lyrics Leader’s
video gallery.