By mining traditional Navajo “spinning songs” of love, healing and courtship, and marrying them to jazz and funk lines, Anderson and his trio have taken a place at the forefront of a vibrant Native American jazz scene. ” - Michael Powell

The New York Times

Anderson has developed a slew of spin-off projects that have quickly gained notice and rightly marked him as a community-minded Indigenous individualist,” - Dan Bilwasky


When New Mexico trumpeter Delbert Anderson needed new inspiration for his jazz trio, he rolled out to an Aztec library and looked for Indigenous music. As a man of Navajo descent himself, he wanted to dig deeper into his ancestry. What Anderson found was a tape of “spinning songs”—essentially, songs dictating social interaction—chanted by Navajo chiefs. ” - Morgan Enos

Delbert Anderson, a Diné jazz trumpet artist, composer, and educator, stands at the forefront of a vibrant Native American jazz scene. His work, deeply rooted in his Diné heritage, seamlessly integrates Navajo "spinning songs" of love, healing, and courtship with jazz and funk, thus marking him as a community-minded Indigenous individualist. Through his Delbert Anderson Quartet, Anderson revives the improvised sounds of the Diné circle, blending them with jazz, funk, and hip-hop. His compositions are inspired by Navajo Nation landscapes, historical events, and the desire to preserve and educate about Diné history.

Anderson's notable projects include "The Long Walk: 1,674 Days," a poignant composition reflecting on a critical period in Navajo history, and "Manitou," which fuses ancient Native American melodies with jazz and funk. The Delbert Anderson Trio (DAT) showcases DAT jazz standards and original tunes, capturing the essence of his musical beginnings.

His commitment to community and education is evident through his "Build A Band" educational program, which teaches jazz improvisation to young students through a Diné and family curriculum, wellness programs, and community outreach initiatives aimed at evoking change for the well-being of all humans.

Anderson's achievements have garnered recognition, including multiple awards from Chamber Music America, the Cultural Capital Fellowship from the First Peoples Fund, and the Jazz Road Program at South Arts. His contributions to music and culture have been featured in prominent outlets like The New York Times, JazzTimes,, and NPR.