where is nahko bear now?
Nahko and Medicine for the People is an American world music group. The six-member band is headed by frontman Nahko Bear.
Born in Portland, Oregon, of Puerto Rican and Filipino descent, Nahko Bear was adopted at a young age and raised by a white family. It wasn't until his early twenties that he would meet his birth mother. He wrote the song "Early February" shortly before this meeting; it describes a woman far too young to be pregnant putting her baby in the bed of a woman she'd never met. Bear says his creative inspiration is the desire to bridge cultural gaps, and that he has been musically inclined since the age of six, when he started learning to play the piano. Bear has also worked as a piano teacher and music director. In 2012, he began traveling around the United States in a van with his dog. In 2017, Bear released a solo album titled My Name Is Bear, under the name Nahko.
On July 8, 2020, following accusations from multiple individuals of sexually inappropriate behavior, Bear resigned from the board of Honor the Earth. In their statement, "Regarding Nahko", the Honor the Earth board stated that they have "a zero-tolerance policy for sexual harassment and inappropriate sexual behavior".
Nahko and Medicine for the People have toured with Nattali Rize, Rebelution, Michael Franti, Trevor Hall, Dispatch, Xavier Rudd, and SOJA. The band largely appears at alternative music festivals, including the Greenbelt Festival, the ARISE Music Festival, and Tour de Fat.
It felt like a reunion of sorts, so many old and new friends traveled from near and far to join in the revelry, like a commemoration of nearly a decade of hard, persistent work. We debuted new songs off our album that would drop the following year amidst a pandemic, Hawaiians danced Hula, Lakotas fancy danced, and I gave a speech testifying that 2020 would be magical.
That evening I closed with ‘That’s what Medicine Tribe’s all about, that’s what this music is all about. It’s a reminder that we are not alone, that there is a future we can believe in, and where we’re going, we’ve never been before, but we can go there together.’ I still believe that. The band and team had worked so hard to get to that point, we were finally feeling like young professionals. There was a maturity within our musicality, a sense of knowing, like we were leveling up. Our team was vast at that point. We’d really built a lot in 7 years.
I remember running off stage that night after the encore, ducking my way through the crowd of friends and family side of stage cheering, reaching for embraces, holding onto my tour manager Mel’s hand as she guided me downstairs to a bottle of champagne and a bathroom where I could pour a glass and sit alone for 5 minutes. I took a sip and cheered myself in the mirror, thinking ‘Well, you did it. I knew you would.
I wonder what this means. I wonder what’s next.’