Episode 8: The Soul of Music: Exploring Chief Xian’s ancestral memory

Nat Geo Explorer and archaeologist Justin Dunnavant sits down with Grammy-nominated trumpeter Chief Xian aTunde Adjuah to discuss ancestral memory, creating new instruments, and stretch music—an expansion of jazz.

National Geographic Explorer Justin Dunnavant (left) with musician Chief Xian aTunde Adjuah
Photographs by Wayne Lawrence and Maya Iman

This episode is part three of The Soul of Music—Overheard’s four-part series focusing on music, exploration, and Black history. Our guest this week is Grammy-nominated trumpeter Chief Xian aTunde Adjuah, formerly known as Christian Scott. Chief Xian sits down with National Geographic Explorer and archaeologist Justin Dunnavant to discuss Xian’s childhood in New Orleans, how he created a new instrument, and what he calls stretch music.

Listen on iHeartRadio, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Castbox, Google Podcasts, and Amazon Music.


KHARI DOUGLAS (HOST): Hey there, I’m Khari Douglas. I’m a producer here at Overheard and this is part three of our four-part series focusing on music, exploration, and Black history. It’s called The Soul of Music. National Geographic explorers will be sitting down with some of our favorite musicians to discuss how history and the natural world inspires their art and adventures. Today’s guests are Explorer Justin Dunnavant and musician Chief Xian aTunde Adjuah, formerly known as Christian Scott.

Chief Xian is a multi-instrumentalist and producer, known primarily for his phenomenal trumpet and horn playing. He’s a two-time Edison Award winner and he has five Grammy nominations. Born and raised in New Orleans, he is the nephew of jazz innovator and legendary sax man, Donald Harrison, Jr.

In 2019, Xian released an album called Ancestral Recall, a concept that he describes almost like a form of cultural epigenetics—a sort of tapping into the experiences of one’s ancestors in the present. Xian told Justin that when he recorded the album, which you’ll hear a bit of later, he found himself coming up with patterns that mirrored many traditional African rhythms.

CHIEF XIAN ATUNDE ADJUAH (MUSICIAN): Ninety percent of what you hear being exhibited rhythmically is me playing.


ADJUAH: Right? So all those layers and things that you hear on Ancestral Recall is me playing Ewe drums, Akan drums, you know, dununba drums, you know. To finish the record up, I sent it to legitimate babas in the old way, like Weedie Brama. And when I sent it around to these guys to have them add layers of djembe or, you know, sangban, kenkeni, these kinds of instruments to it, they were all calling me back like, Where? How? Weedie specifically, he was like, this rhythm that you’re playing is Kassa Soro. This rhythm is sunun or gui. These are the exact rhythms that you are playing.

Now I come from the initiated space in America, but I don’t have the same experience of being in the initiated spaces, the backside spaces, in Nigeria or Ghana or Benin or Senegal or Gambia.


ADJUAH: You feel me? And I had no idea that I was creating a frame that not only housed and had the rhythms, but also the questions and answers and the dialectic components of the rhythms as well. So it was literally ancestral recall. Somewhere in my bloodline the experience exists.

DOUGLAS: The notion of ancestral recall has particular resonance for National Geographic Explorer and archaeologist Justin Dunnavant. He has a special interest in marine archaeology, diving down beneath the ocean to excavate what remains of the past. Justin was a contributor to Nat Geo’s Into the Depths podcast, which followed Explorer Tara Roberts and other Black scuba divers across the world as they searched for buried shipwrecks from the transatlantic slave trade.

ADJUAH: What would you call yourself?

DUNNAVANT: What would I call myself?


DUNNAVANT: Oh, shoot. What I’m telling myself right now, like when I wake up in the morning and I ask myself, Who am I? I’m recovering ancestral memory. That’s what I tell myself. And I’m still exploring what that means and what it entails.

ADJUAH: Amazing.

DUNNAVANT: But, that’s like—yeah.

ADJUAH: Wow. That’s perfect.

DOUGLAS: This is Overheard, a show where we eavesdrop on the wild conversations we have here at Nat Geo and follow them to the edges of our big, weird, beautiful world.

After the break, Chief Xian and Justin discuss Xian’s childhood in New Orleans, how he created a new instrument, and what he calls stretch music.

But first, fuel your curiosity with a free one-month trial subscription to Nat Geo Digital. You’ll have unlimited access on any device, anywhere, ad-free with our app that lets you download stories to read offline. Explore every page ever published with a century of digital archives at your fingertips. Check it all out for free at natgeo.com/exploremore.

DUNNAVANT: Well, I guess just to kick it off, one, thanks for coming out.

ADJUAH: No—thank you.

DUNNAVANT: It’s good to be here and honored that you can make time for this.

ADJUAH: Honestly, I’m just like, I’m floating right now, just having a moment to really just share energy and time with you. So I’m grateful.

DUNNAVANT: I appreciate that. I appreciate that. Well, let’s kick it off with just the intro about, you know, who you are, what you do, and however you want to define that or take that.

ADJUAH: I’m Chief Xian aTunde Adjuah. I’m a sonic architect and a multi-instrumentalist, a producer, and composer. I also own and operate an app company and record label called Stretch Music, and I am the Crown Chieftain and Oba of the Xodokan Nation of Maroons, or Black Indians, of Louisiana and New Orleans.

DUNNAVANT: That’s a powerful title.

ADJUAH: We were talking about Nigeria earlier, too, you know—


ADJUAH: Obas. You know, it’s a carryover from those lineages and history. So sometimes we refer to Chieftain as Oba as well.

DUNNAVANT: OK. All right. I’ma bounce around a bit. So what does that title mean? How did you get—could you talk a little bit about that and what it means more specifically for you to have it in this moment?

ADJUAH: Absolutely. So I come from a West African-stylized Chiefdom that has survived its experience in what is now New Orleans, Louisiana. The African-descent people of this region, they have been able to hold on to so many vestiges of their known past and also unknown past through this tradition. My grandfather’s a guy named Big Chief Donald Harrison, Sr. This is the only man to lead four nations of what we call Maroons. Some people also use the terminology Black Indian or Mardi Gras Indian. Mardi Gras Indian specifically is perceived as a pejorative and belittling term because it essentially labels a group of people and these nations with a cultural exhibition they were not allowed to take part in, because now it’s something that the city and municipality can monetize as a great cultural component of New Orleans, so we label them Mardi Gras.

But these specific nations have their roots in West Africa. As we learn about this tradition, there are many different pillars and roots to it. There’s a root that deals with the arrival of West Africans into the region in the 17-teens. Many Senegambian people were brought into the region. So when the French decided they were going to build New Orleans, they didn’t just grab any Africans, they went and grabbed Africans that were from areas that were alike.

DUNNAVANT: Intentionally.

ADJUAH: You understand what I’m saying? So they’re going to grab Africans that come from the Volta region and these sorts of spaces, because we know that they’re going to be able to cultivate these things because it’s their lifestyle already, right? But also because of that, many of these folks were able to self liberate and go into the marshlands and swamps and rebuild because shit, this looks like my neighborhood, for lack of a better way of putting it.


So, this is one of the roots of this culture. You know, another known root is, obviously, after emancipation, the experiences and the relationships between Blacks and Natives, obviously, having interacted with each other for centuries at this point, the Blacks in New Orleans wanted to also pay homage to them. And this is part of the reason that the ceremonial regalia resembles some, the Plains Natives.

Some people deal with that in other ways. Conjecture about, you know, some of them seeing the Wild West shows and their ceremonial regalia maybe being a bit more dynamic than some of the ceremonial regalia you’ll see with tribes from southeast Louisiana. So, in other words, what you may look at as a traditional Western depiction of a Native’s dress, you know, with the war bonnet and these things, a bustle, those sort of things, those are not as common among the Indigenous in Louisiana. So part of the distinction in dress comes from also seeing some of those images.

But again, it is a culture that is a secret culture. You have roles, obviously. You have your chieftain and his queen, your young ones—the next generation of little chieftains—and this sort of thing. These are like the English versions of these lieutenants’ titles. You also have an equivalent to a medicine man or your sort of shamanic energy. There’s a person called “a wild man,” who in English, this is the tribe’s enforcer. You have a “flag boy.” This is the man that carries the gang standard. He’s generally the diplomat, so he can speak multiple dialects.

And yes, in Louisiana, we have multiple ways of expressing; and, traditionally, when you see the Maroons on Carnival Day and Saint Joseph’s Night they are not speaking English to each other. So generally, a diplomat is the one that can speak the different dialects. So in other words, he may be meeting a tribal banner that can say that they have, as an example, maybe they are Fula and Atakapa, which is, in terms of their sort of cultural energy, one is a Louisiana Indigenous space. The other one is a West African space that actually exists in multiple countries, like Fulani, right?

So when you’re meeting with them, there may be words that come from their shared experience that don’t necessarily come from yours. Maybe your corridor may be speaking vestiges of Bambara. And so there may be some synergy, but not a lot. So it’s a highly stylized West African retention and culture that essentially constitutes a New World Chiefdom that was built out of those experiences that has a priority historically of also acknowledging our Native brothers and sisters.

DUNNAVANT: That’s powerful. And, you know, coming through this, of course, you have been drawn to music as a tool to do the work that we’re doing.

ADJUAH: Right. Yeah, the shared work.

DUNNAVANT: The shared work. And the horn was the initial entry way in. Could you talk a bit about how that relationship emerged and if there was a piece of music or a note that you heard that just blew you away and made you realize I got to pick that thing up?

ADJUAH: Yes, absolutely. I think, well, firstly, learning to play music in Louisiana and specifically in New Orleans, I think it’s a really interesting experience for a younger person in that you have to learn the music in canon, right?

So let’s say you’re going to learn to be a creative improviser, but you’re growing up in Cleveland. Because of the histories of that space and levels of access to certain information, generally, you’re going to walk into the music from the space that either feels good to you musically or from the known spaces that your elders have. But maybe their relationship to creative improvised music or Black American music—we say stretch music, we don’t like the term jazz—but maybe their beginnings in the music starts in the fifties. So most of your teachers, if they’re the children of the folks that seeded that moment, they’re going to start you in the fifties.

In New Orleans, generally, they’re going to start you in the 1890s, right, where the spans of music and these things really started to grow out and have a more cosmopolitan relationship to what was going on and exist in our zeitgeist in a way where the music became popular.

So when I’m 11 years old and I’m starting to learn to play the trumpet, I couldn’t go into a space and say, I want to play “Donna Lee,” which is composed by Miles Davis in the forties or fifties, without first playing the “Tiger Leaf Rag.”

DUNNAVANT: OK. You gotta build up.

ADJUAH: Gotta start at the beginning. And so that made it so much more fun to me because there was sort of a historian’s approach to learning the music because you had to excavate. So when I was small, that was always the most fun was to be around the really, really old musicians. Like, you know, there’s pictures of my brother and I and my cousin Brian on the laps of Danny Barker. You know, Lulu Barker. This is a couple that, Danny specifically, was—this is a guy that was responsible for what we now see as the resurgence of jazz in New Orleans. In the sixties he’s a guy that took all of these kids that were going to the church bands and things and organized them into brass bands and things and teaching them the old way.

I think for that reason I initially gravitated to the trumpet because it was generally the leader’s instrument. Like the trumpet is a proclimatory instrument. So, there’s stories about you being able to hear Buddy Bolden play on the other side of the river. Buddy Bolden is one of the men who is credited as the creators of jazz, along with folks like Jelly Roll Morton. But it’s an instrument that no matter what is going on, it has the ability to call you in.

And when I was small, you know, my elders, they would always say that I had a sound that could call the children home. I was a kid myself, I get a little goosebumps thinking about it. I just appreciated how open and warm they were and willing to impart. People don’t talk about those things generationally so much anymore. You know, I learned from Danny Barker. He would always say, You know, little Harrison, blues and jazz are synonyms for each other.

You know, you’re a kid. I’m like, maybe six. I don’t know what a synonym is at that point, but I’m listening. He said blues and jazz are synonyms for each other. The only difference is that jazz is blues that learned to speak all languages. And I carry that with me in every moment when I’m composing and, you know, all these things, these are things that I was told as a little, little boy.

DUNNAVANT: Right. Six years old.

ADJUAH: You know what I’m saying? So I think that part of it made it so attractive to me. And then also to see how much love the musicians interacted with. Man, New Orleanian musicians I think may be the most loving community of people I’ve ever seen.


ADJUAH: But the guys that were generally at the forefront in those instances were the trumpet players.

DUNNAVANT: Right. And it sounds like there was an intention, like, not just on your part, but, of course, on the people around you. That saw you had something going in you, and you had the ability to pick up this horn and do some things with it that not everybody else was capable of doing.

ADJUAH: You know, the thing is, is like, what’s interesting is, from growing up in that environment and really seeing what was going on—you know, when I was in elementary school, the school had 100 trumpeters. You couldn’t tell a young Black kid in New Orleans that they couldn’t be those things because the airport is named Louis Armstrong.

DUNNAVANT: Right. Powerful, powerful, powerful. I’m wondering, too, I know you brought up this idea of stretch music. And I think it’s important that we have definitions and we define definitions. We have the ability to name and rename as we need to. And I want to give you the opportunity to elaborate a little bit about that stretch music and ancestral recall maybe.

ADJUAH: Absolutely. We were creating music that tried to unify everyone in one understanding, which was really that, it doesn’t matter what cultural purview you have, all human beings are valid. And the music that they make to express themselves and to share stories and to heal and for cathartic moments, all of those things are valid.

The imperative in stretch of music is really about turning the singular into the plural and acknowledging that someone that is playing a Polish folk song or a Celtic traditional song or an opera from France or rhythms from the Saramaca or, you know, an Indian raga, that if they look for each other musically first as a priority and see all of the things that each party is contributing, it humanizes them in a way that allows them to be able to walk together in the actual world.

DUNNAVANT: I want to get into some of these tracks.


DUNNAVANT: So my favorite track, we’re going to start off with that one: “Diaspora.”

ADJUAH: I already hear it.

DUNNAVANT: Yeah, I was humming this on the way over.

(“Diaspora” by Chief Xian aTunde Adjuah featuring Elena Pinderhughes plays.)

ADJUAH: Oh, man.

DUNNAVANT: This is cold.

ADJUAH: Flaming. Oh my god.

DUNNAVANT: I remember you said something about her playing the flute. She’s going to redefine how it is—

ADJUAH: Oh yeah. She is—I always say this every night from the bandstand about Elena Pinderhughes’s contribution in this moment. I’ve always felt that if record label interests and the business folks stay out of her way and she is allowed to seed her own vision that we will have a very difficult time remembering what the flute sounded like preceding her contribution. She is that great.

(“Diaspora” continues.)

The song is about many things. Most people conjecture that it’s about the transatlantic diaspora, specifically. And it is, but it has a wider definition of diaspora. We know that when you’re in spaces with intellectuals when they speak about the diaspora, they don’t include Africa.

DUNNAVANT: Mm hmm. Right.

ADJUAH: Do you get what I’m saying? It’s very specific. Most people don’t think about that, but it’s true. But for me, when I think about the African diaspora it includes Africa. You get what I mean?

DUNNAVANT: Mm hmm. Yeah. (Laughs.)

ADJUAH: So I wanted to make and build a composition that tapped on to all of these different energies in terms of how the harmony is laid out, what the melody is doing, what the rhythms are doing. So it’s like there is a moment in the beginning with a piano riff that you hear that harkens to salsa music and Afro-Latin music. And, you know, you can look at music from Havana. You can look at music from San Juan. These kinds of energies. Bomba y plena music, merengue music—these things that came out of the African experience in those spaces—but the way that the harmony is actually moving is really maybe more akin to what you would hear from an mbira or a thumb piano or traditional music you might hear in Tanzania on the thumb piano.

DUNNAVANT: Or Zimbabwe. Right.

ADJUAH: Right. So, the melody:

(Sings) Be dee dee la bu du la da da da dee.

You can find that kind of phrase in most spaces where you have deep blues roots. Someone might say,

(Sings) I don’t know, but I was told… 

You know what I mean? These kinds of things. So it feels as much rooted blues as it also does Baptist and Pentecostal Church and all of those things. So a lot of times we break up the spiritual and the secular and non-secular, all of these things, we separate those things in terms of, like, the Western mind separates them. In terms of our actual cultural exhibition in the way that we interact as Black people, we don’t separate any of those things. So it’s like to me, it never made sense that they were labeled and codified in the way that they were because they’re not separate. This is how these human beings actually communicate musically. So every single part in this song, every single thing that you hear has multiple points of entry that relate to the larger diaspora.

DUNNAVANT: That’s powerful. That is powerful.

ADJUAH: All right, so I have a question for you.

DUNNAVANT: All right.

ADJUAH: You know, it’s so interesting to me, what you do and what you’ve built. I think, particularly, having the moment where there’s a focus on the maritime and what happened in so many of these actual exchanges, is the way I’ll put it. For me, I wanted to know, like, what was it specifically—if there was a specific instance or experience that you had that made that feel like a priority in this moment?

DUNNAVANT: Yes, and it’s wild. It’s literally this moment that replays like a movie whenever I recall it. It was when I was working to help excavate the Clotilda, which is known as the last slave ship to come to the United States. The movie Descendent just came out talking about it. The people of Africatown built that community. I was helping to excavate, and when I was leaving my grandmother’s ring snapped. And I’m actually wearing my grandmother’s ring now. I actually glued it back together. But it snapped, and I had been wearing it for a long time to get that energy of my literal ancestors. And I was like, OK, I don’t know what this means.

Couple days into excavating the Clotilda, I find myself just waking up in the morning and crying. And it’s not like a sad cry, it’s more like a relief. And I was trying to figure out what exactly is going on and what does this mean? And I talked to my colleague who was excavating with me, and I told her, like, Yeah, this is what I’m feeling, experiencing. And she said, it’s a heavy, emotional—she said her elders told her, you need to fortify yourself spiritually, because there’s a lot of things that are going to come out of this. And it’s also this opportunity to channel that energy into places it needs to go. And that, coupled with the fact that we interviewed two black scuba divers that literally dove into the hull of a slave ship for the first time, and them talking about this release that they felt. And it was, part of it was sort of confusing and disorienting, but also part of it was sort of liberating.

And, yeah, when I was excavating on the boat, my mother texted me and was like, You know, your grandfather’s buried in Alabama. And I said, I had no idea. And she sent me his niece’s phone number and address. And I was, literally it hit me that I’m, literally while I’m exploring this thing that we call archeology and studying Black history on a big level, I’m also literally going deep into my own personal family story.

I could train anybody to do what I do if you just want to know how to pick up a trial and know how to scuba dive and do—but the level of intentionality and level of responsibility that I have means that I’m the only one that’s going to do it the way that I’m going to do it.

And I came back from that trip and literally meditated for about an hour. And I just started bawling. And again, it wasn’t necessarily a sad thing, it was a release. And I realized I gained my grandfather as an ancestor. Because for so long I have been paying attention to my grandmother, and I haven’t been paying attention to my grandfather.

ADJUAH: Right, patrilineage.

DUNNAVANT: Exactly, and then that’s when it hit me, like I tell people all the time is, recovering this memory, we’ve forgotten more things than we remember.

ADJUAH: Absolutely, yeah.

DUNNAVANT: And my job, what I see my role as, is us trying to explore and recover as many of those as possible, and putting them to work in a productive manner for the moment in time that we need it now. And that’s sort of the moment that happened. 

ADJUAH: Man, talk about heavy.

DUNNAVANT: I know we got a couple of questions that came in from Instagram.

ADJUAH: They’re like why do you sound like a newscaster? I’m always like, Hi, this is Chief.


DUNNAVANT: All right, what is your favorite instrument?

ADJUAH: Don’t have one.


ADJUAH: I like, um—I can’t wait to have a house party so you can come to my crib and see all of these drums and instruments. You know, it’s like, there’s a musical instrument museum in Phoenix, outside of Phoenix, and they have stuff from all over the world. And I would say that my collection of instruments through the diaspora rivals their collection.


ADJUAH: I have stuff from everywhere, man. And so it’s hard to say one instrument, but if I had to reduce it to one that is my favorite to play—

DUNNAVANT: If you were on an island and you got one.

ADJUAH: Oh, that’s hard.

DUNNAVANT: OK. That’s a different one. OK.

ADJUAH: Yeah, because, well, what I was going to say before you said that—

DUNNAVANT: Yeah, sorry.

ADJUAH: —was Chief Adjuah’s Bow, which is a really beautiful and sort of golden double-sided harp that we’ve created. So a couple of years ago, I embarked on this journey to try and create a 21st-century corollary to the types of rooted stringed instruments, specifically double-sided harps from West Africa that actually are the harmonic roots to what we now refer to as blues in the Delta, in places like New Orleans, like Mississippi, Alabama, Texas, Arkansas, these areas. For me, that was a really important thing to do because I could hear specifically in rock and roll, specifically in a lot of modern blues and also creative improvised music—stretch music, we like to say for jazz—that the fundamental pillar harmonically being the blues as the root, that people were—you just heard less of it. So in other words, you can’t make a gumbo without a roux. Do you get what I’m saying?


ADJUAH: It’s soup. Do you get what I mean?


ADJUAH: And so from my ear, when I would hear the modern rock and roll records, I heard no blues, which makes it not that to me. And so a huge part of it was to try and make sure that we could create records and musical spaces that really served as a means of saving the blues of tomorrow. And so I wanted to embark on that kind of musical journey, but in order to do that, I had to excavate first. And the things that I found. It’s actually astonishing to me that even in this moment in time, when we define forms like jazz a lot of times those definitions are limited.

You know, people will say that it is West African rhythms, or African rhythms mixed with European harmony, which is to say that a continent as large as Africa has no harmonic traditions. Let’s learn to read between the lines, here. This is false. Those people when they were captured and brought over here, they brought a lot of elements of their culture to it. And obviously the harmony and the melodic components of their music also survived those experiences. So what I wanted to do was to create an instrument that was tethered to West Africa in a way that had ancestral memory built into the actual methodology in how it’s actually shaped. Specifically, for young Black children in New Orleans to be able to learn to play music on musical instruments that actually had their fathers’ and mothers’ memories and hands in them.

DUNNAVANT: All right. I’m gonna give you a choice of the last song. There’s “West of the West,” and there is “Ritual - Rise of Chief Adjuah.”

ADJUAH: Yeah, definitely “Ritual.”

DUNNAVANT: All right.


ADJUAH: Hands down!

DUNNAVANT: I figured.

(“Ritual - Rise of Chief Adjuah” by Chief Xian aTunde Adjuah plays.)

ADJUAH: Man, this song has so many layers in it and was such a fun song to record because I tried to recreate the kind of energy that you get in call-and-response music, which is traditionally a very African approach. You can go anywhere throughout the larger diaspora and hear that back-and-forth.

So it’s done with strings and also the trumpet voice—they’re answering each other. You know? Questions and answers, calls and responses. But what I really loved about building this one was you can hear the trumpet sound has a really unique kind of layered sound. It has kind of a bite to it. There’s an octaver on it. And I built this sound specifically to feel like it was multiple generations or ancestors speaking through the horn.

So it’s like, maybe you have a baritone, maybe that’s your grandfather, or great-grandfather, and then you have a soprano that might be your mother, or grandmother or aunt or whatever it is. All of it is built into the one sound. So even though I’m speaking, it’s all those energies speaking through that sound.

I wanted it to feel that way and to have those layers because in legitimate moments of right in these spaces, when we talk about ritual, it’s always the best moments when they’re multigenerational moments. When I think about those memories, all of them are rooted in the elders imparting to the youngers or guiding the youngers. Sometimes people look at the titles and they’re like, Oh, God, this guy’s grandiose titles about himself. But it’s not about me.


ADJUAH: Do you get what I’m saying? So it’s like, when people hear a title like that or view a title like that, they automatically think about the Adjuah part of it. But that’s not what I’m speaking about. What I’m speaking about is all of the people that lifted me and carried me to now being Adjuah. To now being that person that we mark as a chief and all of these things. All of those small specific moments, all of those moments of call and responsing and me following, not leading, and learning these ways. So, the trumpet having all of their voices wrapped up in my voice, was as a conceptual pillar that was one of the most fun things to record on that record.

DOUGLAS: That was musician Chief Xian aTunde Adjuah in conversation with Explorer Justin Dunnavant. If you like what you hear and you want to support more content like this, please rate and review us in your podcast app and consider a National Geographic subscription. That’s the best way to support Overheard. Go to natgeo.com/exploremore to subscribe.

Learn more about Xian at his website https://www.chiefadjuah.com/ That’s spelled C-H-I-E-F A-D-J-U-A-H. And you can follow him on Instagram @christianscottofficial.

You can also download his stretch music app, which is an interactive music player, in the Google Play store or Apple App store.

You can also follow Justin online to stay updated with his latest adventures: www.justindunnavant.com that’s spelled J-U-S-T-I-N D-U-N-N-A-V-A-N-T or follow him on social media @archfieldnotes.

That’s all in your show notes, right there in your podcast app.


This week’s Overheard episode is produced by me, Khari Douglas.

Our senior producers are Brian Gutierrez and Jacob Pinter.

Our senior editor is Eli Chen.

Our manager of audio is Carla Wills, who edited this episode.

Our executive producer of audio is Davar Ardalan.

Our photo editor is Julie Hau.

Ted Woods sound-designed this episode and Hansdale Hsu composed our theme music.

The Soul of Music series is produced in collaboration with National Geographic Music.

Special thanks to: Hannah Grace Vancleave, Jennifer Stilson, and Brittany Grier.

This podcast is a production of National Geographic Partners.

The National Geographic Society, committed to illuminating and protecting the wonder of our world, funds the work of National Geographic Explorer Justin Dunnavant.

Michael Tribble is the vice president of integrated storytelling.

Nathan Lump is National Geographic’s editor in chief.

Thanks for listening, and see ya next time.


Want more?

Learn more about Chief Xian at his website https://www.chiefadjuah.com/. And you can follow him on Instagram @christianscottofficial.

You can also download his stretch music app, an interactive music player, in the Google Play store or Apple App store.

Also, be sure to follow Justin online to stay updated with his latest adventures: www.justindunnavant.com or on social media @archfieldnotes.

Also explore: 

Interested in learning more about global Black history and heritage? Follow Justin Dunnavant as he explores Loíza, the ancestral heart and soul of the Afro-Puerto Rican community, in Hulu’s Your Attention Please: Initiative 29.

Listen to episode 3 of the Into the Depths podcast, which includes Justin as a guest.

Want to travel to New Orleans? Check out Nat Geo’s travel guide for tips on how to make the most of your trip.