- Years (together)
- Song Highlights
Brulé & AIRO is a contemporary Native American New Age/Worldbeat music group based in South Dakota. They have sold over one million CDs worldwide, won a number of awards, and have made media appearances with the Live with Regis and Kathie Lee television show, CNN WorldBeat, QVC, and others. They maintain a schedule of well over 100 performances a year including full stage productions with traditional dancers, an annual holiday tour, performances at Milwaukee’s Indian Summer Festival, Indian Art Markets in Denver, Arlington (Tx.), and Overland Park, Kansas, Harbor Fest in Virginia Beach, the world-renowned Ordway Theater in St. Paul, Foxwoods Casino, and many additional outdoor festivals and events. They have released 11 CDs over their 12-year existence.
Paul LaRoche grew up as part of a white middle-class family in the small community of Worthington in southwest Minnesota. He was adopted at birth, and his talent for music was evident at an early age. Paul knew about his adoption but his true heritage was kept a secret. After Paul lost both of his adoptive parents in the same year, Paul’s wife Kathy discovered his adoption papers. After several years of grieving and healing, a breakthrough came in 1993 when Paul discovered his biological Lakota family. His homecoming was a happy one and he was reunited with a brother, sister, aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews. The effect on his music career was monumental. Armed with the new knowledge of his heritage, Paul re-entered the world of music in the relatively new genre of contemporary Native American music. Mixing the traditional sounds of Native America with the music he grew up with, rock, pop, jazz and everywhere in between, Paul cut his first CD, We The People, and Brulé was born.
The SOAR years
In 1995 Paul signed a record deal with Sound of America Records. There he developed Brulé’s first CDs. We the People, Lakota Piano, One Nation and collaboration with Robby Bee entitled One Holy Night were all produced in just four months. Upon returning home Paul and his family made the move to the Lower Brule Reservation where they still maintain a residence to this day. With only the bare necessities, Paul was about to set out on his new musical endeavor as a solo artist. But before he could walk out the door for his first live performance, his daughter Nicole offered to join and play the melodies on her flute, Brulé became a duo. Starting from nothing, Brulé worked the art show circuit slowly gaining exposure and a solid fan base. Nicole began to carve out her own sound and style and became the groups lead instrumentalist. Guitar and the traditional drum were soon added to the mix as the band started to form. In 1999 Paul and the band received their first of many awards, Paul was presented the 1999 “Outstanding Musical Achievement Award” by the First Americans in the Arts for One Nation.
- Contemporary Native American
- Lower Brule, South Dakota, United States
Current band members
- Paul LaRoche- Piano, Electronic keyboards, Vocals (1995–present) also the band’s song writer and producer
- Nicole LaRoche- Classical flute (1995–present) Does not use a wood flute as is most associated with the culture. Instead uses a steel European flute to emulate sound of the wood flute.
- Shane LaRoche- Lead guitar (2002–present) Performs on the acoustic guitar, nylon string guitar and electric guitar.
- Vlasis Pergakis – Traditional Drum (2011–Present) from Minneapolis, Minnesota also plays Electric and acoustic guitar as well and also has completed some miscellaneous side music projects which resulted in 2 CD’s: Plain Sight and White Dog.
Past Band Members
- Moses Brings Plenty- Traditional drum, Vocals (2006–2010) Each traditional drum is respected and cared for in the traditional ways of the Native people. Moses is from the Oglala Sioux Tribe, Pine Ridge Reservation
- Clay Brian- Traditional drum (2007–2009). Clay is from the Rosebud Sioux Tribal reservation
- Kristé Belt- Vocalist (2006–2008)
- Kurt Olsen- Drum kit (2007–2011) from Minneapolis, Minnesota performs with the group at larger shows
Paul, Nicole and Shane are enrolled members of the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe of South Dakota
- 1996 Brulé We the People
- 1997 Brulé Lakota Piano
- 1997 Red Nativity One Holy Night
- 1999 Brulé One Nation
- 2001 Nicole feat: Brulé Passion Spirit
- 2002 Brulé Star People
- 2003 Nicole feat: Brulé Night Tree
- 2005 AIRO feat: Brulé Tatanka
- 2005 AIRO feat: Brulé Tribal Rhythm
- 2006 Brulé & AIRO Silent Star Night
- 2006 Brulé Kinship
- 2007 Nicole feat: Brulé & AIRO Deep Dreams
- 2009 Brulé Lakota Piano II
- 2012 Nicole feat: Brulé Tapestry
- 2012 Brulé Hidden Heritage East
- 2013 Brulé Hidden Heritage West
Brule and The American Indian Rock Opera
Brule’ in concert on SD Public Broadcasting
Brule & Airo 18/18- Circle Of Life
- Buffalo Moon Records
- Sound of America Records