Listen to Nimíipuu (Nez Perce) music from the past and today, starting with early recordings in 1897 and up to contemporary songs from the Washington State University recording studio.


The Sam Morris Collection (Courtesy Tabitha Erdey, Cultural Resources Program Manager, Nez Perce National Historic Park and Research Center)

Book cover of A Legacy from Sam Morris and two music CDs

This two-CD set was produced by Loran Olsen, WSU professor emeritus of music and Native American studies.

Olsen worked with the Nez Perce community for several decades and set up the Nez Perce Music Archive, which includes all known sound recordings of the Nimíipuu or Nez Perce people from 1897 through 1974.

Included in the archive is the Sam Morris Collection. Morris was a Nimíipuu tribal member who made recordings with his own Edison phonograph between 1909 and 1912. The collection brings to life 60 songs of his friends and family members singing a wide variety of genres. The recordings were made on wax cylinders, which have since been digitized. The collection is housed at the Nez Perce National Historical Park Archives and Research Center in Lapwai, Idaho.

Black and white photo of Sam Morris of the Nez Perce Tribe
Sam Morris of the Nez Perce Tribe
(Courtesy Melissa Parkhurst)


Listen to the music:

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:


André Picard Jr. is a Nimíipuu tribal member and musician. He and his family have recorded many hours of traditional music at the WSU School of Music recording studios, including stick game songs.

André Picard Jr. in the WSU recording studio
André Picard Jr.
(Courtesy Melissa Parkhurst)


Listen to the recording:


Picard has also recorded his own contemporary music including the album Nature. You can listen to the album on YouTube Music.

Cover of Andre Picard Jr.'s album Nature


Read more about Nimíipuu music at WSU.