Yada Di means "what is this" in Dena'ina Athabaskan. It is a term used to ask a question about something that is hard to define. The band consists of three core members: Yngvil Vatn Guttu, Lena Lukina and Allison Akootchook Warden (AKU-MATU). Together, sounds are created that challenge audiences to question their perceptions of what music is and can do. Yada Di plays all genres: funk, blues, rock, country, jazz, hip-hop, trip-hop, soul, pure improvisation, and cinematic fusion. We use props, costumes and visual elements such as projected images to take the audience on a journey to the sacred and the profane.
Yada Di was born in 2013 as part of the Spenard Jazz Festival. We then performed at the Anchorage Museum as part of an art exhibition opening where we sonically responded to the new art being exhibited. In 2013, we performed at the Taproot. Yada Di was a featured band at the Relentless BBQ in McCarthy, Alaska in both 2014 and 2015. Yada Di performed at the Alaska State Council of the Arts Governor's Awards in 2015 in Juneau, Alaska. Yada Di recently performed at the NxN festival (2017) in Anchorage, Alaska on the rooftop of a parking garage with WD4D providing the percussion elements for the band.
Yada Di was named with the help of Anchorage Museum curator Aaron Leggett, who is Dena'ina Athabaskan.