Thursday, November 30, 2006

World of Drumming Tomorrow night!

I am heading off to rehersal this evening for the world of Drumming Event happening tomorrow evening in Grass Valley. If you're in the neighborhood, this should be an awesome evening:

I wanted to invite everyone to come up to Grass Valley on Dec 1 for a very special fundraising event benefitting the Sierra Friends of Tibet Computer Learning Project for the Tibetan Nuns of Jangchub Choeling Nunnery, India.

The event features drumming styles from all corners of the planet including Native American Drumming, Japanese Taiko, Afro-Cuban Bata, East Indian Tabla, Middle Eastern Drumming, Brazilian Capoeira, Celtic Drums and more.
Peformers include:

  • Saul Rayo & the Abuellos
  • Grass Valley Taiko
  • Conga Bya Featuring Bob Scarlett
  • Joe Fasen Tabla North Indian Classical Drums
  • Capoeira Raca Em Movimento
  • Brazilian Capoeira
  • Da'Owaga
  • Inter-tribal Women’s Drum Group
  • Awendes
  • Feather River Singers

Where: Center for the Arts, Grass Valley CA
When: Friday Dec 1, 8PM
Cost: $20

Feed the Children!!

I discovered what I believe is a very worthy cause this holiday season. It's called Feed333 and the mission is to feed 3 millions kids (in the US) in 33 days.

Feed333 is organized by a group of Entrepreneurial women and their mission is dedicated to serving the children of the world, and to inspiring possibility, greatness and prosperity to positively affect social and economic change.

Check it out:

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

New R Carlos Nakai Album: Reconnections

I just noticed that R Carlos Nakai has released a new album titled Reconnections, this fall with Cliff Sarde, Randy Wood and William Eaton. You can preview a few tracks on the Cayon Records website, but it's a bit different that you may have heard in the past from R Carlos Nakai. I love William Eaton and the all of the collaboration he has had with R Carlos in the past. You can hear a few elements of William Eaton's rich strings on the track previews. Otherwise, the album lists it as 'electronica' which I think really means that there are sythesizers in the background and some strong electronic drum beats.
I haven't purchased the album yet, but please post a comment if you have heard more of this album.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Gentle Thunder, Will Clipman and AmoChip Dabney in concert

Two exciting upcoming events... you are invited to:

An Intimate house concert with The Seven Twenty Twins Duo- Gentle Thunder and Will Clipman
When: Saturday December 2nd, 2006 at 7:00 pm
Where: San Jose,CA


Snacks and refreshments will be served. This is an open house invitation and friends of friends are very welcome. As a way to respectfully support the work these fabulous artists do in the world, your donations will be greatly appreciated. Suggested donation $20

Please RSVP either by phone or email. We look forward to your joining us on this Enchanting Evening.

Bill and Michelle (Singing Heart)
6363 Almaden Rd.
San Jose, CA 95120
hone: 408-997-2479
Email: michelle AT knowise DOT com

AND Returning to Santa Cruz ...

An Evening Beyond Words with Gentle Thunder, Will Clipman and AmoChip Dabney
When: Sunday Dec. 3, 2006 7:30 pm
Where: Kuumbwa Jazz Center ( )
320-2 Cedar St., Santa Cruz, CA.
Tickets: $15 adv. / $20 door
Purchase advance tickets online: or
Charge by phone - 24/7 Ticket outlet 1-800-838-3006

Curious about the trio? Click the link for a
short video clip ... a glimpse into the live performance.
(video by FireHawk -
( )

About the artists:

Gentle Thunder
is an internationally acclaimed recording artist, producer and multi-instrumentalist. Known for her distinctive sound and heart filled presence as she plays grand hammer dulcimer, Native American flutes and drums, honoring the circle of life whenever she offers her music. Music from all three of her albums have been heard on the radio, used in documentries, TV and in the
Never Shout at a Bear DVD .

Will Clipman
known as "the perfect partner" has recorded on over 50 albums and when he is not holding the heartbeat for Gentle Thunder, he performs and records with R. Carlos Nakai Quartet, R. Carlos Nakai Trio, William Eaton, Gary Stroutsos, Arvel Bird and Mary Redhouse just to mention a few. Will is currently working on his solo album, and his Myth's & Masks DVD.

AmoChip Dabney
is composer, producer, multi disciplined performer with versatility and charisma that mesmerizes audiences again and again. Amo divides his time between engineering, recording and performing with various artists: Cyril Neville, Big Chief Monk Bodreaux, Gentle Thunder, Les Baxter, and the R. Carlos Nakai Quartet, to mention a few.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving 2006

I wanted to take a moment to wish all of you a Happy Thanksgiving 2006.

There are many things which I am thankful for, especially the opportunity to carry and play the Native American flute. I've had the opportunity to met and become friends with so many people in this community. You all have touched my life in many ways and I thank you for that. Just keep pouring your heart into this instrument and the world will become a better place.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Playshop: Focus on Healing

RuthiE Neilan, RN MA in Expressive Arts Therapy, will facilitate a Playshop: Focus on Healing February 19-20-21, 2007 at an oasis of peace, Franciscan Renewal Center, Scottsdale.

The premise “all healing is about self healing” comes into play as we explore and use our found heart connection in creating melody through the expressive arts. Participants need to bring a G flute and have knowledge and comfort in playing basic scale, along with a willingness to be open and playful.

Deposit of $200 required by December 19 with balance due January 19th. Total cost $425 includes two night lodging double occupancy, 6 meals, all art materials and over 15 hours of instruction. Participants limited.

To register or request further details, email RuthiE at: ruthieneilan AT comcast DOT net

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Native American Flutes for sale

I wanted to post about several flutes for sale. First of all, I've posted several classified ads on the NAFLUTE website for both Dan Ricketts and James Bonacci. They both have several flutes for sale. You find the classifieds here:
If you would like to post something for sale on the classifieds, drop me a line, it's free for members and a small fee for commercial postings (i.e. flutemakers).

Also, I saw that Carl Bludts posted one of his Hawk Littlejohn drones today. This is an opportunity to own a rare flute, but you better act fast. Carl is the author of several songbooks, inclueding one of my favorites: The Four Directions, so you can trust his (I'll vouch for him). Here's the link to the auction:

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Scott August: Recording your own music

Kudos to Scott August for a recent post about recording your own music.

Here's the link:

In the article, Scott talks about all of the technology including microphones, audio interfaces and software. He then outlines several options and price levels for buying equipment. If you've been thinking about investing in a home recording studio, you need to read this article first.

I attended a recording workshop which Scott presented several years ago presented by the NCFC, he's a consumate recording artist and it's reflected in the quality of his recording. (By the way if you would be interested in having the NCFC sponsor Scott for another similar workshop, drop me a line... we're planning the 2007 calendar). He does all of his production in his house, on his Apple computer. He records all of his flute recordings in a 4'x4' closet in his office/studio (spare bedroom...). Scott should be an inspiration to everyone who wants to do your own stuff, in your own studio, beginning to end. I am not aware of anyone else out there in this market niche producing the quality of recordings which Scott produces as a one-man shop.

I won't say that Scott records on the cheap, because his day job is composing and recording soundtracks and music for Hollywood movies, commercials, etc., so he has a pretty high end setup. Scott is also a very detail-oriented guy, so I know that he dedicates a lot of time to composition and mixing of his music, getting just the right feel, mood and sound for his compositions.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

A World of Drumming - Heart Beats for Tibetan Women

I wanted to invite everyone to come up to Grass Valley on Dec 1 for a very special fundraising event benefitting the Sierra Friends of Tibet Computer Learning Project for the Tibetan Nuns of Jangchub Choeling Nunnery, India.

The event features drumming styles from all corners of the planet including Native American Drumming, Japanese Taiko, Afro-Cuban Bata, East Indian Tabla, Middle Eastern Drumming, Brazilian Capoeira, Celtic Drums and more.

Peformers include:
  • Saul Rayo & the Abuellos
  • Grass Valley Taiko
  • Conga Bya Featuring Bob Scarlett
  • Joe Fasen Tabla North Indian Classical Drums
  • Capoeira Raca Em Movimento
  • Brazilian Capoeira
  • Da'Owaga
  • Inter-tribal Women’s Drum Group
  • Awendes
  • Feather River Singers

Where: Center for the Arts, Grass Valley CA
When: Friday Dec 1, 8PM
Cost: $20 is the 501C3 Non Profit founded by Melanie Sullivan of Sierra Friends of Tibet. Sullivan will be traveling to a remote refugee camp in India in January-February to purchase computers and establish the Sierra Friends of Tibet Computer Learning Lab at the Jangchup Choeling nunnery. will eventually open web-portals between the camp (which is also home to the visiting monks) and Sierra Friends of Tibet, for telemedicine support, distance learning programs and an entire world of opportunity to move the camp towards sustainability. "Just last month we learned yet again, of another Tibetan nun and children who were shot trying to cross the Himalaya to freedom. Along with compassion, Technology is my weapon of choice in fighting these injustices and we are committed to bringing this project to fruition.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Loping Wolf hosting Winter Gathering

The Loping Wolf Clan is hosting the First Annual Winter Gathering

When: Sunday December 10 2006

Time: 10:30 am to 6:00 pm
Where: Lake of the Pines Yacht Lounge

Special Guest: Grammy Winner
Mary Youngblood


The Loping Wolf Clan is putting together an event where flutes, drums, and art can come together. Come join this gathering to share some good music, tasty food and have a chance to do some of your holiday shopping.

We are asking $5 donation per person to attend and a $10 donation for vendors. Your donation will include a raffle ticket ~ a chance to win Kokopelli Bucks.

List of vendors currently includes:
  • John Lundgren, local flute maker, consented to bring his flutes
  • Mary Youngblood will be presenting a flute-related workshop

Mary Youngblood
Will be presenting a flute-related workshop
Registration is $35 Her Spring Gathering workshop was a GREAT time. Please RSVP by e-mail early for Mary's Workshop, and e-mail us a note stating you are interested in attending. So bring flutes, drums and other percussion instruments, and potluck items such as a side dish, appetizer or dessertVendors do not need to bring food, unless you want to, but we will feed you All donations will go toward paying for the Yacht Lounge rental & propane heater for the deck

Tentative Schedule of Events:

10:30 to 11:00 ~ Arrival and Setup
11:00 to 12:00 ~ Welcome, introductions, play & share all our instruments, and check out the vendors!
12:00 to 1:15 ~ Potluck - Beef Stew, popcorn and bottled water will be provided
1:30 to 3:00 ~ Mary Youngblood NAF Workshop (sign up early ~ these will go fast!)
3:00 to 5:30 ~ Raffle, Questions, break-out one-on-one instruction sessions, open mic, improvisations and jams, and a general sharing of everything we know
5:30 to 6:00 ~ Clean up

Please RSVP by e-mail early for Mary's Workshop, and e-mail Dan and Sheree a note stating you are interested in attending.
Bring flutes, drums and other percussion instruments, and potluck items such as a side dish, appetizer or dessert.
Vendors do not need to bring food, unless you want to, we will feed you.
All donations will go toward paying for the Yacht Lounge rental & propane heater for the deck

To RSVP: send an e-mail at flutecircle AT lopingwolf DOT com for LOP Gate Access & Directions. If you are a vendor, contact Dan and Sheree at the same email address to sign up.

Space for this Winter Gathering is limited, so PLEASE RSVP by e-mail soon.

This invitation is also on the Loping Wolf web page at Please check there for the latest information.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Spirit of the Woods Flutes in stock

It looks like Ed Hrebec has found some quality time in his new shop as he's been more productive than ever lately. He just posted a gallery with some flute ready for adoption!

If you are not familiar with Ed's work yet, then you're missing one of the best flute makers in the business. Not only are his flutes amazing, but be sure to check out the carving and painting available to customize any flute.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

The Sacred Drumming Circle, 11/10

Ghislaine sent me the following reminder about the drum circle tomorrow night in Palo Alto:

"The Sacred Drumming Circle Friday November 10th starts at 7:00 p.m. and goes until 9:00 p.m. We operate on Indian time so if you are not able to come right away or have to leave early it is perfectly alright.

Location: Unity Church in PaloAlto in the fire room.
Address: 3391 Middlefield Rd,Palo Alto, 94306
Church number: (650) 494-7222 .

We have a mother drum and a few more hand drums and rattles. You may bring any types of instruments you would like to play. Bring your special instrument whether it is your dige, your dun dun drum, water drum, tabla or anything else you may have for example scarves for dancing or whatever you would like to create. Everyone is welcome to play on the mother drum. And come and experience laying under the mother drum! You will be transformed...We are gathering this Friday to drum away in prayer to heal all relationships - Earth, peoples, and everything and anything. Please come with friends, and family. Children are welcome! Last drum circle was awesome with beautiful powerful energy.

Tunnel Concert, Marin, 11/18

The Green Music Network is presenting a concert in the Hawk Hill Tunnel featuring Telsa Duo with Stephen Kent and Drew Dellinger. This looks to be an amazing concert featuring the didjeridoo, Sitar, world Banjo, Hang and Huaca. The site for the event is one of the WWII tunnels in the Marin Headland, just north of the Golden Gate Bridge.

The event is a musical prayer for harmony between humans & the earth, and also a benefit for Green Music Network's two core projects - Vibrational Ecology and an Integrative Database linking musicians and ecological non-profits for mutual benefit.

This really looks to be a very interesting event, and one you won't want to miss.

What: Telsa Duo with Stephen Kent and Drew Dellinger
When: Nov 18, 8:50 PM
Cost: $26.10

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

RSS Readers, Blog Entries and the Flute Portal

I wanted to take a moment to help explain some of the new web technology for those of you who may be less web savvy. There are some very cool software tools evolving on the web to help make your life easier. One of these technologies is (now) called Really Simply Syndication or RSS. In non-techy speak this is simply a technology which allows you 'subscribe' to your favorite websites, and have a consolidated way to check for new information posted there.

For example, you may have a bunch of favorites blogs (like this one...) which you read on a consistent basis. BUT, you might find it annoying to bounce around to these sites only to find that no new articles have been published. Well, RSS provides a method where by you can collect all of the newly published content (like this blog posting) in what's known as a RSS reader. Think of it as your own assistent to go fetch new web content and bring it all back to one place.

There are a variety of RSS Readers available out there, but the one I personally use is Bloglines, which I have found to be both powerful and relatively easy to configure. There is nothing to download (it's a website), but you do need to create a new account, and then configure it. Most of the RSS readers will allow you to enter the URL for your favorite blogs or websites and then subscribe to the RSS feed from the blog or website. You can even fetch the latest news from all of your favorite news sites.

Which brings me to my last point. This is all really only useful for websites and blogs which publish an RSS feed. There is an RSS feed for this blog, so simply entering the URL into any RSS reader will enable you to subscribe to the feed. Then when I publish a new article, your RSS reader will see the entry, grab it and let you know that there is new content. The newly opened Flute Portal also includes an RSS feed for all of the content on the site, a pretty cool feature (kudos to the Flute Portal dev team for adding this feature)

2007 Cooperman Hand Drum Catalog

I wanted to announce that the 2007 Cooperman Drum catalog is now available for download. If you are looking for a new hand drum, Cooperman makes the best hand drums on the planet (in my opinion). Whether you're in the market for a new Bodhran, Tar or Riq, Cooperman has a drum for you. I am especially interested to play their new artist series Riq (shown below) which is larger in diameter, smaller in width and includes an aluminum bearing edge (which helps balance the drum forward).

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Bay Clan Flute Circle, Sunday 11/12

EVENT: November Bay Clan Flute Circle
DATE: Sunday, November 12th, 2006
TIME: 11 AM to 4 PM
LOCATION: Livermore, California (Contact Frankie Sierra for address)
HOSTS: David Loo Co-Host 1-415-810-2169, Home of Lee and Patricia Johnson as Co-Hosts
ORGANIZER: Frankie Sierra 1-408-242-6464, f dot sierra at comcast dot net


11:00 AM: Start arriving, setup, socialize.
12:00 PM: Lunch potluck and open mic.
1:00 PM: Playing Duets.
2:00 PM: Group playing.
3:00 PM: Open Mic


Playing with others, in Duet setups(two flutes, or flute and another instrument).
Also group playing games.


Flutes in tune (for playing with others). Keys of A, G, F#,D, and E are fairly common.
All skill levels are welcome.
Beginners can pair with more experienced players for mentorship. Group playing will be suitable for all skill levels (including beginners).
Also bring something to share for the lunch potluck, and a portable chair for yourself.

Native American Flute Portal LIVE

I just got word that the Flute Portal, created by Jeff Ball and our very own Geoffrey Ellis is now online and open. Be sure to check out the flute raffle, and the free MP3 downloads. This is something that Jeff and Geoffrey have been working on since the INAFA convention and I know that it's taken a lot of work to get it up. I'd like to congratulate them for bringing this together.
If you have a flute circle, you can setup and manage your own flute circle page on the flute portal, making this an excellent way to market your flute circle and let folks find you.

I'll be adding an online Native American Flute Class area soon! So stay tuned...

Mary Youngblood concert on Dec 9th, Grass Valley

News is finally up about Mary Youngblood's concert in Grass Valley. Her last concert in Grass Valley sold out, so make sure that you get tickets early. We'll be sure to have some kind of get together before hand for dinner for NCFC members.

What: Mary Youngblood and Sisters of the Earth

When: Dec 9th, 8PM

Cost: $20

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Native American Flute Class Tuesday, Palo Alto

Just a reminder that there will be a Native American Flute Class this week on Tuesday 11/7 in Palo Alto, 5:30-7PM. Cost $15. For more information check out the NCFC website:

Beginners are welcome! The topic this week is duets, and playing with others. I always bring some flutes for sale, currently I have flutes available from Stephen DeRuby and John Stillwell.

Also, since it's the holiday season, I have a few Kokopelli Christmas songbooks available for sale.

Note that there will NOT be class on 11/21 since it's Thanskgiving week and I'll be out of town. Normal class routine will resume in December.

31st Annual American Indian Film Festival

Producer: American Indian Film Institute

America's oldest showcase for American Indian films

When: Th/F/S, 11/9-11/11 2006, 7:30 PM
Where: Palace of Fine Arts, San Francisco

Tickets range in price from $10-$15.

Advance tickets available by calling the American Indian Film Institute (415-554-0525). Tickets available at the door one hour prior to showtime.

Hearst hosts Native American Heritage events

By Kathleen Maclay, Media Relations 02 November 2006

BERKELEY - The University of California, Berkeley's Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology will host a series of free lectures, tours, a film and performances during November to celebrate American Indian Heritage Month.
The lecture series will feature public talks by museum curators and scholars who utilize the museum's Native American collections. They will highlight the objects' immense value in teaching and research.
The Hearst museum is famous worldwide for its collection of California Indian artifacts and has some 300,000 catalogued items that range in size from full-sized tule reed canoes to miniature Pomo baskets. Some of these items are in a permanent exhibition called the Native Californian Cultures Gallery that opened at the museum in 2002.

The November programs will take place at the museum, which is located on campus near the intersection of Bancroft Way and College Avenue.

"The key thing is that the museum is really striving to foster good relations with the tribes and also wants the public to benefit from these outreach programs," said Kent Lightfoot, acting director of the museum and a UC Berkeley professor of archaeology.

On Thursday, Nov. 9, Parrish will discuss and narrate "Pomo Shaman," a documentary about his late mother, Essie Parrish, a Kashaya Pomo healer. The film was produced by Samuel Barrett, who earned the first Ph.D. in anthropology at UC Berkeley in 1908. Later in his life, Barrett worked on the American Indian Films Project, which was funded by the National Science Foundation. "Pomo Shaman," part of that project, will be shown at 7 p.m.

How museums represent native people will be the focus of a 7 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 16, presentation by Amy Lonetree, an assistant professor of anthropology at Portland State University and a 2004-2006 UC Berkeley Chancellor's Post-Doctoral Fellow. Lonetree is a member of the Ho-Chunk tribe.

"Indigenizing the Museum" will be the topic of a 7 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 30, lecture by Majel Boxer, a UC Berkeley doctoral candidate in ethnic studies. Boxer belongs to the Sisseton/Wahpeton Dakota tribe.

The Hearst Museum is open Wednesday through Sunday. For more information, call (510)643-7649 or visit the museum's Web site

Saturday, November 04, 2006

StoryCorps - recording stories of America

This post is completely unrelated to Native American Flute or music for that matter, but I think that it's pretty cool, so I wanted to let you all know about it...

I was in NYC on business several weeks ago and I had the chance to visit the WTC site. (I am still working on a post about my experience there). At the WTC site there a perminate StoryCorps booth. I was really intrigued by the mission of StoryCorps to capture stories about everyday people, record them and archive them. In reality this is a national oral history project. This idea has become especially important to me as my parents are aging and I only have a few 'great' aunts and uncles left and my wife's grandmother is still going strong in her 80's.

StoryCorps provides a Do It Yourself guide, which includes a sample interview guide, as well as the opportunity to sponsor an outpost in your community or a Door-to-door project in your workplace or community.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Peter Kater in Concert in San Jose, Dec 10

Just a note that Peter Kater will be in concert in San Jose at the Center for Spirtual Living on Sunday, December 10th. Peter Kater has become famous in the Native American flute world for his collaboration with R. Carlos Nakai over many CD's, but as a solo pianist Peter Kater has also been responsible for shaping the new age music market.

What: Peter Kater

Where: Center for Spiritual Living, San Jose, CA

When: Sunday, December 10th, 1:30PM-3PM, Sanctuary