Sunday, February 25, 2007

Mary Youngblood in Berkeley - This Week

Mary Youngblood and Sister of the Earth will be performing in Berkeley this week at the Freight and Salvage coffee house. I'll be there, so if you can make it drop me a line and we can sit together as a group. Don't forget to bring along a percussion instrument...

Here's the details:

What: Mary Youngblood and Sister of the Earth
When: Thursday, March 1, 2007. Show starts at 8PM
Cost: $18.50 (adv); $19.50 (door)
Where: Freight & Salvage Coffee House
Directions: Link

Wanna learn more about Copyrights?

Here's an excellent link to help you understand more about the legal aspect of copyrights for your music, art and writing. It's a great resource to use as you determine how to protect your work:

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Upcoming NoCal 2007 Pow Wow Calendar

Here's a shot list of Pow Wow dates this year for Northern California:

Feb. 24th Marysville
April 7-8 Berkeley Pow wow
May 12-13 Stanford Pow Wow
July 27-29 Vallejo Pow Wow
August 4 -5 Sacramento Pow wow
October 6 - 7 Napa Suscol Inter Tribal Pow Wow Yountville
October 13 Berkeley Indigenous People Day
November 3 -4 Travis AFB Veterans Pow Wow
November 17 D-Q University Pow Wow
November 22 Sunrise Ceremony Alcatraz

Drop me an email if you have other exciting events for 2007!

Celebrate Mexica New Year in San Jose, March 10-11

The annual Aztec dance ceremony/celebration for Mexica New Year is here again with many great dancers in beautiful regalia. With feathers flying as they dance fiercely to the powerful large Aztec "Huehuetl" drum rhythms piercing directly into your soul, is a must if you haven't experienced this before.

Xavier Quijas Yxayotl will play his Aztec flutes along with the scream of the Dead Whistle all day from 10:00 to 6:00pm on
Saturday March 10
Gardner Community Center
520 W. Virginia St., San Jose
408 324-6215 Mitlilpilli

On Sunday Xavier will conduct an afternoon/evening mini concert presentation,
please check the above contact for this location and the time.

Both days he will have a booth with his CD's, flutes, conch shells and instruments, and some new jewelry lines and fabulous new shell and gemstone bracelets at the best prices ever.

Also March 12-13 Xavier will conduct a workshop on how to make clay flutes! Details to follow.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Pictures of Mary Youngblood and Gentle Thunder at the 2007 Grammys

I found some photos online from this years Grammy awards, there's some pic's of Mary Youngblood receiving her grammy:

Here's some fun photo's of Gentle Thunder, Will Clipman and Amo Daubney:

Friday, February 16, 2007

Check out Last Caravan

Last Caravan is Garth Brooks of Elysium Calling and Vincent Zorn, Brian Jirka and Jeribai Tascoe grooving on some Global Flamenco Funk to help the forest!

This year Last Caravan will be performing at the 5th annual LOVE THE FOREST Valentines Concert this Saturday Febuary 17th at the Black Bart Playhouse in Murphys, CA.
580 Algiers

Show starts at 7:00pm and will feature the Space Heaters, a local favorite!!

This annual concert is part of an ongoing effort to help the Forest Watch program in the Sierras...check out the website below for more info..

also visit:

See you there!!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Save the date: April 21, NCFC Spring Gathering

The NoNahme Clan is busy at work planning the Spring Gathering for the NCFC. Marion Cole, Lew Price, Dave Blonski and the others are doing a great job putting this event together. The details are still being worked out, but here's a glimpse of what's being planned:

When: Saturday, April 21. All day.
Where: Georgetown, CA (East of Sacramento)

There will be workshops, including a NAF Beginners Workshop with Mike Oitzman. A Flute Makers Workshop with Lew Price, and a Digeridoo Workshop with David Blonski. There will be an open mic all day. The event is already posted on the Native Gatherings website.

The event will be in beautiful Georgetown, CA at the Black Oak Mine School Distict's 'Nature Area' and Ampitheater, located just north of Georgetown. At the IOOF Hall, in the evening, will be a concert benefit for our local KFOK FM Volunteer Radio Station. Details on the lineup for the concert will be announced shortly.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Upcoming Hand Drum classes at Rhythm Fusion

There are several drum classes on tap this spring at Rhythm Fusion in Santa Cruz:

Intro To Hand Drums With Dror Sinai
THURSDAYS 7:00 to 8:30 pm
MAY 4,11,25 /2006 ( May 18th 5:30-6:30pm taught by Raquy)
$80 All four classes
This class is for beginning drummers and for other musicians who would like to gain some experience and knowledge of different drums and percussion instruments from around the world. It will focus on the basic rhythm techniques used in creating the sounds and rhythms on the frame drum (Tar or Def), Riq (Middle Eastern tambourine), Doumbek (Darbuka, Durbaky, Tabla), and various sound makers.

Drum Journey
Per drummers request Tuesdays in May 2,9,16 and 23rd 7:00 to 8:30 pm
Register for 4 classes at a time $80
Or drop in $25 a class
Dror Sinai will teach this class with SPECIAL GUESTS:

Tues,May 2nd,Guest Teacher Armando Fojaco (Uncle Mafufu)-see

This class is for drummers who already experienced the Intro to Hand Drums and for other musicians who would like to gain some experience and knowledge of different drums and percussion instruments from around the world. We will focus on rhythms and techniques on the frame drum, Riq, Doumbek, and various sound makers.Well orchestrate polyrhythms and songs.Learn how to listen,how to express and have fun
All Percussion instruments players are welcome

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Mary Youngblood WINS!!!

Congratulations to Mary Youngblood for winning her second grammy today for "Dance with the Wind". Mary certainly deserves it, this is an awesome album and I know that she poured her heart and soul into. Way to go Mary!

Friday, February 09, 2007

Tuvan Throat Singing: Chirgilchin

I watched the TV show: Digging up the Truth a few weeks ago when they investigated the history behind Genghis Chan and the Mongol dynasty. The amazing fact from the show was that Genghis Chan was such a great leader that he was able to unify everything from the far east, to the middle east to Europe. He also had so many wives and children that it's estimated that something like 10% of the people living in China are related to him today (I don't know if I've got all my facts straight, so don't quote me on this..). Anyhow, Tuva is a small country on the bordor of China (it's a former Soviet state) who's residents still live very much like Genghis Chan.
If you have never heard Tuvan throat singing, then I have a treat for you. One of the best touring groups "Chirgilchin" is in Berkeley next week for one performance on Wednesday, Feb 14th, 8PM at Ashkanaz.
I saw them last year, at the same place, and it's still one of the most amazing shows I have ever seen. I plan to be there again next week.

Ancient Flute Discovered in Utah

This story is a very cool discovery of an ancient flute discovered in Eastern Utah. The flute was discovered by accident, otherwise it would have remained hidden for a lot longer.
The flute is 27 inches long and some folks are speculating that it may be more than a thousand years old. I am a bit sceptical that that a wooden instrument would have survived intact in this exposed location for a thousand years, but it would be awesome if indeed it proves to be that old. I would expect that it's younger than that, but that's my opinion.
Regardless, this is an exciting discovery. A Ute tribal elder presided over the removal of the flute from it's location. The article hints that once the flute is investigated by archeologists, it will be placed in display for the public.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

NoNahme and Loping Wolf Flute Circle this weekend

There's going to be a real fun event this weekend, if you happen to be in or near the Sacramento area. The NoNahme Clan (Garden Valley) and the Loping Wolf Clan are getting together on Saturday for a flute circle.

WHO: All interested in Native American Flutes & Drums, whether or not you can play.
WHEN: Saturday, February 10, 2007. Rain or Shine.
TIME for Potluck: 11:00 AM- If you want to eat and socialize before the F&D Circle.
TIME for Flute & Drum Circle: 1:00 PM for those who plan to have lunch before coming.
ENDING TIME: Depends or TBD.
PLACE: Mignon's: 5721 McKinley Drive, Garden Valley 95633
OPTIONAL: Tour of Georgetown Nature Area.,
OPTIONAL: Dinner in Georgetown.

CA-49 South to Auburn
Left onto ELM AVE in Auburn.
Left onto HIGH ST and follow CA-49 towards Coloma and Placerville.
Continue on CA-49 down the canyon (twisty road).
Right onto the bridge over the Confluence (Am River) and up the canyon (twisty).
Continue on CA- 49 through Cool, towards Coloma.
Left on Marshall Road towards Garden Valley (5 Miles)
Right onto Garden Valley Road (1 Mile)
Right onto Garden Park Drive,entering Garden Park Subdivision "Private", (1/2 mile)
Right onto Hood Court.
Left onto McKinley Drive.
Left into driveway of 5721 McKinley Drive.

US-50 EAST towards Placerville/South Lake Tahoe
Drive past towns of Folsom, El Dorado Hills, and Cameron Park
Exit #37 Ponderosa (in town of Shingle Springs)
Left onto Ponderosa (over the freeway)
Right onto North Shingle Rd (go 4-5 miles) towards Coloma, Lotus, Georgetown.
North Shingle becomes Lotus Rd as you veer left and continue towards Lotus (another 7-8 miles)
Left onto CA-49, go over bridge of the American River-South Fork (go 1/2 mile as you pass Shell Station on your right)
Right onto Marshall Road towards Garden Park, (go 5 miles)
Right onto Garden Valley Road after seeing Garden Valley sign. (go1 mile)
Right onto Garden Park Drive as you enter Garden Park Subdivision "Private" (go1/2 mile)
Right onto Hood Court.
Left onto McKinley Drive.
Left into driveway of 5721 McKinley Drive.

Do not use "MapQuest" as it can be inaccurate.

Don't forget to bring your flutes, drums, shakers (and your favorite dish or non-alcoholic drinks if you plan to participate in the potluck from 11:00AM to 1:00PM).

Bring your swim suit and a towel if you would like to use the unheated swimming pool. If you have a favorite chair, please bring in case we are short of chairs.

Let us know if you are interested in seeing the Nature Area, where we plan to have our Spring Gathering on April 21. Also, let us know if you would be interested in having dinner in Georgetown.

Hope you all can make it. If you have questions, please call Mignon at 530-333-0299.

NCFC Calendar is up to date

If you haven't checked lately, be sure to check out the Northern California Flute Circle Calendar online:

I have updated it for 2007 and it now has current events posted (at least all of the one's we know about).

To the grammys...

I wanted to wish both Mary Youngblood and Gentle Thunder good luck this weekend at the Grammy awards. Mary Youngblood has been nominated for a grammy in the category: "Best Native American Album" for her latest ablum: Dance with the Wind. Gentle Thunder, Will Clipman and Am0Chip Dabney have been nominated for a grammy in the category: "Best New Age Album" for their latest collaboration: Beyond Words.

We're blessed to have such great local talent here in Northern California and it's fun to be able to root for both of them to win, since they have been nominated in different categories. I read Mary's response to the MaryYoungblood yahoo group and she sounds really excited about her chances to win. She is taking her whole family down to LA for the event. I really like Dance with Wind, I think that it's one of her best albums, so I think that it has a great chance to win. I know that the whole Loping Wolf clan will be sending all of their positive thoughts to Mary on sunday night and I encourage the rest of the Northern California Flute Circle to do the same.

I was fortunate to met Gentle Thunder and Will Clipman at the INAFA convention this summer. They are both consumate showman and great songwriters. Gentle Thunder lives in Shasta, so we don't see her much, but you can expect that I am going to do everything I can to get her and Will to tour NoCal and play some of their great music for all of you. Will Clipman is also fortunate to have another nomination in the Best Native American Album, with Robert Tree Cody on Heart of the Wind. I love all of Will's work (but I am really pulling for Mary in this one...).

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

KODO Concert Review

I was fortunate to catch the premiere Japanese Taiko group: KODO in concert this last week. The concert was awesome. I drove up to Marin last Thursday evening to see them at the Marin Veterin Memorial Center.

I only have one word: WOW!!
This group is one of the premiere traveling Taiko groups from Japan. They usually get over the US about once every two years.
They performed some amazing songs and I am in awe at the skills and dexterity of the troop members. Their musicianship was really tight and I can't believe the stamina that these guys exhibited during their performance.
One of my favorite songs was performed by seven of the group members on the Shime drums. The Shime is one of the smallest and highest pitches taiko drums. It's about the size of a snare drum on a typical drum kit. It's tuned by standing on the edges and pulling the rope tight around the outside. Anyhow, seven of the group members were lined up on stage and started by playing 1/16 notes very quietly, they then took turns improvising and playing in rounds across the line. The sonic experience from the audience perspective was unlike anything I have ever heard live in my life. This was something which was impossible to capture with microphones, and it's something which I'll always remember.
Between songs, they entertained us with some non-verbal comedy while the drums for the next song were set up. Overall it was a great evening.
I purchased their latest compilation album: Heartbeat. It's a good collection of Taiko drumming, but as I've found with Taiko, half of the presentation is visual so it's not as good as seeing it live.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Flute Class this week, Feb 6

This week is the third class of my six session beginners class. Drop in's are welcome. This week we'll be reviewing the basic scale and T-sounds. We're going to start learning vibrato this week.

When: 5:30 -7:00 PM
Where:The Marhatis Enlightenment Center, Home of Rev. Maxi Harper
3433 Aston Ct. Palo Alto, CA
Printable Directions
Cost: $60 for 3 months (6 classes), or $15 drop in fee.

Materials: Optional purchase of "Beginning Native American Flute" book by Mike Oitzman, $20 includes CD

What to bring: Native American Flute and an open mind

If you don't own a flute, there will be excellent quality, entry level instruments available for sale from the instructor for under $100. Please contact Mike Oitzman prior to class to ensure that instruments will be available. After the class there is a Gentle Jam Circle at the Center for soft drums, flutes, didg, shakers and sound instruments. There is even a gong and singing crystal bowls that joins in and is open to voice and chants. A great way to practice what you learned in class. More info:

About the Class
This 3 month class is designed for all levels of Native American flute players. We will experience some traditional music as well as learning free form so you may apply your flute to accompany chants and other instruments in various circles. The sound and music that comes from this instrument and the culture are an intricate part of the energy and community that we so disparately need to recreate in our world right now. To solo to self with the flute is a healing to the soul and a comfort to the earth. It is the prayers of the heartful humanity set forth on winds of change. In this class you will learn the melodies of the heart, techniques of the intellect and the guidance of great spirit.

Please RSVP for the class: mikeoitzman AT naflute DOT com
More information:

Native American Drum Building Class

My friend Ghislane also wants to schedule a Native American Drum building class, in the bay area, in March or April. If you are interested in building your own drum, this is an excellent opportunity.

The class will likely be one and half days (an evening and the following day).
Cost is not yet determined, until we find out how many folks are interested and what size drums folks want to make.

If you are interested, contact Ghislane by phone: 650-200-6195

Drum Circle in Palo Alto this Friday

My friend Ghislane will be hosting a drum circle this coming Friday evening, Feb 9th, 2007:

"The Sacred Drumming Circle starts at 7:00 p.m. and goes until 9:00p.m.
We operate on Indian time so if you are not able to come right away or have toleave early it is perfectly alright.
It is at Unity Church in Palo Alto in the fire room.
Address: 3391 Middlefield Rd,Palo Alto, 94306 - (650) 494-7222 church number.
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 didge, 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 that is dear to your heart.
Please come with friends, and family. Children are welcome! I am looking forwards to seeing you all.
Mitakuye Ohyasin,

Long Month...

I apologize for the long period between posts last month. I've had busy time at work, traveling alot on business and it's left me with little energy to do much else.