Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year 2010

As we say goodbye to the naughties, and welcome in the teens, I wanted to take a moment to say thank you to all of the folks who have contributed so much to the Northern California Flute Circle during the last decade.

To Dan, Lisa, Lew, Lynn and Mary - you've been there through it all. Thanks for your continued support through all of the various events and celebrations. We've seen a lot of people come and go, but I love you guys most of all for all what you've contributed in blood, sweat and tears for the organization. You guys are the heart of the flute circle.

To Frankie, Brian, Doc, Cryss, Dan, Sheree and others who have joined us and jumped in with your whole spirit - you've made the NCFC what it is today and continue to breathe life into our evolving personality. Thanks to you for helping us all become better. You guys are the spirit of the flute circle.

To Bob - where ever you are...
Thanks once again for your creative spirit and amazing organizational ability that enabled you to put a solid foundation into the organization. I pray that you're still playing and entertaining yourself and others with your music. I look forward to a time when we can play together again.

To all of the flutemakers: Keep evolving the instrument, improving the sound, playability and crafting beautiful sounding extensions of your spirit for others to enjoy. Don't ever forget where this instrument came from and honor both its history and its future.
I know that the last year has been tough, especially on you all, but please hang in there. You've been gifted with a special talent that will find value no matter what the economy.

To all of the flute players: Keep on playing! Play for others. Play for yourself. Play for the spirit. Just play. Try to play for someone who hasn't heard the sound of the flute before, and spread the joy that it brings to others lives. Make someone's day. Volunteer at hospice. Take a hike and play for other hikers. Take your flute to work and play during lunch. Play at church. You've uncovered a part of your spirit, now go share it with others.

To the year ahead: I really have no idea what the year ahead holds for us as an organization. I have some ideas, and can promise that there will be some changes. If you're reading this and you're compelled to jump in and help share your special gifts to make this organization better, please consider contacting me. I sure that we can use your skills to a positive effect.

Yours in spirit,


Friday, December 18, 2009

Free MP3 from Gentle Thunder and Will Clipman

Gentle Thunder and Will Clipman are offering an early Christmas present for all of their fans. It's a free download of the song Passionate Mystery from their fully mixed and mastered but as-yet unreleased new CD: Translucent.

The song features Gentle Thunder's luscious hammered dulcimer playing, backed by Will's always incredible percussion. And of course, GT on NAF.

Here's the link:

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Bay Area HangHang Trio

The Green Music Network presents:

Bay Area H A n g h a N G Trio

WHEN: Fri Dec 18th, 2009
WHERE: 3030 Ingalls, SF, 94124

Donation toward the talent: $15 at door
Alan Tower
hang, waterphone, bilma, steel angels
Aharon Wheels Bolsta
hang, bansuri, tabla, udu, ehecatl
Gary Muszynski
hang, udu, water phone, steel angel, shakers

LUNA GROOVE - SOULSTICE BONFIRE : House Concert and Brazilified Dance Party

Celebrate Soulstice at the Bayview Winery, for a secret get-away in the city!! Enjoy brilliant music, sweet beats for dance, the magical garden, blazing bonfire circle and potluck kitche followed by the Genie, a virtuoso scratch-guitarist that will set the groove in motion. Then DJ Jazzy Fausto's Brazilified beats at 11pm for your dancing pleasure, with surprise guests to take everyone into the dark night. Fire dancers are very welcome!! Bring something to share and your instruments for fire circle fun!

For more information:

Thursday, December 10, 2009

New INAFA CD Available: Woodnotes Wyld

INAFA is pleased to announce the new INAFA CD called Woodnotes Wyld: Historic Flute Sounds From the Dr. Richard W. Payne Collection. This is the first CD in the International Native American Flute Association’s Historic Flute Series. This CD is an ethnomusicological field recording of the flutes from Dr. Richard W. Payne’s extensive collection. Performed and recorded in Dr. Payne's flute room by Peter Phippen in 2002, the music on Woodnotes Wyld is solely improvisational, meant to explore the voice and parameters of select instruments. The intent of this historically and musically significant endeavor is to maintain the integrity of Phippen’s field recording, opting for a true, honest realization of the flute voices rather than trying to bend them to the Western, commercial ear.

World flutist and scholar Peter Phippen was Dr. Payne’s friend and student, kindred spirits fascinated by the flute sounds of the world. Dr. Payne spoke highly of Peter’s spirit, enthusiasm, and talent: “Peter is a real phenomenon! He has shown a real talent with early Native American aerophones.” (

Dr. Richard W. Payne (1918-2004) was a physician, pioneer, scholar, collector, and INAFA advisory board member who had a genuine interest in world flutes and cultures. He was a prolific individual who greatly contributed to the resurgence of interest in the Native American flute tradition. His research yielded several books that have truly inspired and educated, such as The Native American Plains Flute, The Hopi Flute Ceremony, and Indigenous Aerophones of the Northwest Coast. Dr Payne’s spirit and joy is still felt within the Native American flute community. His dedication and scholarship are gifts that will endure for generations.

The music on Woodnotes Wyld, as well as all publishing rights, was donated to the organization by Peter Phippen. All proceeds generated from this CD will benefit the INAFA and its mission and goals.

INAFA is now taking preorders. Orders will begin shipping starting next week.

Cost: $15 with free shipping. Send check or money order payable to:

INAFA, 3351 Mintonville Point Drive, Suffolk, VA 23435

Credit Card Through Paypal to: INAFA@AOL.COM

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Online Drum Machine

If you're looking for a drum machine to accompany your playing, but not ready to invest in a hardware solution, here's a great online source for drum beats. You can selec the style and speed of the backing drum track:

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Gary Stroutsos has a new website up

Gary Stroutsos has his new website redesign up and running. Check it:

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Albert Tenaya's CD Release House Concert

Albert Tenaya's CD Release House Concert is coming up this weekend.

WHEN: Sunday October 18, 2009
WHERE: 3396 Royal Ct. Napa, CA
TIME: 4-7 PM with an open mic at 4, chili dinner at 5, concert at 5:30
RSVP: Please RSVP for this event: 707-738-3093 or

About Albert Tenaya

Albert is a very accomplished Native American flute player and Valley Clan Flute Circle is pleased to support his new CD release.
For more info:

Directions to 3396 Royal Ct. Napa:

From Highway 29 in Napa, exit 1st Street/Browns Valley Rd and go west/left over the overpass.
Follow First Street until it turns into Browns Valley Rd. You won't notice the change. About 2/3 blocks after Browns Valley Market shopping center you will turn leftish, following Browns Valley Rd. At the stop sign turn left onto Buhman Rd. Drive passed the school another few blocks, turn left on Crestview Way. Turn left at Royal Ct. Lynn's cell phone will be on 707-738-3093

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Jam time!

I was searching around on the internet for Jam tracks as part of an upcoming project that I am putting together. (Make sure that you're planning on attending the upcoming Loping Wolf / NCFC Winter gathering in December!). While checking out various sites, I stumbled on this cool site with various jam tracks in what they call the "Jam Machine". So grab your flutes, and don't plan on going to bed until late tonight! (becuase I guarantee that you'll be up late playing with this...)

Key G:
Try the "Rock" or "Ballad" settings with a E flute
Try the "Funk" or "Blues" settings with a G flute.

Key C:
Try the "Ballad" or "Major" settings with an A flute

Key A:
Try the "Jazz", "Blues" or the "Cool" settings with an A flute

Key E:
Try the "Rock", "Cool" and the "Blues settings with an E flute

If you find other sites, please let me know.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Mary Youngblood Moaning Caverns Concert 2009 Cancelled

I just got word that Mary Youngblood's concert tomorrow (Oct 3, 2009) at Moaning Caverns has been cancelled because Mary is ill. I don't have any specifics on Mary's condition, but add her to your prayers for a speedy recovery.

If you have tickets, contact Moaning Caverns for information on what to do about your ticket. I am not sure that it will be rescheduled, but if I hear anything, I will post the information. Feel free to add a comment if you know more.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Yosemite Flute Festival 2009 Day 2

Saturday at the Yosemite Flute Festival.

There was lots of live music throughout the day. The open mic went non-stop (except for the drum circle time) throughout the day. It’s really fun to listen to all of the different ways that folks have to express their music through the Native American Flute. Here’s a picture of NCFC members Eric and Allie Ray (from Marysville) on stage. BTW, Eric has been nominated for a Nammy this year, you can vote for Eric here:

It looks like the drum circle was a huge hit again this year, and is now a permanent part of the tradition of the festival. David Ferrier was kind enough to let folks without a drum (like me) borrow a drum from his inventory to play during the drum circle. Bill Timothy (Central Coast Flute Circle) facilitated the drum circle and kept the music going.

The highlight of the afternoon was the ending of the silent auction. There were lots of great flutes and other raffle items to choose from. The bidding started heating up as the deadline approached. In the end everyone appeared to be satisfied with their purchase, including one gal who won three flutes. Here's some pic's of the winners:

Paul Thompson from Albuquerque NM showed up today, he was here to perform on stage with Gary Stroutsos at the concert. But Paul also brought some flutes to sell. It’s been 8 years since I’ve seen Paul Thompson, and at that time, I wasn’t completely familiar with place in the history of flutemakers in North America nor was I in a place on my path to buy one of his flutes, but I didn’t let that opportunity slip past me this time, as I bought one of Paul black bamboo flutes. Paul has been making flutes since the early seventies and has influenced many, many flutemakers and flute players since that time. His flute will have a special place in my collection. Here’s Tim Blueflint with a birdhead flute by Paul Thompson.

As I surveyed all of the flutes and other artwork for sale this weekend, one flute caught my eye. In Brent Haines booth, I saw a wonderful painting, and when I asked Brent who the artist was, he picked up a flute and showed me the work of Jeremy Johns. Jeremy is a 20 year old artist from Brent’s town. Brent saw another piece of his artwork and asked Jeremy if he’d be interested in painting a flute (or two) for Brent. From that collaboration came this beautiful dragonfly flute (see below). The detail is phenomenal (the picture doesn’t do it justice). You can expect to see more collaboration between Brent and Jeremy in the future.

Finally, the evening ended with a wonderful concert by a large cast of musicians including Stephan DeRuby, Kim, Rick and Linda Dunlop, Gary Stroutsos, Paul Thompson, William Hoshal and Vince Chafin.
I especially enjoyed Gary Strousos and William Hoshal tribute to Paul Horn.
The highlight of the evening was the final piece, a tribute to the Beatles, were all of the performers played a version of Within You Without You. Gary even donned spectacles (like George Harrison) for the final song.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Another great day at Yosemite

So another day ends, and where did it go? I apologize to everyone, I
had good intentions of posting more often throughout the but it turns
out to be difficult to post from the small screen of the phone. I took
alot of pictures and I'll post my favorites tomorrrow.

Yosemite Flute Festival 2009 Day 1 – Recap

It’s Saturday morning here in Oakhurst. I am reminiscing about the wonderful day we had yesterday at the event. There’s a wonderful collection of vendors this year, everything from flutes (of course) to drums, to Native art and some great jewelry. I was lucky to find some time yesterday to met almost all of the vendors and survey all of the great art that they’ve brought to the show this year. I plan to get more pictures today of more flutes and flute makers.
Here's Linda Dunlop, setting up the latest creation called "Baby Moyo's".

Here’s this summer’s litter of new drums by David Ferrer. I spent a bit of time in Dave’s booth yesterday “trying out” all of his latest creations. It was hard to leave his tent…

I’ve enjoyed watching David mature in this craft over the last couple years, as he started first by selling his drums at the Loping Wolf winter gathering and now he’s making drums full time and enjoying every moment of it. David lives in the Sacramento area.

The concert was a fun evening. I didn’t get too many pic’s from the concert (other than the previous post of Michael Graham Allen). I did get a few pic’s before the show. Here’s a picture of myself, Kenneth Hooper and Dan Ricketts.

Garth Brooks and Kenneth Hooper took the stage first, in a much anticipated reunion of Elysium Calling. Unfortunately, they had to fight through some problems with the sound system for their first couple songs, but I thought that they handled it professionally, and Garth was able to make light humor of the situation. They entertained with a nice sampling of songs from their albums. I am sure that they made some new fans last night.

Michael Graham Allen, (AKA Coyote Oldman) took the stage next, and provided an incredible sampling of music and sound from a variety of his historical recreations. Michael is now building (and selling) an array of flutes based on his research into all of the different flutes and flute tradition from across North America. Michael has brought these sounds back to life, and it was mesmerizing to hear him play all of these flutes. Like I said in my earlier post, I really think that Michael Graham Allen may be a living “Kokopelli”, spreading the ancient sound of the flute traditions to a new generation. Michael invited Rick Dunlop on stage for a couple of pieces, including one where Rick played him Moyo drum in an Anasazi-tuning. It was one of those magical moments of the evening.
Here's a picture of Michael Graham Allen (l) and Rick Dunlop (r)

Scott August took the stage last, and he entertained us with a selection of many of his best songs. Like Michael Graham Allen, Scott has become one of the most proficient performing artists on the Anasazi flute. When Scott combines the Anasazi with all of the sound textures that Scott is able to coax out of his computer in the studio, it’s an incredible thing.

So now I am off to day 2 of the event. But one memory stands out from yesterday. Geri Littlejohn is in town, and it was fun to see her again. I think that I hardly saw her throughout the day when she wasn’t giving hugs to someone. Geri brought Zebb along for the trip, and I think that at eight, he’s already a great “flute salesman”. He challenged me to a game of “corn hole” (tossing the corn filled bags at a target), and he beat me 11-9. I’ll remember that game for a long time.

PS – Happy Birthday to Rick Dunlop (it was it birthday yesterday). Nothing like throwing yourself a big party, complete with 30+ flute vendors and a huge concert!!

Michael Graham Allen in Concert

Here's a picture of Michael Graham Allen (aka Coyote Oldman) from the
concert last night at the Yosemite
Flute Festival. The photo isn't great because it was taken with my
iPhone and no flash. But I thought that he kinda looked like Kokopelli
here, don't you think?

Friday, September 25, 2009

Yosemite Flute Festival Concert

Sound check for the concert. Here's Garth Brooks tuning up for the
show. Tonight's gig includes Elysium Calling, Coyote Oldman and Scott

Informal jam

Dave Blonski, Stephan DeRuby, and Rick Dunlop in an informal jam in
preparation for tomorrow nights concert.

Yosemite flute festival 2009

Open mic has started. Here's John Kulias on stage. Lot's of others
coming up. It's warm here.

Yosemite Flute Festival 2009 Day 1

It's Friday morning. A crisp autumn morning in the Sierra's.
Last night, we had the volunteer and vendor BBQ. It was a fun event, and a great chance to chat with everyone in a real relaxed atmosphere. All of the flutemakers are here and most of the performers. I am looking forward to a great day.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Live Blogging from Yosemite Flute Festival 2009

Stay tuned this weekend, as I'll be "live blogging" from the Yosemite Flute Festival.
I'll update the blog as often as I can with pictures, stories and hopefully a few interviews of flute makers and artists.

What: Yosemite Flute and Art Festival
Where: Oakhurst, CA

When: Friday Sept 25 - Sunday Sept 27, 2009




Descendants of Famous Native Americans Join Effort to Honor and Heal

For more information, contact the Tsi Akim Maidu Thrift Store, 530-477-0711

GRASS VALLEY, CA. Descendants of famous Native Americans, including Geronimo, Sitting Bull, and Crazy Horse, will join members of the local Maidu tribe in a four day celebration October 9-12, 2009. The tenth annual Indigenous Peoples Days is expected to draw hundreds of native and non native supporters, including Mohawk musicians from the East Coast and Maori healers from New Zealand.

The gathering of descendants is a new addition to a local cultural event that has grown in ten years from a small candelight vigil on Broad Street to a four day gathering. The event opens Friday night in downtown Nevada City with a round dance in the street.

On Saturday traditional runners will carry a salmon seven miles from Parks Bar to Bridgeport State Park at the South Yuba River, to an ancient riverside Maidu gathering called “Calling Back the Salmon”. This year the town of Smartsville will honor the runners as they pass through the town.

On Sunday, descendants of famous natives will join Navajo flutists, Maori healers, Hawaiian dancers, and a women’s drum circle for a day of celebration at the site of a traditional Maidu village, now the Maidu Active Cultural Center, or MACC, just outside Nevada City.

Story telling, a round dance, and fry bread are part of the children’s celebration on Monday morning at Miners Foundry, in downtown Nevada City. A ‘mother drum’ will hold the stage during an afternoon of discussions. Descendants, elders, and others will talk about healing soul wounds and reviving the Maidu language. The four day celebration ends with the Richard Prout Memorial Dinner.

IPD is an effort by local Tsi Akim Maidu tribal members to honor ancestors and heal the wounds of a history of genocide that began long before the Gold Rush. “Indigenous Peoples Days is not just a celebration of American Indian culture, but every culture that has been oppressed by colonial power.” according to Michael Ben Ortiz, a Choctaw man and a primary organizer. “People gain a greater sense of their identity. We share a deeper sense of respect for each other and the land we live on.”

The all volunteer, drug and alcohol free event is free and open to the public. Contributions are requested, especially for food. Guests are asked to bring table ware and seating to the outdoor events. For more information, see or , or call the Tsi Akim Maidu Thrift Store, 530-477-0711.

Volunteer Requests: Click here for more volunteer needs.

Calling Back the Salmon Runner Information:
Please go to to learn more about running in the Calling Back the Salmon run, and to signup for the run.


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Save the Date: Mary Youngblood at Moaning Caverns

It's that time of the year again. The geese have started their journey south for the winter, the days are getting shorter, the air is getting cooler in the mornings. Of course, I am talking about the annual NCFC pilgrammage with Mary Youngblood to Moaning Caverns.

Moaning Caverns is special place.

Not only because of the awesome beauty of the place, but it's also the site where Mary Youngblood recorded her first album: "The Offering". Every year, Mary returns to Moaning Caverns to rekindle the magic of that first album, and you're invited to join her.

What: Moaning Caverns with Mary Youngblood

When: Saturday, October 6, 2009

Time: 6 PM

Cost: Ticket prices vary

$24.95 bottom platform

$19.95 spiral staircase

$14.95 upper platform

Hurry, this event sells out every year. You can buy tickets here:

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Rideshare to Yosemite?

I have room in the car if anyone is going from Grass Valley/Nevada City/Sacramento area to Oakhurst on Thursday and coming back on Sunday. Drop me an email if you're interested.


Yosemite Flute Festival Sept 25 - 27, 2009

Just a quick reminders that the Yosemite Flute and Art Festival is happening next weekend, in Oakhurst CA. I hope to see many of you there, and I hope that you'll look me up and say hi!

For those who can't make it, stay tuned to this blog, as I'll be 'live blogging' from the event, posting pictures and stories of what's going on...

There's a lot happening, so I hope that you're planning to be there all three days. Lot's of great music, workshops, jam sessions and of course: some great instruments for sale!!

It's unfortunate that we won't have Mary Youngblood playing this year, but there are some other great musicians who will be performing this year, including a reunion of our very own: Elyium Calling on Friday night. That's right! Kenneth Hooper and Garth Brooks are back together, and I can't wait to see them perform. Please, if you can only make one night of music, be there to show your awesome NCFC support for Kenneth and Garth on Friday evening. They'll have CD's available, but if you want to listen to their music on the ride down to Yosemite, you can download their music from iTunes.
Also performing on Friday evening is a rare west coast appearance by Coyote Oldman (AKA Michael Graham Allen). And one of our longtime friends: Scott August, from Southern California.
Saturday evenings performance lineup includes: Gary Stroutsos (from Washington), Vince Chafin and "local boy" Stephen DeRuby. Both nights promise some great entertainment.

Click here for more info:

Don't forget to check out the great workshops:

And the lineup of awesome flute makers and other vendors:

Finally, I want to personally ask you to help out the event by volunteering a hour or more of your time. I am personally responsible for coordinating all of the volunteers for the event. And this year, if you dedicate 4 or more hours of time, you'll get a discount on your evening concert ticket prices.

To volunteer, go here:


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Easy Anasazi

Here's a great video highlighting a variation of the Anasazi flute tuning by Eric the Flutemaker


Friday, July 31, 2009

Weekend Events: July 31 - Aug 2, 2009

NOTE: We now have the new calendar online, you can check out the calendar here: Northern California Flute Circle Calendar to see what's happening further out, but I encourage you to login every week to review what's coming up for the weekend events!
Native American Flute related events and other World music events happening in Northern California are posted on the Naflute calendar.

NOTE: If I missed an event for the weekend, please add a comment with event info so that others can know!

Saturday, Aug 1, 2009

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Memories from Wind & Fire Concert

I wanted to post a few pictures from Mark Holland and Scott Robinson who performed songs from their new album: Wind & Fire. The concert was held in Mary Youngblood's backyard in Sacramento, CA. It was a warm day, but we were able to sit in the shade of the trees in Mary's backyard and enjoy the music.

Here's a picture of Mary introducing Mark and Scott:

Here's a picture of Mark (flute) and Scott (percussion) performing:

At the end of their set, Mark invited Mary Youngblood up on stage to perform an improvised piece. Mary played her silver flute, while Mark played on a Chinese Dizi. It was a raw opportunity to hear Mary on her silver flute (which she's a master of...)

For more information:

Northern California Flute Circle:

Mary Youngblood LOPING WOLF Retreat - Aug 1, 2009

There's still room to register for Mary Youngblood's LOPING WOLF Retreat this weekend.

Date: Saturday, Aug 1, 2009

Time: 10 AM - 5:30
Cost: $45
Location: Auburn, CA

Workshop agenda:

10:00 am to 12:00 pm ~ Arrival and Lunch - (Bring your favorite potluck item)

12:00 pm ~ LOPING WOLF
Welcome and Introduction Theme Song ~ “The LOPING WOLF Lope”

Mary Youngblood ~ Welcome Performance

1:00 pm to 2:00 pm ~ Beginning Workshop
Work on your beginning skills with the “First Lady of the Flute”. Breath control, embellishments and techniques. ( Mary will collect your written questions before the workshop.)

~Break ~

2:30 pm to 4:00 pm ~ Intermediate / Advanced Workshop - Tips on vibrato, improvisation , and embellishment details will be discussed and demonstrated. Advanced techniques such as how to duet with another player, composition, phrasing, timing, plus performance and recording readiness will be shared.

~Break ~

4:30 pm to 5:30 pm ~ The "Open Mic" Hour! This “your” opportunity to duet with Mary Youngblood and learn how Mary takes each player to the “next level”.

NOTE: Sign up to have your duet recorded with Mary on DVD with “you” for an additional fee of $30 as a keepsake of this unforgettable day! Autographed pictures of you playing with Mary at this special NAF musical retreat will be available for purchase before you leave!

Registration form:


You need to RVSP with Dan to ensure that there is room for you:

Call: (530) 613-4197 (Dan's cell)

Friday, July 10, 2009

Weekend Events: July 10 - 12, 2009

NOTE: We now have the new calendar online, you can check out the calendar here: Northern California Flute Circle Calendar to see what's happening further out, but I encourage you to login every week to review what's coming up for the weekend events!
Native American Flute related events and other World music events happening in Northern California are posted on the Naflute calendar.

NOTE: If I missed an event for the weekend, please add a comment with event info so that others can know!

Saturday, June 10, 2009

Upcoming Events

Mark Holland and N Scott Robinson in concert

Mark your calendars (if you haven't already!).

We're hosting a series of house concerts this month for Mark Holland and N. Scott Robinson as they tour the west coast highlighting music from their new album: Wind & Fire

Here's a link to their tour website:
Mark Holland played at the Yosemite Flute Festival last September and has toured NoCal several times in his career. We love having Mark because of his gentle nature, supreme musicianship and excellent music. We haven't seen Mark and Scott together out here for more than 5 years, and if you haven't had the chance to see Scott in concert, he's a musician that you don't want to miss.
July 22 - Private event in Napa (contact Lynn for directions)
For more information:

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Culture Planet Unplugged

3rd Annual Benefit for Insurance Costs for St. Joseph's Cultural Center

Featuring: Grass Valley Taiko, Ivan Najera, the Al Ama Belly Dancers, the Earth Rhythms Dancers and Drummers, Christopher Taylor and Johnny Om (the Bodhi Brothers), Joe Fajen on Tablas,
the Wilson Triplets (Luke, Maggie, and Peter), a drum line with Kit Bailey

When: Saturday, July 11th, 7:00 PM

Where: St. Joseph's Cultural Center, 410 South Church Street, Grass Valley

Tickets are $15.00 in advance and $17.00 at the door

Information: 530-272-4725 or

Advance tickets will be placed into a drawing for original art from the third floor artists at St. Joseph’s Cultural Center. Tickets will go on sale Monday, June 29th at the BriarPatch Co-op, Gold Rush Records and the Cultural Center office.

Donating their time and talent for this benefit are the Grass Valley Taiko performing a Japanese style of drumming that has a long and rich history with a cornucopia of styles and rhythms which intrigues and delights audiences of all ages. Earth Rhythm Dancers and Drummers’ performances are high energy dances, drum rhythms and songs from the Congo, West Africa, the Caribbean, Brazil, and North America. Ivan Najera is an Ecuadorian born guitarist who delights audiences with his Nuevo Flamenco style and grace. The Troupe Al Ama are Belly Dancers of all ages and types of women dancing to Middle Eastern dance styles with elements of cabaret, folkloric, tribal, as well as some exciting western influences. Christopher Taylor and Johnny Om (the Bodhi Brothers), offer a fun collection of acoustic-based music, with flavors of folk, blues, and country jazz. Joe Fajen performs traditional Indian music on the Tablas. The Wilson Triplets (Luke, Maggie, and Peter) perform original, traditional and contemporary music on guitar, accordion, mandola, mandolin, dobro and more. Kit Bailey, percussionist, has been a musician since 1966 (teacher since 1990) He teaches drum set to ages 7 through 75, and conga and djembe to adults.

For the last three years St. Joseph's Cultural Center hosts a benefit to raise funds to pay part of their yearly insurance bills. Insurance includes Liability which is the biggest. We take a high deductible to lower the costs as much as they can. One can imagine how much the costs are for a building built in 1866 and a State Historic Landmark. St. Joseph’s never has enough funds at one time to even get close to the amount required. We must put 25% down at the beginning of their fiscal year and then pay monthly. The goal for this benefit is $5,000.00. All donations are 100% tax deductible. If you cannot attend the event you can always make a donation at any time.
St. Joseph's Cultural Center is a 501 c 3 non-profit organization owned and operated by the Historic Mt. St. Mary’s Preservation Committee. The mission is to preserve this State of California Historic Landmark for the community and for cultural events.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Human Rainstorm - Perpetuum Jazzile - Africa

For those of you lucky enough to catch Mary Youngblood's performance at in Grass Valley for the "Project Pink" fund raiser last month, you'll be blown away by the beginning of this video (I think that you'll enjoy the entire song...). This video starts with the "human rain" technique that Mary taught us (the audience) during her performance... (I love the "thunder" in this video)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Final Details for Mary's B-Day Party

The Northern California Flute Circle and LOPING WOLF presents
The 2009 2-DAY Birthday Celebration for

Two-time GRAMMY Winner
"First Lady of the Flute"

Mary's all -day Birthday Bash
Fair Oaks CA 95628 (near Sacramento)


SUNDAY JUNE 28, 2009
Afternoon After-Party Kayak Paddle on the American River
Gold River, CA (about 3 miles from Mary's)


This annual event takes place in Mary's backyard on Saturday June 27 and along the American River on Sunday June 28, 2009.
Families and children are invited.
Please RSVP for this event!
Location and directions will be sent with your RSVP confirmation -
E-mail your RSVP or questions to: and include
. Number of people attending
. Workshop requests (payment on day of event directly to instructor)
. Vendor requests
. Open mic performance request

All are invited to participate. Please bring a drum or small hand percussion instrument to this event. If you do not have a hand percussion instrument, many other hand percussion instruments will be available for you to use.




Ogden UT Flute Maker BRENT HAINES will be both a vendor and do a workshop on "How to Pick a flute" and "How to Care for Your Flutes".

Santa Fe NM Flute Maker RUSS VENABLE will be a vendor and a hugger! Get in line!





Mary Youngblood Bookmarks/cards

"Basic Composition for Native American Flute"
Rim-Blown flute techniques: Anasazi, Shakuhachi, Ney and others.

"Absolute Beginners"


Caution - temperatures over 100 degrees are forecast.
Bottled drinking water will be provided, but you may wish to bring other drinks.
NO ALCOHOL will be allowed during the flute circle (10 am - 5 pm).
Bring your own lunch if you plan to come early.
Please bring a potluck dish to share for the dinner 5-7 pm (if you're staying).
(A BBQer will be available.)
Donations for Mary's birthday present will be accepted.
Donations to defer costs of event productions (like water & toilet paper)
will be accepted.
Please bring flutes, drums or other acoustic musical instruments.
Please consider bringing sunscreen, a hat, beach or folding chair, and a

We have some room for more vendors, if you'd like to bring your wares.
Please e-mail your intent to and plan to bring a table and possibly a canopy. We may be able to help you share a canopy with somebody....

Flute, drum and other instrument makers are welcomed, as are other craft (jewelry, gourds, cards) and service (massage) vendors. We ask that you limit your inventory or service to a (maximum) 3'x6' table or under a 10 x 10 canopy. Setup will start after 8 am on Saturday morning. Break down
around 5 pm.

For all workshops, please arrive at least 15 minutes before class starts. Also please be ready to pay the instructor if required, with cash or check.


Time: 9:30 am to 7:00pm
Where: Fair Oaks , CA (near Sacramento)


8:00 am - Vendor Arrival and quiet setup (certain people will still be sleeping....)

9:30 am - Guests begin arriving (BYO Snacks/Lunch & chair)
Vendors open all day until 5:00 pm


Drum making Workshop cost $160.00.
All materials provided.
Take home the drum YOU make!
My "Make Your Own Drum" class allows the individual to impart his/her own spirit and energy into a finished drum. You don't merely purchase the drum, you take part in the creative process.
Class Highlights:
-You get a finished (though still wet) 18" "Ancient Style" drum (a variation on a Southwest "four directions" design) and stick to take home and enjoy for decades.
- It starts with a prepped kit (cut and punched head, finished hoop and pre-cut lacing) to work with. This way you're not working all day and have time to enjoy the rest of the festivities.
- Unlimited questions (though I don't guarantee the answers!)
- A fun working environment.
Note: Registration begins as soon as you arrive and closes at 1:00 or whenever the materials run out. At this time, I'm bringing only enough stuff for 10 people. If you want to pre-register, contact me by Tuesday at the latest so I can order more if needed. If there's not enough or you'd rather to it another time, find me at the party and we can see what kind of other arrangements we can make.

10:30 - 11:00 am - LOPING WOLF - WORKSHOP "Absolute Beginners"
Ely has a natural gift for helping New Fluters get started.
Bring an Am flute, if you can, and "Get Your 'A' Up There!"
Flutes will be available to borrow.
Cost of this workshop is, like, $ None - as in "free".
Other sessions throughout the day will be provided as demand requests.

Ogden UT Flute Maker, Brent Haines will be both a vendor and do a workshop on "How to Pick a flute" and "How to Care for Your Flutes". $ ? (TBD)

NOON - 1:30 pm -
Lunch (bring your own lunch) and Open Mic


12:30 - 1:30 pm - FRANKIE SIERRA - WORKSHOP - Cost $15.00
Rim-Blown flute techniques: Anasazi, Shakuhachi, Ney and others.

The Anasazi, or Kokopelli flute, is having a renaissance with new replicas being made by various crafters. However, it is one of the most challenging flutes to figure out, and yet one of the most beautiful sounding flutes, once you pass the initial first sounds stage. In this workshop we will first demonstrate rim-blown techniques on other world ethnic flutes which are easier to figure out. Then move onto ways to tackle the Anasazi challenge for those who are interested in starting out on these flutes. For those who have gone past their first sounds, we will offer additional techniques to add to your sound palette on rim blown flutes.
1:30 - 2:30 pm - LISA HALPIN - FLUTE WORKSHOP -
"Basic Composition for Native American Flute" - cost $35.00
Have you ever wanted to quickly jot down a phrase you've just played or find yourself playing songs that sometimes sound "the same"? Do you want to play a song again later, or share it so another flute player could try it? Or maybe you'd like to learn the Nakai Tablature system.

In this class, learn a quick, easy way to record a song or phrase that you've just played "from your heart" - even without notation or Nakai Tab. You'll learn ways to spark your creativity to write songs associated with words or sentences and easily translate them to flute music to see how they sound. And, you'll also get an easy introduction to making Nakai Tab more easily understandable. No previous musical or notation training necessary. Just bring a pencil and a flute!

Mary's own "Fluting for the Journey" Workshop - cost $45.00
For Beginning, Intermediate & Advanced Flute Players" - the " First Lady of the Flute " offers a rare workshop for all flute players. We will focus on performance readiness, such as mics, PA systems, performance anxiety, making CD's, recording, recording equipment, accompaniment, & improvisation. We will also touch on major embellishments. Watch "up-close-and-personal" as Mary demonstrates her unique and well known techniques. Watch her play, then discover and explore how to develop your own style and technique! Learn about tonal quality, what to look for in a flute, bending the notes, vibrato, fingering, barking, agility and strengthening exercises, and most importantly- breath control.
Don't miss this one!


OPEN MIC scheduled throughout the day, as workshops permit.

5:00 - 7:00 pm Potluck dinner
Adults preferred (as alcohol will be served)
BYOB/ BYOFood (Barbecue will be available)
Birthday Cake and more!


Time: 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Where: Gold River, CA 95670 (near Sacramento)

Join Mary & Steve Branco, and other "Dances With Ducks" (flute playin kayakers) on Lake Natoma (3 mi. from Mary's home in Fair Oaks) on Sunday, for this (Kayaking) After-Party-Paddle. Kayaks and water sports crafts are available for rent at the Sacramento State Aquatic Center.

If you don't have a park pass, day passes are $7 at the gate, where we'll caravan in. Bring your small flutes! Sign up today!
(No cost except for purchasing a day pass!)
E-mail your interest, and 'sign-up' with Mary at
Title your e-mail in the "Subject:" line " Dances With Ducks"

To Rent Kayaks/water craft for Sun. 6/28
~The Sacramento State Aquatic Center~
1901 Hazel Ave
Gold River, CA 95670
(This is where we will 'put-in'.)


Nearby Hotels -

Sacramento Marriott Rancho Cordova
11211 Point East Drive
Rancho Cordova, California 95742 USA
Phone: 1-916-638-1100
Fax: 1-916-638-5803

La Quinta Rancho Cordova (Sacramento)
11131 Folsom Blvd.
Rancho Cordova, CA 95670

Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriot
10745 Gold Center Drive
Rancho Cordova, 95670

Holiday Inn Rancho Cordova
11269 Point East Dr.
Rancho Cordova, CA 95742

Lake Natoma Inn
(This hotel is high end.. but VERY nice- right on Lake Natoma in Folsom!
For attendees who are in the mood to SPLURGE! (Great romantic getaway!)
And about 6 miles from Mary's home.)

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Mark Holland and N Scott Robinson Wind & Fire House Concerts

We excited to be hosting Mark Holland and N Scott Robinson in a series of house concerts throughout Northern California in July. Mark and Scott recently released their latest CD "Wind & Fire", and will be playing songs from the album. Mark Holland has been a long time friend of NCFC and played last year at the Yosemite Flute Festival. N Scott Robinson is a consumate percussionist and last toured with Mark through No Cal several years ago, this is a rare opportunity to see and hear these two performers llive. You won't want to miss it.


For complete details, check out the Autumns Child website:

Here's a poster of the event:

Friday, June 05, 2009

Weekend Events: June 5 - 7009

NOTE: We now have the new calendar online, you can check out the calendar here: Northern California Flute Circle Calendar to see what's happening further out, but I encourage you to login every week to review what's coming up for the weekend events!
Native American Flute related events and other World music events happening in Northern California are posted on the Naflute calendar.

NOTE: If I missed an event for the weekend, please add a comment with event info so that others can know!

Saturday, June 5, 2009

Upcoming Events

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Project Pink Benefit Concert - The Don Baggett Theater

What: A benefit concert for the Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital Breast Imaging Center featuring Mary Youngblood.
When: 2:00 pm Suday May 31, 2009
Where: The Don Baggett Theater, 11645 Ridge Road, Grass Valley CA
Tickets: $20

Advanced tickets available at Citizens Bank, Briar Patch, Yabobo, The bookseller, SNM Hospital Breast Imaging Center, SNM Hospital Foundation and online here:

For more info:
Phone: 530 477-9700

Ticket sales will help purchase a new ultrasound machine dedicated for use in the Breast Imaging Center to aid in early cancer detection.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Lastest Recording

I spent some time over the weekend getting my project studio back in working order. I setup the new Presonus Firepod recording interface and used Cubase LE to record all of the tracks. This started out as a simple "microphone check" to make sure all of the signal paths and line levels were correctly setup. Needless to say, 2 hour later I had this recording. Let me know what you think...


It includes: udu drum, rattle, spoons (yes! spoons...), xylophone (on my keyboard) and Native American flute.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

NCFC Spring Flute Festival this weekend

Don't miss the annual NCFC Spring Flute Festival this weekend. Once again, it's being hosted by the NoNahme Clan this year, and features workshops with Mary Youngblood, lot's of flute makers and music by various folks.
I regret to say that I will not be able to attend this year as I am currently in Europe on business, but I look forward to seeing pictures and hearing the wonderful stories from this years event.

Schedule of events:
  • 9:00 AM - Flag Raising (Frank Clark - veteran) The Star Spangled Banner (Danielle Fisher)
  • 9:15 AM - Opening ceremony.
  • 9:45 AM to 10:30 AM - Performances by players in the Northern California Flute Circle and other talented people.
  • 10:30 AM - Blanket Dance for donations to featured professional performers.
  • 11:00 AM to 12:00 AM - Performances by players in the Northern California Flute Circle and other talented people (This may be allowed to overrun).
  • 1:00 PM - Jon Johnson, a man who gives a fabulous performance and plays ten instruments will be speaking and playing until 2:00 PM.
  • 2:00 PM - Eric Ray, a great performer on the Native flute - and his daughter on the Mother Drum - will be playing until 3:00 PM.
  • 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM - Performances by players in the Northern California Flute Circle and other talented people.
Flute Makers:
  • Kathi Cameron and Sherry Martin will be giving a free workshop, especially for young people, on playing the Native American flute.
  • Lisa Halpin will give a beginning flute playing workshop for adults for $25.00 for 1 1/2 hours.
  • Multiple Grammy winner, Mary Youngblood, and Arts Therapist, Steve Branco, will be giving a workshop called Music, Healing, and the Native American Flute. The workshop will last for two hours and the starting time will provided later. Cost for the workshop will be $65 per

Link with directions:

Weekend Events: May 8 - May 10 2009

NOTE: We now have the new calendar online, you can check out the calendar here: Northern California Flute Circle Calendar to see what's happening further out, but I encourage you to login every week to review what's coming up for the weekend events!
Native American Flute related events and other World music events happening in Northern California are posted on the Naflute calendar.

NOTE: If I missed an event for the weekend, please add a comment with event info so that others can know!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Friday, May 01, 2009

Weekend Events: May 1 - May 3

NOTE: We now have the new calendar online, you can check out the calendar here: Northern California Flute Circle Calendar to see what's happening further out, but I encourage you to login every week to review what's coming up for the weekend events!
Native American Flute related events and other World music events happening in Northern California are posted on the Naflute calendar.

NOTE: If I missed an event for the weekend, please add a comment with event info so that others can know!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Upcoming Events

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Upcoming Clint Goss Workshop

Clint Goss just sent me a message highlighting some of his upcoming events. If you happend to be planning to attend one of the related events, be sure to check out Clint workshops.

You can contact Clint for more information:

Rhythm and the Native Flute, Fri May 15, St. George Utah.

Part of the Zion Flute and Drum Festival. Workshop on combining rhythm with the Native Flute. 10AM-Noon.

Zion Canyon Native Flute School, Sun-Fri May 17-22, Springdale Utah.

An in-depth 6-day flute school. Clint will be facilitating the intermediate group.

Flute Haven Native Flute School, Thurs-Sun Oct 15-18, Phoenixville, PA.

Vera and Clint will host this East-coast flute shool from Thurs evening through Sunday Noon in Phoenixville, PA. The program includes studio recording, workshops, and a major music jam-fest event on Saturday evening. Vera and Clint are joined by music facilitation pros Eric and Lynn Miller.

In addition, Clint will have a special pre-program that runs Tue-Thurs Oct 13-15 designed to provide training for music facilitators. If you are an organizer of a flute circle or native flute workshops, come learn some great techniques and activities to use at your events.

Native Rhythms Festival, Thurs-Sun Nov 12-15, Melbourne, FL.

Clint is planning three days of workshops at this festival.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Weekend Events: April 3-5, 2009

NOTE: We now have the new calendar online, you can check out the calendar here: Northern California Flute Circle Calendar to see what's happening further out, but I encourage you to login every week to review what's coming up for the weekend events!
Native American Flute related events and other World music events happening in Northern California are posted on the Naflute calendar.

NOTE: If I missed an event for the weekend, please add a comment with event info so that others can know!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Thursday, April 02, 2009

My New Cellphone

Ah, I am so excited about this. You guys have got to check out my new cellphone that I just bought. AT&T was one of the first carriers to offer it, and my plan was just coming up for renewal at the end of March. If your plan is up for renewal, be sure to check your wireless provider and see if they have released it. I just got mine yesterday.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Weekend Events: March 28 - 29, 2009

NOTE: We now have the new calendar online, you can check out the calendar here: Northern California Flute Circle Calendar to see what's happening further out, but I encourage you to login every week to review what's coming up for the weekend events!
Native American Flute related events and other World music events happening in Northern California are posted on the Naflute calendar.

NOTE: If I missed an event for the weekend, please add a comment with event info so that others can know!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

  • NoNahme Clan Flute Circle, Golden Gecko, Garden Valley, CA 1:30 - 4pm

Native American Flute Portal Flute School in Sesson!

I wanted to announce that I am now contributing to the new blogs on the Native American Flute Portal. The blogs went live a few weeks back, and Geoffrey Ellis invited me to be a contributor to the blogs. It's an honor. We have a great staff of blog authors, including Geoffrey Ellis, Scott August and Clint Goss.

I have started a weekly column called: "Flute School" where I will be pulling together a new topic every week, including exercises to help you along your path. I plan to publish the Flute School blog entry every Friday, so that you have something to try over the weekend. I hope that you'll join me for this every week.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Yosemite Flute Festival MySpace page

The Yosemite Flute Festival is happening again this year, Sept 25 - 27 , 2009. I hope that you'll be able to join us for another awesome weekend of flute music. Get your hotel/campground reservations now!

The crew has also started a MySpace page with pictures and a blog:

Friday, March 20, 2009

Friday Fun: Electronic Tanpura

If you wanna try something different, download a computer generated Tanpura, install it, and then select the key of one of your flute, try making your own music.


Weekend Events: March 20-22, 2009

NOTE: We now have the new calendar online, you can check out the calendar here: Northern California Flute Circle Calendar to see what's happening further out, but I encourage you to login every week to review what's coming up for the weekend events!
Native American Flute related events and other World music events happening in Northern California are posted on the Naflute calendar.

NOTE: If I missed an event for the weekend, please add a comment with event info so that others can know!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

  • No Nahme Clan Flute Circle, Golden Gecko, Garden Valley, CA 1:30 - 4pm

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Next Week:

Wednesday March 25

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Mary Youngblood Retreat: March 7, 2009

There's still time to catch the workshop with Mary Youngblood this weekend at Lake of the Pines. This event is hosted by LOPING WOLF. If you're interested, you need to call and reserve a spot ASAP.

WHAT: Mary Youngblood Retreat
WHEN: Saturday, March 7, 2009
TIME: 1 - 5 PM
WHERE: Lake of the Pine Yacht Club, Auburn CA
COST: $45

Beginners to intermediates are welcome. There will be open mic and opportunities to learn and share with everyone.

For complete details: