Friday, September 23, 2011

How to Play the Blues on the Native American Flute

I am very excited today to announce the launch of a new online resource where you can learn to play the blues on the Native American Flute. This new website and blog is site dedicated to presenting information, links and resources which will help you learn to play the blues on the Native American style Flute.

The site url is:

I've been developing the corresponding playshop called: "How to Play The the Blues on the NAF" and I will be presenting it at the Yosemite Flute Festival this year. If you'd like to have me come present the workshop to your flute circle, or if you're interested in private lessons I am happy to help, either in person or remotely over the web (we have the technology now).

I am also in the studio recording a complete CD of Blues Jam Tracks - Vol 1 which are optimized for playing with a Native American style Flute. While I haven't completed the project yet, this new site will the place where you can download or order the CD/tracks when they become available.

In the meantime, check out the new site where I have uploaded a demo jam track from the new CD.

As always, I want to thank all of the flute students who've come through my playshops and classes over the years. I am really excited about creating an online resource which will help all of you grow in our favorite passion of playing the flute.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Yosemite Flute Festival starts Friday!

Just putting one last reminder out that that the Yosemite Flute Festival starts this Friday. It's the fourth year for the event and this year it has a new venue. Still in Oakhurst, California but this year it's at the Sierra Sky Ranch.
Lot's of great performers, including:


  • The Coyote Brothers (Tim Blueflint and John Kulias)
  • Randy Granger 
  • Scott August 


  • Rafael Bejarano 
  • Ron Korb 
  • Rona Yellow Robe
There's also a bunch of great workshops going on all three days. I will be teaching a playshop: "How to Play the Blues on the NAF" on Saturday, 3-5 PM.
Here's the link for all of the Yosemite Flute Festival Workshops.

We still need volunteers, but I will finish the online version tonight. If you can spare an hour as a volunteer, please find me at the front desk.

See you all this weekend!

Monday, September 05, 2011

Volunteers needed for the Yosemite Flute Festival

Hey everyone out there in Flutie land! If you are planning to attend the 2011 Yosemite Flute Festival this year, there are two things I need you to know:

  1. I am in charge of the volunteers. Volunteers help make this event a success every year, and it's no different this year. WE NEED YOUR ENERGY! If you can spare an hour of your weekend to help us out, that would be awesome. Here's what you need to do:
  2. I am also teaching a workshop on How to Play the Blues on Native American Flute. This will be the third year that I have taught this workshop and I've sent many new blues musicians home from the weekend jamming to their favorite blues music. If you haven't attended before, this is a class that you can't miss!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Mary Youngblood at Moaning Caverns

Mary Youngblood will be back at Moaning Caverns next month, and this is an event which you don't want to miss. I have been fortunate to accompany Mary on previous Moaning Cavern events and this is definitely one event you don't want to miss. One of my favorite all time group improvisations occurred at the Caverns concent a few years ago. Imagine playing with a dozen other musicians (led by Mary) in complete and utter darkness! We only had our ears to guide us, and it was a spiritual moment. I'll never forget it.

So don't miss your chance this year. This event WILL sell out, buy your tickets early.

What: Mary Youngblood at Moaning Caverns
When: Sept 10, 2011
Where: Moaning Cavern, 5350 Moaning Cave Road, Vallecito, CA 95251
Cost: $24.95 for bottom of main chamber, $19.95 top of main chamber
Contact: Call 209.736.2708 or toll free 866.762.2837 

Here's a video from one of the prior years events:


Friday, August 19, 2011

Who wants to use Google+ for virtual music lessons?

I am looking for a few early adopters, who also happen to be Native American Flute players and who are interested in experimenting with the Google+ Hangout feature as a remote teaching tool.

If you are somewhat savvy with computers, have a webcam and mic on your PC, and you'd like to try this experiment, then please reach out to me.

Here's how it works:

  • Google+ is the new social media platform from Google. (it's a competitor to Facebook)
  • You'll need to join Google+ on your own or email me to give you an invite. (look for the email address in the blog header).
  • If you're already on Google+ then send me a friend request.
  • Google+ using the concept of "circles" of friends to connect you with other Google+ members. The cool thing about this is that you can separate your work friends from your personal friends, from your music friends.
  • Once we're connected, I can create what's known as a "Hangout". This is simply a webcam conferencing feature which let's any of your "Friends" in a given "circle" join the hangout.

How to Use a Hangout to teach remotely?

  • This what I want to experiment with. Leveraging my webcam and a microphone, I want to see how easily we can work together for a remote teaching experience. I have no idea how well this will work... 
  • But the premise is cool, because everyone who joins the hangout will be able to see each other, hear each other and I am hoping that it enables everyone to share together.
  • If it works, then I'll setup a hangout for predefined times of the week when I can be available to help you improve your playing.
Who's in?

Friday, July 01, 2011

INAFA 2012

Planning is happening for the 2012 INAFA convention. The second INAFA convention form is up. It is the Performance Proposal Application. All world flute traditions are welcome. To download this form, as well as the Presenter/Lecturer/Workshop Proposal Application, go to:

The 2012 INAFA convention is July 18-22, 2012, at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, Haas Fine Arts Center.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

NCFC Calendar is Updated

Just a reminder that you can always find information about the regional flute circles and workshops in Northern California, along with information about other regional and national Native American Flute related (and world music related) events on the NCFC calendar.
If you are an artist, flute/drum circle leader or if you would like to post your event on the NCFC calendar, you simply need to join the NCFC GroupSite and you'll have the rights to update the calendar with your event.

All of regional Northern California Flute Circle (NCFC) clan leaders have access to, and regularly update this calendar with their events.

Mary Youngblood's Birthday Party, 2011

The Northern California Flute Circle and LOPING WOLF – the Lake of the Pines Wood Flute ‘n’ Drum Circle Present a Very Special Annual Event

2011 Birthday Bash
Honoring Two-time GRAMMY Winner and Emmy Nominee MARY YOUNGBLOOD
First Lady of the Flute

WHEN: June 25 2011
TIME: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm (Set-up at 9:00 am)
WHERE: Fair Oaks CA

Summer is here, and it's time once again to come together to celebrate Mary Youngblood's birthday! There will be plenty of open-mic, jamming, food and Mary will be presenting an “Embellishments” workshop. This is a great opportunity to spend some time with Mary and fellow fluties in celebration of the Native American Flute.

RSVP to Dan DiCicco at (530) 613-4197 or , and he will give you the event address.

  • Please bring some Potluck food to share with everybody.
  • Water will be provided, so juice, tea, soda will be on you - no alcohol, please.
  • Don’t forget to bring your flutes, drumming stuff, and other instruments….
  • A sound system will hopefully be available, as will some outlets.
  • Remember sunscreen and maybe bug spray. Please no 4-leggeds.
  • Please bring a lawn chair, a blanket or mat and a shade canopy if you have one.
  • Mary’s yard is not huge, but you can follow the shade around as the day progresses.

If you want to be a vendor, please let Mary know at (916) 536-1331.

Of course a gift is not required. But if you’d like to gift Mary something, LOPING WOLF will have a Donations jar on their table if you want to contribute, or bring a gift. Thank you.

If you would like to offer Mary a sentiment (see Mary Youngblood Fan Page ), there will be paper at the LOPING WOLF table, or you can bring something with you or e-mail one to Sheree DiCicco at . Thank you.

9:00 am Quiet Arrival and set up
10:00 Welcome and Opening
10:30 Open Mic all day (sign-ups encouraged at LOPING WOLF table)
1:30 “The Song” & Cake
2:00 pm Mary’s workshop “Embellishments” - $45 or 2 for $80 (checks accepted)
5:00 Wrap-up, clean-up and Close

Detail about Mary's Workshop:

In this special workshop, Mary will demonstrate basic Native American flute embellishments and techniques - such as how to pick out the right flute, breath control, and beginning embellishment exercises which will encourage new players to become familiar and comfortable with their flutes.

Mary will also demonstrate more advanced embellishments and techniques such as playing with accompaniment, letting the notes ‘fall’, bending notes, tonguing, scales and vibrato. Workshop attendees will have the opportunity to ask Mary questions and see up close and personal, the techniques that she uses in her performances and recordings.

Mary will further discuss how she uses visualization to obtain her musical goals.

As a wrap-up, workshop attendees will have an opportunity to ‘pick Mary’s brain’ about how to further advance their own flute journey.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Flute Haven Native Flute School 2011 Announced

Just a quick note that full information and dates for this year's Flute Haven
Native Flute School are set. The program has been expanded this year, with
six hours of instruction per day and concerts every evening.

All the info, including registrations forms, is on the Flute Haven web site

Clint and Vera Goss are joined by music facilitation pros Eric and Lynn Miller and world percussionist Ron Kravitz.

When: September 13-18, 2011 (Tue eve through Sunday noon)
Where: Phoenixville, PA (near Philadelphia)

Major topics this year include:

  • Performance Techniques: Being comfortable performing; using the mic; effects.
  • Playing with Others: Techniques for playing with a guitar, piano, and percussion.
  • Song Composition: How to structure your song and take your audience on a musical journey.
  • Special Situations: Approaches for memorial services, stage performing, classroom settings, poetry readings, small venues, and many other settings.
  • Flute Circle Activities: Learn a set of activities you can use in your flute circle.
  • Recording Your Sound: From self-contained digital sound recorders to creating your own CD.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Yosemite World Music Camp Sept 23-25, 2011

If you're planning to attend this years Yosemite Flute Festival (or even if you can't make it to festival), be sure to check out the the first annual Yosemite World Music Camp taking place the three days prior to the festival.

The event features the following instructors:

Scott August: world flutes and musicianship

Randy Granger: flute, percussion and drumming

Annie Mathias: didgeridoo, Moyo drums, creative play

There will be classes offered each day and a special event each evening.

Cost: $325 for the three days (plus lodging)
Location: Sierra Sky Ranch, Oakhurst CA
To register: or call (559) 641-5980