Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Mary Youngblood at Yosemite Flute Festival 2012

I had the chance to call Mary Youngblood last week and chat about her upcoming performance at the Yosemite Flute Festival.  The festival starts on Friday, Sept 21 and runs through the weekend. Mary is excited to be coming back to the festival this year and she is especially thrilled because she is bringing her guitarist, Sana Christian, along with her to the festival this year. While Mary couldn't coordinate bringing the whole Sisters of the Earth band with her, Sana and Mary are sure to delight the crowd this year. Mary and Sana will perform Saturday night, Sept 22, the evening concert starts at 7 PM.

I chatted with Mary about what's going on in her music career right now, and she was beaming with excitement about the fact that she is busy composing songs for her next album. She has already been in the studio laying down the first couple of tracks and the rest of the tracks aren't far behind. This next album will be an independently produced album and she is working with talented local producer Eric Chun of Creative Music Services. The theme of the album will play around with the idea of "Coming Home" or "Going Home". But the most exciting idea, especially for all of the Native American Flute players out there, is that Mary is planning to include some bonus backing tracks on the CD which will include the backing music for some of her most popular songs, but with the flute track removed so that you can jam with the track, playing the flute part! Mary even hinted that we might get a chance to hear her perform an early version of one or two of the songs from the new album at the concert on Saturday night.

In addition to performing on Saturday evening, Mary and Sana will offer a workshop at the Yosemite Flute Festival titled "Fluting with Accompaniment" on Friday, September 21, from 3-5 PM. In this workshop, Mary Youngblood and Sana Christian share the dynamics of working with a partner. You can pick up tips on playing flute with guitar, adding vocals to your performance, and writings songs with a partner. Mary is also presenting a "Flute Embellishments" workshop on Sunday, Sept 23, where you can learn all of the secrets of how Mary makes those wonderful sounds on her flutes.

I hope to see all of you at the Yosemite Flute Festival this year. I'll be working sound for the open mic stage so please stop by and say hi.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Yosemite Flute Festival Sept 21-23, 2012

I wanted to remind everyone that the Yosemite Flute Festival starts in exactly three weeks!

What: Yosemite Flute Festival
When: Sept 21-23, 2012
Where: Oakhurst, CA

The lineup of musicians is familiar as they have all performed at one or more past events, but never in this configuration. Friday night's performance looks to include one of my dearest friends (and master flutemaker) Stephen Deruby. Stephen has been making flutes longer than just about any of the modern generation of flute makers and as good as he is a making flutes, he's also a talented musician. I expect to see a variety of instruments on stage with Stephen. Following Stephen on Friday night will be Rona Yellow Robe. This will be Rona's third year at the festival, and I've fallen in love with both her voice and and her flute playing. Along with her musical partner Bruce Witham, they have created some incredible songs and on stage they share one heart when it comes to performing. Filling out the bill on Friday evening is Joe Young. This will be the second year that Joe performs at the event and Joe brings a unique talent to the Native American flute with his many years of woodwind and brass experience. He is a gifted composer and musician and has supported the festival the last three years as sound engineer.

Saturday nights starts with Al Hollinger. Al creates all of the instruments which he uses on stage, including flutes and didjeridoo, so expect a unique sound experience. Following Al on stage will be Randy Granger, and if ever there was a modern day Kokopelli, Randy could quite possibly be the one. Randy's unique personality comes through in his music whether it's on the flute, hang drum or any combination of other percussion instruments. Expect to surprised with Randy's performance. Finally, rounding out the evening and headlining the festival on Saturday night will be Mary Youngblood, who of course needs little introduction. However, the lineup this year is going to deliver a super fun weekend of entertainment.

As for the rest of the festival, the workshops are already planned and signups are happening now. If you are interest in a workshop at the Yosemite Flute Festival, you need to reach out to Rick and Linda and get you're reservation in.. Here's a link to the Yosemite Flute Festival Workshops (PDF). I will be offering a playshop: Playing the Blues, and it's already half full, so if you're interested be sure to sign up early.

Finally, of course are all of the wonderful vendors at the Yosemite Flute Festival. Looks like there are currently over 25 vendors signed up to attend.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Mary Youngbloods B-Day Bash this weekend

When: Saturday, June 23, 2012

Held at Mary’s home
Fair Oaks CA 
RSVP with Dan to get directions: dandi@lopingwolf.com

Food - Vendors - Workshops - Food 
10:00 am - 5:00 pm (Set-up at 9:00 am) 


The weather forecast is Partly Sunny high 73 degrees!!!!! 

Please bring some Potluck food to share. 
Mary has NO ROOM in her refrigerator - please bring your cold items in your cooler.
Water, juice, tea, or 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 bug spray. 
Please no 4-leggeds, as requested by Miss Olivia, the Queen Kitty. 
Please bring a lawn chair, a blanket or mat and a canopy. 
Mary's yard is not huge, but you can follow the shade around as the day progresses. 

VENDORS & WORKSHOPS- If you want to be a vendor or give a workshop, please let Mary know at (916) 536-1331.  Thank you. Vendors and Workshops info will be posted below as it is received and updated on this blog site. 

GIFTS & SENTIMENTS - Of course a gift is not required.  But if you'd like to gift Mary something, cash is the operative suggestion this year.  And yes, pennies, other coins, and paper with photos of Past Presidents are accepted.  LOPING WOLF will have a Donations jar on our table if you want to contribute.  Thank you. 

If you would like to offer Mary a sentiment (see http://www.maryyoungblood.com/FanMail.htm ), there will be paper at the LOPING WOLF table, or you can bring something with you or e-mail one to Sheree at shereed@lopingwolf.com .  Thank you. 

CAKE - Jean is providing the "cake".  YEA Jean, thank you.   

9:00 am Quiet Arrival and set up for vendors 
10:00 Welcome and Opening 
10:30 Open Mic all day (sign-ups encouraged at LOPING WOLF table) 
NOON Food 
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 

MARY'S "EMBELLISHMENTS" WORKSHOP - $45 per person, or 2 for $80 (checks accepted) 
In this special workshop conducted by the Birthday Girl herself, 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. 

Workshop attendees will also have an opportunity to 'pick Mary's brain' about how to further advance their own flute journey.  Following the workshop Open Mic priority will be granted to Mary’s workshop attendees. 

DON SCHULTZ AND HIS DRUM-MAKING WORKSHOP – He’s back and ready to help you make a drum to take home with you. 
$130 for a 13 inch hand drum 
$230 for a 20 inch hand drum 
More info is pending and will be posted here as it is received…. 


Thursday, March 29, 2012

2012 Yosemite Flute Festival

I wanted to remind folks that the 2012 Yosemite Flute Festival is now taking shape, and it's going to be an awesome event this year, one that you can't miss. I've been involved with the Yosemite Flute Festival since it's inception and Rick and Linda have put on a quality event every year, but this year they're pulling out all the stops to create a wonderful event celebrating the Native American Flute.

First of all, it's hard to beat the setting. The event was moved last year to the Sierra Sky Ranch, and it's a nice intimate setting for interacting with all of the vendors and other flute players. Plus you can't beat adding a day to go through Yosemite!

As for performers, this year the lineup is incredible. It starts on Friday night with Steven Deruby, Rona Yellow Robe and Joe Young. Rona is an incredible flute player and her signing voice just melts my heart. She backed by her musical partner Bruce Witham (who's an amazing musician in his own write but has found a beautiful synergy with Rona). Rona's is one of the best, up and coming Native artists that I've heard in a long, long time, make sure that you get there by Friday night to catch her on stage. Joe Young has supported the festival for the last 3 years as both an artist and in the sound production. He is an amazing wind instrument artist and plays the sax, clarinet and Native American flute. Joe takes a more modern look at composing for the NAF, but always entertains. My good friend Steven Deruby has been making flutes longer than just about any body in the business. He is definitely one of the living "masters" and has left his mark on so many flute players and flute makers over the years. Steven was one the folks who helped initiate the Yosemite flute festival, and it's always a joy to watch him on stage (I've even had the privilege to perform with him). You never know what instrument(s) Steven will bring together on stage...

And that brings us to the Saturday evening concert. Starting the show on Saturday night we have Al Hollinger of Desert Wind Flutes. Al is an accomplished didgeridoo player and Native American flute player. Randy Grainger is a unique performer... if there's one individual who fits the mold of a modern day Kokopelli, it would be Randy. He's a free spirit and an incredible multi-instrumentalist who plays a variety of instruments, and I quite sure that he can make music out of anything.
Highlighting the evening on Saturday, is of course our very own Mary Youngblood. It's a couple years since Mary last performed at Yosemite, but it sure will be fun to see her again on stage. Mary is the capstone to an incredible lineup this year, and it's one that you won't want to miss. Add to that all of the great workshops and vendors, and you have the recipe for one wonderful NAF weekend. So start saving now (so you don't go home empty handed), get reservations in town NOW (the hotels will fill up quickly).
And we'll see you in Yosemite...

What: Yosemite Flute Festival
When: Sept 21-23, 2012
Where: Oakhurst, CA
Cost: $5.00 for three days (you can't beat this price anywhere...)
Concerts Ticket: TBA (probably in the $20 range)
Info: Yosemite Flute Festival 2012