From Six of My Favorite Native American Flute Players
R Carlos Nakai – Canyon Trilogy, Emergence, Feather, Stone and Light
R. Carlos Nakai‘s music leads off and ends this playlist. He is my favorite Native American flute player. The three albums that I have taken tracks from are among my favorites. They have all been soundtracks for yoga exercising and also helped to keep me sane during stressful times at work. What I really like about Nakai’s music is that he is alwaus changing things up. Some albums are solo, some are with Will Clipman and William Eaton. I have several of the albums that he recorded with pianist Peter Kater.
About R. Carlos Nakai from his Website biography….
Of Navajo-Ute heritage, R. Carlos Nakai is the world’s premier performer of the Native American flute. He began his musical studies on the trumpet, but a car accident ruined his embouchure. His musical interests took a turn when he was given a traditional cedar flute as a gift and challenged to master it. As an artist, he is an adventurer and risk taker, always giving his musical imagination free rein. Nakai is also an iconoclastic traditionalist who views his cultural heritage not only as a source and inspiration, but also a dynamic continuum of natural change, growth, and adaptation subject to the artist’s expressive needs.
Nakai’s first album, Changes, was released by Canyon Records in 1983, and since then he has released fourty albums with Canyon plus additional albums and guest appearances on other labels. In addition to his educational workshops and residencies, Nakai has appeared as a soloist throughout the United States, Europe, and Japan, and has worked with guitarist/luthier William Eaton, composer James DeMars, pianist Peter Kater and “the late” Paul Horn among many others. The famed American choreographer Martha Graham used Nakai’s second album, Cycles, in her last work Night Chant. Nakai contributed music to the major motion pictures New World (New Line) and Geronimo (Columbia). Read More
Bill Miller – Spirit Winds East
I first came to the music of Bill Miller through his many fine folk albums. His album Raven in the Snow may have been the first album that I picked up. But it wasn’t long after picking up that album, that many of his fine albums became a part of my music library. Raven in the Snow and Ghostdance are my two favorite Bill Miller albums. In 2009 and 2010 Bill released two great albums of Native American flute music. The first Spirit Wind North was released in 2009. It won a Grammy in 2010. The tracks included on this playlist are from Spirit Wind East which is also a fine album
From Bill’s website biography:
Bill Miller is an award-winning Native American recording artist, performer, songwriter, activist, painter, and world-class native flute player. Over the entirety, Miller has produced over a dozen albums, received three GRAMMY® Awards, numerous Native American Music Awards & Association (NAMA) awards (including a “Lifetime Achievement” Award) and led Wisconsin’s La Crosse Symphony Orchestra. He is now touring in support of the history-making album release, Look Again To The Wind: Johnny Cash’s Bitter Tears Revisited, on which he performed the title track. Read Mo
Mary Youngblood – Sacred Place – A Mary Youngblood Collection
Every time I listen to Mary Youngblood’s beautiful flute playing, I think “why don’t you this to her more often, Edward!” This album is a nice collectionof her outstanding music!
From Mary’s website biography…
Native American Mary Youngblood, half Seminole and half Aleut, is the first woman to professionally record the Native American Flute, and the first woman to win not just one, but two Grammy Awards for “Best Native American Music Album”.
About her second Grammy Award, Silver Wave Records said, “…Mary Youngblood has always had the talent to stand out above the crowd, and with this honor she stakes her claim as the number one star of Native American music.”
Mary’s sixth album for Silver Wave Records is a compilation produced by Silver Wave’s staff. Of “Sacred Place – A Mary Youngblood Collection”, Silver Wave writes, “With rich vibrato and notes that melt into your heart, Mary Youngblood takes the artistry of Native American flute music to its highest level. Her song writing brings forth some of the sweetest original melodies ever performed on this instrument, and the collection herein showcases the most sublime.Continue Reading
Ok after listening to this album while I’m writing this I have made a resolution. I will to listen to more Mary Youngblood!!
Robert Tree Cody – Crossroads with Xavier Quijas Yxayotl
I have listened to and enjoyed many of Cody’s albums. My favorite may be Crossroads released in 2000. “Xavier Quijas Yxayotl joins “Tree” on the album. Yxayotl is from Guadalajara, Mexico, of the Huichol Nation. For the longest while Crossroads served as the soundtrack for my Kundalini yoga!
From Cody’s Canyon Records Biography….
Robert “Tree” Cody (also known in the Maricopa language as Oou-Kas Mah Quet or “Thunder Bear”) is a Native American flutist, dancer, artist, educator and actor who has performed throughout the United States, Europe, Canada, Scandinavia, the United Kingdom, East Asia, Central & South America and Mexico. Standing 6 foot, 10 inches, “Tree” Cody holds a commanding presence whether on stage or on the pow-wow circuit as a prize winning Northern Traditional dancer, Master of Ceremonies or Arena Director. Read More
Douglas Spotted Eagles’ album Closer to Far Away released in 1996. It was one of the first Native American flute albums that I bought back in the late 1990s. I picked it up at Tunes used CD store in Marlton, NJ. My two sons Andrew and Nick used to scout their discount bins on a regular basis!. From Wikipedia…
Douglas Spotted Eagle (born Douglas Wallentine] is a musician and producer, primarily known for audio engineering and production, for which he has won a Grammy Award, as well as for playing the Native American-style flute. He is listed in the Library of Folk Music, The Native American Almanac, and NAIIP Musical Paths as a non-Native flautist who composes New Age and “contemporary ethnic” music Read More
Gary Stroutsos – Inside Tutka Bay
I first listen to Gary’s wonderful flute playing back in 2012. The album I listened to was Inside Tutka Bay. Since then I have listen to many of his albums. I have never been disappointed. One album Flute Meditations for Yoga and Massage has been the soundtrack for my morning yoga on several occasions.
From his website bio….
In the tradition of one of his mentors, jazz flutist Paul Horn, who in the 1960s journeyed inside the Taj Majal and the pyramids to make music with these pillars of time, Gary Stroutsos creates odysseys of sound with the world of nature.
Gary Stroutsos performs world flute music drawn from many traditional cultures. Evoking a spirit of place and the voices of the land, his work includes internationally-acclaimed recordings at sacred sites, using the unique acoustics and history of each great space as the starting point for musical exploration: A shared moment in a timeless place, where flute melodies, ancestral and modern, play off one another and songs come alive, buoying and breathing through the generations Continue Reading