We are proud to be able to offer our guests free
concerts with a program of world-class performers. The
performers listed here are those currently under contract. Check our
schedule page for the days and times of each
2023 Native Rhythms Performers
American Cultural Encounter
2023 Native Rhythms Headline Performers
(Electronic Press Release)
is a gifted multi-instrumentalist who 'feels' the music
with a sincerity and honesty which can't be faked. Randy
Granger's name deserves to be listed with other renowned
Native American flute players, both Native and Anglo,
because he obviously has both the chops and the artistry
to warrant it."
-- Bill Binkleman long-time New Age music critic
and singer-songwriter Randy Granger blends elements of
southwest music like Native American flutes with world
percussion, distinctive vocals and other worldly Pan
instruments like the Halo, the Hang and Moyo. NPR’s
All Things Considered profiled Granger and the Hang in
2007 in a feature called “Like Water Over Bells.”
unique sound and energy of Granger’s live performances
has earned him headline status at many Native American,
World and less conventional festivals around the U.S.
His YouTube channel has 1.3 million views. He’s been
nominated for and won many awards including the Indian
Summer Music Awards, Native
American Music Awards (NAMMY’S),
New Mexico Music Industry Awards, US Songwriting
Competition and many others. A composer and
recording artist, his music is used by professional
Dance companies, websites, commercials, film and
documentaries. Granger’s music is heard on the Hearts
of Space, Sirius “Mystic Soundscapes”,
World and Native American radio programs worldwide, podcasts and programs
around the World. The 2008 release “A Place Called
Peace” reached #12 on the New
Age charts and won him a finalist nomination for the
Award” recognition award from New Age radio
programmers and music directors. New Mexico Magazine
layered with the sounds of a variety of flutes and
percussion instruments, “A
Place Called Peace” offers more depth
than some flute solo recordings you might find.” A
recent concert at White Sands National Monument in
September 2012 attracted an audience of over 2,000, the
largest in their Full-Moon concert series.
The New Mexico Music Commission produced a short film about Granger and
his music that aired on KOAT-TV
in Albuquerque and on all of the states PBS stations and
continues to show regularly around the area. Their
Sounds” is uploaded to the music commission YouTube
page. In 2012 PBS
chose him as their first subject to launch a new program
Spotlight” featuring half-hour programs of
selected area musicians and bands.
2010 release Pura
Vida This is Pure Life fused his musical background
as a percussionist, singer and guitarist with his more
recent instrumentation offering a more fleshed-out sound
and expanding his audience. His cover version of Leonard
Cohen’s “Hallelujah” blends Native American flute, the Halo, guitar and
harmonized vocals is a top requested song on many Native
American radio programs. Granger is a noted dynamic,
engaging and energetic performer. As one Facebook fan
noted after a performance at the Yosemite
Music and Art Festival in 2011; “The
energy coming off the stage….it was amazing. Like the
walls were going to explode from it.”
has performed at several National Monuments, such as White
Sands National Monument, Casa
Grande Ruins, and Zion
Canyon and for the Centennial celebration at the Gila
Cliff Dwellings National Monument in New Mexico.
Other festivals he’s performed for include the Sundance
Film Festival, International
Native American and World Flute Festival, the
prestigious Santa Fe Indian Market, The Gathering
of Nations, Yosemite
World Music Event, New
Mexico State Fair,
World of Faeries Festival (Chicago), Indian
Summer Festival in Milwaukee, Casa
Grande American Indian Music Festival, Native
Rhythms, Zion Canyon Native Flute Festival and
hundreds of community concerts, Renaissance Faires,
house concerts, small theaters and venues including the
Chapel in Houston, Texas.
Granger has going for him as a live musician and
performer is a sound so unique no solo act performing
live shares currently. Granger’s music has been
referred to as Southwest
Contemporary and Southwest
World which weaves Native flutes, percussion,
storytelling, vocals in an engaging set paced for
energy, meditative pieces with showcase numbers on the
Double-Barrel flute, a wicked Hang/Halo solo. One Jazz
ensemble director referred to Granger as the “Human
Vocal Chord” for his versatility and accuracy.
Granger tours as a solo artist he layers and loops
sounds akin to Emogen Heap but with a mystical southwest
vibe. He often performs with other musicians on tour,
which have included R. Carlos Nakai, Coyote Oldman, Skip
Healy, Peter Phippen and many others in impromptu or
rehearsed sessions. Granger’s ease with all styles or
music and back ground make him a popular “sit in”
guest on stages.
is a Native of New Mexico whose researched DNA ancestry
includes Mayan (Choltan) and Apache among other tribes.
A life-long musician he’s toured as a solo artist but
also with Jazz and Rock groups as a percussionist.
He’s professionally performed lead in several operas
and musicals, been a hired choral member, taught drums
and guitar for 15 plus years, mastered Mariachi music,
Cowboy music and worked as a Jazz solo artist for
parties and receptions. He’s worked as a session
musician, composer, arranger, songwriter and pick-up
musician. A true journeyman.
addition Granger has presented and facilitated workshops
on the Pan instruments, playing music in Hospice and
playing the Native American Flute at many festivals,
including the International Native American and World
Flute Association conferences.
2010-2011 Granger was forced to stop touring and
promoting to care for his partner diagnosed with stage
IV pancreatic cancer. The caregiving experience, helping
someone pass on, hospice, grieving, settling an estate
all have found their way into Granger’s newest
Medicine was released in the spring 2012. He has
volunteered his flute music in Hospice for many years
and donates his time and talent to many fundraisers for
charities, so this is a natural extension. In concert he
tells the story of caregiving and helping a loved one
die before he performs “Hallelujah” always an
emotional highlight of his concerts. He is becoming an
advocate for caregivers as well as pancreatic cancer
|Shelley Morningsong & Fabian Fontenelle
and 2016 Native American Music Awards "Artist of the
Shelley also won a 2019 Native American Music Award for the
Best Blues Recording. As a
Grammy Member, ASCAP Member, Shelley Morningsong (N. Cheyenne) has recorded five
sensational Native American, Contemporary albums and has emerged as one of New Mexico’s finest Native
performers. Morningsong has received five Native American music awards, among other awards and accolades,
including two Native American Music Awards last year and
the “Record of the Year” for 2011 (Full Circle).
Shelley's husband and musical partner Fabian Fontenelle (Zuni/Omaha) adds a breathtaking and beautiful
element to their performance with his traditional northern plains style dancing, storytelling and drumming.
Fabian is an original member of the American Indian Dance Theater. Both Shelley and Fabian were touring
members of the famous Robert Mirabal's Musical “Music from a Painted Cave” feature on PBS Special
Performance's. Shelley and Fabian have been featured in several magazine's such as Cowboys & Indians,
Native Peoples and New Mexico Magazine.
|Rona Yellow Robe
2014 and 2016 Native American Music Awards (NAMA) Flutist of the Year, Rona Yellow Robe was born and raised in Havre, Montana and is an enrolled member of the Chippewa Cree Tribe of Rocky Boy, Montana.
Rona is known for her powerful vocal ability, Native American flute style, and heart-filled presence. She picked up her first flute in 2002 and has been on a Musical and Spiritual journey ever since. It is by playing the Native American flute, which she refers to as her "other voice,” that she has become comfortable sharing with all audiences many aspects of her life that are personal and meaningful to her.
Rona Yellow Robe and Bruce Witham have been creating music together since May, 2008. They have recorded four albums, “Voice of the Trees” (2009), “The Gathering” (2012), a Christmas album entitled “Lighting Our Way” (2013), and most recently, their latest album, "Shoot For The Moon" (2016).
In 2010, Rona and Bruce received the Native American Music Awards nomination as Songwriters of the Year for their song, “Voice of the Trees.” Rona and Bruce's album, "The Gathering" was Nominated for Record of the Year by the 2014 NAMA. Also, Rona was nominated by the 2016 Native American Music Awards for Female Vocalist
of The year for their Christmas CD, "Lighting Our Way", and then taking home, once again, Flutist of the Year for their latest CD "Shoot For The Moon".
Rona Yellow Robe and Bruce Witham have performed concerts on stages nationwide; Utah, Wisconsin, California, Florida, Oregon, and Washington, to name a few, and have recently gone International.
Over the past six years they have played hundreds of events including festivals, art shows, schools, weddings, memorial services, powwows, and holiday celebrations. They have honored military veterans and their families with their music, and have worked in close partnership with Multicare Hospice in Washington State for the past seven years. They have begun expanding and honing their skills as music teachers and workshop facilitators.
We have always said, "We will perform for 5 or 500." We have done both. It's all about blessing people's lives with the music.
Rona's and Bruce's Music is created with the Intention to inspire, uplift, and fill the listener with peace, hope, happiness, and visions of joy, love, and prosperity.
Green Silverhawk's life with the flute began many years
ago as he was being transported to life saving
open-heart surgery and went into cardiac arrest, sudden
cardiac death. While in this state he went into the
"white light", and had a near-death experience
and vision. His life was forever changed.
Dock is of Creek and
Cherokee blood and three months after leaving the
hospital his wife Cindy took him to his first Indian
powwow to learn more about his heritage. There the Lord
led him to the Native American flute. A year later he
began using the flute in the same hospital as a chaplain
and uses the medicine of the flute and power of prayer
in the Intensive Care Unit and Cardiac Critical Care
Unit at Tampa General Hospital. Today Silverhawk is
considered a pioneer of using the flute in this manner
and is requested at other hospitals as well as TGH.
His ministry has been
featured on local Tampa Bay television NBC, CBS, FoxTV,
PBS and national NBC NEWS. He has also been featured in
the Tampa Tribune, St Pete Times, and local radio
Silverhawk is the founder
and spiritual leader of the American Indian Christian
Circle of Thonotosassa, Fl., one of the first churches
of it's kind in the country. He is a co-founder and
Chairman of CONAM (Committee On Native American
Ministries) of The United Methodist Conference of
Florida. He is a co-founder of the annual CONAM
Spiritual Gathering in Leesburg, Fl. Dock is also the
founder, with Mike Knight's help, of Silverhawk
Native American Flute Gathering, an annual event.
Dock has the distinction
of being the first place winner of the flute playing
competition of the first Musical Echoes. The second year
he was asked to be the chaplain and a judge at these
competitions and still serves in this capacity now. He
recently had the extreme honor of being asked to
represent the American Indian people of the Tampa Bay
area and lead off the grand opening ceremonies with
prayer and flute songs for the Tampa Bay History Center.
More recently, Dock was
voted "Artist of the Year" for 2009 by the
Greater Brandon Arts Council, the first Native American
and the first non-visual artist to win this award.
Silverhawk also plays and
speaks at numerous events and churches as well as
hospitals and federal prisons.
Dock's life wish is to
continue to be used by Creator and His Son to bring
peace, comfort, and healing to those in great need
through the power of prayer and medicine of the flute.
"I pray He continues opening doors for me to serve
Him, and uses me until He calls me home".
Lowery Begay is from the Dine’ (Navajo) Nations and was raised on the Navajo Reservation in New Mexico and Arizona. Lowery grew up learning the traditional Navajo ways from his grandparents.
He has been dancing as a hoop dancer and Northern Style Fancy dancer for most of his life, and has been dancing, storytelling and playing the Native Flute professionally for over 15 years.
Lowery competed at the World Hoop Dance contest every year at the Heard Museum in Phoenix,
Arizona and holds the title of 2004 Schemitzun Hoop Dance Champion. In 2005, Lowery was part of a major production as a hoop dancer and fancy dancer called “Spirit: The Seventh Fire.” He has also performed with Brule, Lakota Dance theatre, Native pride dancers and Spirit of the Mist in Niagra Falls.
Lowery has had the opportunity to share his gift around the world traveling and performing in Japan, Italy, Norway, Switzerland, Iceland, Belgium, Germany, England, and at the Grand Opening of the Native American Museum in Washington, D.C.
Jonny Lipford is an award-winning, celebrated musician and educator
who has captivated audiences and students worldwide with his mastery of the Native American flute
and an array of world flutes. With over two decades of experience, Jonny's musical journey is marked
by significant milestones, including creating over 200 original songs, releasing 18 commercial albums,
and live performances for crowds as large as 14,000 people. His work has been featured on SiriusXM,
JetBlue, United Airlines and CBS.
His extraordinary talent and commitment to his craft have earned him a reputation as a leading
authority in the music industry. Yet, it's not just his artistry that sets Jonny apart, but his
dedication to sharing his knowledge with others.
As a sought-after instructor, Jonny guides thousands of students annually through diverse courses,
workshops, and lessons. His passion for teaching led to the development of
an innovative online learning platform. The school offers an exceptional membership program that
provides access to a wealth of resources, catering to the needs of both beginner and advanced flute
In addition to his musical and educational endeavors, Jonny expanded his reach in mid-2023 by
acquiring the respected Oregon Flute Store and rebranding it as the
venture underscores Jonny's ongoing commitment to the flute community, providing top-tier instruments
and accessories to enthusiasts around the globe.
Through his artistry, instruction, and entrepreneurship, Jonny Lipford continually cultivates
authentic creativity. He inspires a new generation of flute players, igniting a passion for music
transcending traditional boundaries.
24 year old Native American composer/musician, Gareth Laffely is of
Mi'kmaq/Cree descent. Gareth received the Rising Star Award from the Native American Music Awards at 16 years old, and is the youngest performer to reach #2 on the Billboard New Age Music Top 100 charts for his 3rd CD, Sky Before a Storm, which also reached #1 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart.
Gareth's music is featured on NPR's nationally acclaimed Hearts of Space, Music Choice
Network's Soundscapes channel, GAC-Great American Country Network, and radio stations worldwide.
Gareth has also garnered multiple awards for his documentary film scores. His newest CD project,
"Voices of the Guardians", features Oscar award winning Native American actor Wes Studi, and Emmy Award winning producer Lance Bendiksen and was recorded with George
Lucas's Sky Walker Symphony.
Gareth has donated much of his time to Hospice, playing for terminally ill patients and their families and also Gareth donates a portion of his music proceeds to St. Jude
Children's Hospital, and the American Indian College Fund to help other Native American youths realize their dreams of higher education.
Follow Gareth on FB, Twitter, Instagram, Spotify and Pandora.
|Timothy J.P. Gomez
Award-winning musician Timothy J.P. Gomez is a composer, performer, and educator of the Native American Style Flute. Timothy integrates world music with the depth and emotional impact of the Romantic Era to reflect his awe of nature and aptitude for immense empathy. Human connection and kinship with the Earth are reoccurring themes in his music, and his heartfelt melodies capture the imagination and transport the listener to another world. Timothy’s technical abilities impart a fluidity and intricacy to his music and spur his creativity to produce a playing style recognizable as distinctly his own.
Timothy grew up in the desert landscape on the outskirts of El Paso, TX, where he fell in love with the Native Flute and the dreamlike terrain beyond his door. After playing privately for friends and family for many years, Timothy was finally convinced to share his gift with the world. In 2014, Timothy released his debut album, The Awakening, an acoustic Native Style Flute album focused on his wanderings through nature and self-reflection on life’s trials and triumphs. His album received 2 nominations at the Indian Summer Music Awards, with his song “Sacred Saguaro” securing the 2015 win in its category.
Currently, Timothy performs at festivals and concerts throughout the USA. He also offers one-on-one private online sessions assisting others in expanding their skill level on the Native American Style Flute. During events, Timothy holds workshops and offers private lessons, where he has been privileged to assist many flute players on their musical pursuits. He continues his mission to inspire conservation and a love of adventure through his musical compositions.
Drawing inspiration from Mother Earth, Native culture, nature and wildlife, and combining
the ancient Native American flute with today's modern instruments and musical styles, is
what creates the signature sound of Painted Raven, the Native American flute and World
Music project of songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Annette Abbondanza, joined by flutist
and percussionist, Holly Harris.
Annette Abbondanza (Painted Raven), of Cherokee and Sioux ancestry, is self-taught on guitar,
keyboards, bass, drums, Native American flute, and several other instruments, has performed
at many festivals, concerts and benefits across the country, while devoting most of her
musical career to furthering the efforts of various charitable organizations, including
Native American, social, environmental, and wildlife causes. Annette draws her songwriting
inspiration from her love and respect for the earth and all living creatures. She has written,
recorded, and produced two of her own CDs, as well as twelve CDs released by Painted Raven,
and many other releases by regional artists and youth. She has shared the stage with many
folk music legends, including Tom Paxton for the live broadcast of the public radio production
“The Chords are Stacked” at the historic Hershey Theatre. Annette’s music has received awards
and multiple nominations, including Meet The Composer Award, One World Music Awards, ISMA-
Indian Summer Music Awards, and Nammy- Native American Music Awards, as well as being aired
on many local, national, and international radio and web broadcasts including NPR's “Echoes”
with John DiLiberto.
Holly Harris (Red Feather), a Native Floridian of Cherokee heritage, is a multi-instrumentalist
specializing in the Native American flute, hand drums, percussion and other instruments. She
has performed at various flute festivals, including Green Frog Moon Festival, Musical Echoes,
SunWatch Flute Festival, RNAFF, Sarasota Native American Festival, Ohio Valley Indigenous Music
Festival, Palo Pinto Native Flute Festival, and The Native Rhythms Festival. Historically
accompanying other musicians, her individual talent for playing the Native American flute gained
attention after being awarded 1st place in the 2013 Native Rhythms Festival Flute Players
Competition. This accomplishment opened more doors for her musically, including becoming a
featured performer at the 2014 Native Rhythms Festival, as well as being invited to join
Painted Raven. She has contributed to the 6 most recently released Painted Raven CD’s, and as
a member of Painted Raven, has been nominated for several Native American Music Awards and has
won several Indian Summer Music Awards.
Together as the continually evolving musical soundscape known as Painted Raven, Annette and
Holly grace the stage as one of the Native American Flute world’s very few female ensembles
and bring with it a unique warmth, combined with an energy and diversity that showcases the
amazing musical versatility of the Native American Flute.
Painted Raven is anticipating the release of their twelfth CD this November at the Native
Rhythms Festival in Melbourne, FL. Their brand new CD titled Mandala, soars to yet another
incredible level with a blend of the beautiful sounds of the Native American flute, combined
with other World flutes and ethnic instruments and drumming. Mandala and other Painted Raven’s
CDs will be available for sale and autograph at the event.
Additional information about Painted Raven is available online at:
Painted Raven also appears on:
YouTube ( www.youtube.com/user/PaintedRavenMusic )
FaceBook ( www.facebook.com/PaintedRaven2 )
Twitter ( twitter.com/PaintedRaven2 )
Whitefox Stall is a Native American of the
Southeastern Muskogee Creeks. As a tribal dancer in
men's traditional dance Billy won many awards. He then began teaching tribal
dance to youth and in 1985, was gifted his first flute
by a student's father. It was a cedar flute given to
him by Quana Parker, Jr., and of course this changed his
life. With his interest now
focused on tribal flute music, he sought knowledge from
his Uncle Clyde concerning rivercane flutes.
He played his Native
American Flute Music and made his Old-Style Rivercane
Flutes for the next few years, until in 1998 he released
his first professional CD, "Sacred
Billy was made Vice-Chief
of the Red Heart Clan of Alabama in 2003, a significant
event and great honor in his life. In 2009, Billy was asked to
join the Southeastern Elders Council and was
re-appointed by Governor Crist to his 3rd consecutive
term as a Florida State Commissioner on Human Relations.
In 2005 Billy was
Flutist of the Year, winning that year's Native American
Music Award or NAMA with the release of his second disk,
entitled "When the Wind
Billy shares his
Creek ancestry through international recordings of
Native American flute music and storytelling. He enjoys
touring the country sharing his music and stories of his
heritage. Billy Whitefox is also a national champion
Flute Maker, well known for his old-style techniques in
making rivercane flutes.
(East Meets West)
Jim Sawgrass is a
native Floridian of Muscogee Creek (Mvskoke) descent and
living historian of the southeastern tribes of Florida,
Georgia, and Alabama. He has been sharing his
knowledge of the Southeastern Native American tribes for
over 25 years. He served on the Florida Indian Council
from 1991-1995. Sawgrass has been sharing his
knowledge of the Southeastern Native American tribes for
over 30 years.
As a child, he
was always interested in history, building forts, and
exploring the woods and nearby swamps. The outdoors
was always, and continues to be a big part of his life. He
became more involved with his Native American heritage
by attending Pow Wows, Native festivals, and historical
reenactments. He learned more about Native culture
and history from many elders, outdoors-men, and
reenactors he was surrounded by. He is also an
Eagle Scout and applies his scouting skills to this day.
In 1988, Sawgrass
began presenting programs professionally on Native
American history and started the "Deep Forest
Historical Native American Programs". Since
then, he has performed at places like schools, Pow Wows,
state and national parks, Walt Disney World, Universal
Studios, Sea World, New Orleans Jazz & Heritage
Festivals and many other places around the U.S. He also
been featured on many television networks such as
History Channel, Travel Channel and Discovery
|Ed is very proud to be a Veteran serving with the 25th Infantry Division. In 1975, while stationed
in Hawaii, he became president of a Native American Dance Troupe and was instrumental in
starting some of the very first Pow Wows in Hawaii.
Ed is a respected educator who is proud of his Nanticoke heritage. A gifted player of the Native
American flute, and also a respected traditional dancer, Ed has performed for audiences
throughout the United States and Europe, and has dedicated his life to preserving his culture
through the art of music, dance and education. He has served as Head Man and kids day
educator at many powwows throughout the East Coast.
In Ed’s unique and one of a kind performance, you will experience the history and rich sounds of
the American Indian flute, and receive a rare opportunity to experience authentic traditional
American Indian dance. He teaches about his heritage, culture, and explains in detail, his
traditional attire along with its history and significance.
He has captivated thousands with his 2 popular albums: Breath of My Soul, and Dragonfly
He performed many, many years with his grandmother, Kay Taylor. She always ended their
performance by saying: “Walk softly upon this grandmother…live each day as if it were your
last…and above all, enjoy the journey, the destination is the same. Aho”
Paula Ellis Memorial Flute Players' Competition Winner
earned his place on the 2023 program by virtue of winning
Paula Ellis Memorial Flute Players’ Competition. And
he might not have... Joe tells that the main reason he
entered was that he and a friend thought it would be fun
to both enter and compete against each other. At the last
minute the friend backed out, but Joe was already entered
and decided to continue. The result was a first place
finish and the program slot this year! Congratulations,
has been a musician for practically his whole life. In his
younger days, his instrument was the saxophone, which he
played "semi- professionally" for about 10
years. He defines his semi-professional status as being
paid to play, but not enough to support a family. When he
got married and started having children, he faced the
choice between music and making a living.
one day in 2008 while at the Cherokee Heritage Center in
Tahlequah, OK, he heard some beautiful, exotic, and
haunting music coming over the PA system and realized how
much he missed playing music. He says he thought,
"I'm not sure what that instrument is, but wouldn't
it be cool to be able to play something like that."
That sparked his interest and his wife gave his his first
flute for Christmas, which led to two more flutes within
the next six months.
took Joe down a new path. He realized that he was going to
want more and more flutes, and they tended to be kind of
expensive. The solution was to learn how to make flutes
himself and that turned into a business. So, when he's not
on stage, look for his booth over in the Vendor Village
where he's set up as Joe Loftin Flutes.
"What a long strange trip it's
been from there. I think the most rewarding part of
it is all the wonderful people I've met and become friends
with along the way. It's not an overstatement to say
that the flute transformed my life."