Dr. Natesan Ramani was born October 15, 1934. He was commonly known as N. Ramani or N. Flute Ramani. He was widely acknowledged as one of the world’s most masterful bamboo flute players. In 1934 he was born into a family of musicians where he began his studies with his grandfather, Sri Azhiyur Narayanaswamy Iyer, and his first public performance was given at the age of eight. He later continued his training under Sri T.R Mahalingam who was known for developing a unique style of blowing and crossfingering.
Dr. Ramani has further developed these techniques and is known for his technical excellence and masterful improvisation. He has been a performer for All India Radio since 1947 and has toured worldwide.
Deepak Ram is a highly gifted musician with a firm foundation in the traditions of North Indian classical music, as well as an inspired versatility ? straddling and ultimately doing away with the boundary that once divided East from West ? that makes each of his projects uniquely his own.
At a young age, Deepak Ram’s reputation grew rapidly. Among his many laurels is the award for Best Instrumental Album, South African Music Awards 2000. Ram has collaborated with renowned musicians in a variety of genres from jazz pianist Darius Brubeck to Tunisian ud player Dhafer Yousseff. He has performed throughout the world, including South Africa?s Millennium Concert on Robben Island before such illustrious audience members as presidents Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki. In addition to masterful composition, arranging and performance, Ram is also an accomplished teacher, most recently holding a post with the University of California, Santa Cruz.
Ram plays the bansuri, a bamboo flute whose origins date several thousands years back into India?s rich past, being the chosen instrument of Lord Krishna, its sweet, melancholy, yet joyful sound a manifestation of the divine.
Ram is accompanied on this recording by Swapan Chaudhuri on the tabla. Chaudhuri has shone in performances throughout the world, from Sand Francisco to Kuala Lumpur, both as accompanist as well as solo artist. Chaudhuri share Ram’s rich classical background as well as his poetic grace and inspired elegance.
Ram is featured on the soundtrack to the Sci-Fi movie, The Matrix Reloaded. Listen for Deepak?s soaring bansuri parts on Navras, a 9-minute work composed by British-based Juno Reactor in collaboration with Matrix score composer Don Davis.
Song Of Nature – Orange Horizons – A Musical Rendition Of Nature (Magnasound, 1993)
Song Of Nature – Rhythm Of The Rain – A Musical Rendition Of Nature (Magnasound, 1993)
Gathering Forces II, with Darius Brubeck (B&W Music, 1994)
Ragas: Bhupali And Kirwani, with Shibshankar Ray (Bhakti Records, 1995) Flute For Thought (M.E.L.T. 2000, 1998) Searching For Satyam (M.E.L.T. 2000, 2000) Beauty In Diversity (Golden Horn, 2002)
Prasad (Blessing), with Pandit Swapan Chaudhuri (Golden Horn, 2002)
Samvad (Conversation), with Ustad Tari Khan (Worldwide Records, 2007) Steps (Golden Horn, 2008)
Jean-Michel Veillon played the wooden flute in Breton groups Kornog and Pennou Skoulm. After taking up the wooden flute in 1977, Jean Michel Veillon developed a keen interest in the culture and music of Ireland. In 1979, he founded, together with Paddy O’Neill and the piper Martin Nolan, the Breton-Irish Band Kornog. At the same time, Jean-Michel played with a local East-Breton band and was encouraged to adapt the Breton repertoire to the wooden flute.
In addition to his work with Kornog, Jean-Michel was a founding member of the dance band Pennou Skoulm and played with the group Den in the late 1980s/early 1990s. Since 1995 he’s been performing with the Duo Veillon-Riou.
Serenitá showcases the versatility of flute wizard Arnaud Ciapolino. O his solo debut, the Breton musician delivers a delightful set of performances using several variations of the concert flute.
The musical influences range from contemporary Celtic and British Isles folk to jazz and laid back blues. There is exquisite interplay between Ciapolino’s flutes and various instruments such as the fiddle, guitar and trombone.
Although most of the album consists of instrumentals by Ciapolino, there are also two English-language songs included.
Serenità features first class musicians from France and Scotland. Personnel: Arnaud Ciapolino: flute, alto flute, bass flute, and piccolo; Eilidh Shaw on fiddle; Mike Clinton on bass; Johan Dalgaard on keyboards, Fender Rhodes piano, accordion, bass, guitar, autoharp, ukulele; Latabi Diouani on drums; Kris Drever on guitar, baritone guitar, mandolin, vocals; Fidel Fourneyron on trombone; Angus MacKenzie on border pipe, Scottish small pipe, highland pipe and whistles; Ross Martin on guitar; Nicolas Quémener on guitar, vocals; and Alasdair White on fiddle.
Serenità is a splendid album that reveals a highly talented flute player who transcends musical borders.
Gratitude – Native American Flute Healing is an album of meditative flute music performed by Navajo (Diné) artist Jonah Littlesunday. It’s instrumental, evocative reverb-fueled solo flute accompanied by subtle hand percussion that brings forward colorful images of the southwest.
Jonah Littlesunday uses his flute as a healing tool. He uses it to pray for children, elders, hospital patients and injured animals.
Guests include Stephen Butler on percussion and Roman Orona on vocals.
Native American flute player Mary Youngblood was born on June 24, 1958 in Kirkland, Washington. Mary has Aleut and Seminole ancestry. She is one of the first Native women to record this sacred instrument, a role that has traditionally limited to men. Classically trained on several instruments Mary Youngblood has been playing the flute for over two decades.
Youngblood has a lifetime of musicianship behind her, starting with piano lessons at age six and guitar at ten; she is also a renowned classically trained flutist.
As an adult, when Youngblood received her first wooden Native flute she was compelled to pursue this ancient instrument traditionally played only by men. She has been honored with numerous awards and furthers her craft and knowledge of music and her Native traditions through teaching.
Her 5th album Dance with the Wind came out on May 23 2006 on Silver Wave Records. Inspired by the wisdom of nature Mary writes: “The trees have given a voice to me the voice that sings to you now.” Her eclectic musical style evokes feelings of freedom and gratitude for the blessings of life.
“I am simply a vessel between Creator and this sacred instrument the Native American Flute. Listen with an open heart and you will hear the whispers of the Ancient Ones. May their timeless voices soothe your soul.”
The Offering (Silver Wave Records, 1998)
Heart of the World (Silver Wave Records, 1999) Beneath the Raven Moon (Silver Wave Records, 2002)
Feed the Fire (Silver Wave Records, 2004) Dance with the Wind (Silver Wave Records, 2006)
Sacred Place: A Mary Youngblood Collection (Silver Wave Records, 2008)
“It is incredible to see the beauty of the people on this earth the vast richness of humankind. All people have the same impulses spirits and goals.”- Kevin Locke
Considered the world’s pre-eminent Lakota traditional-style flute player and hoop dancer Tokeya Inajin (Kevin Locke) was awarded a National Heritage Fellowship by the National Endowment for the Arts in 199. His life’s work is both a bridge and a balance of the traditional and the modern. He is a recognized authority on his native culture tradition and language and has a Master’s of Arts degree from the University of South Dakota in Educational Administration.
A popular lecturer and storyteller working to ensure his cultural heritage survives and prospers. Locke has traveled to 45 countries from Canada to China from Australia to Africa to Europe sharing his vision of balance joy and diversity through music and dance. As he explains “through my music and dance I wish to give voice to the beauty of the land and to help define the role of the human sprit in relationship to the immensity of this infinite hoop of life.” His belief in the unity of humankind is reflected in his dancing. Kevin uses 28 hoops to tell a story depicting such things as flowers butterflies stars the sun and an eagle. The hoops represent unity while the colors of the hoops -black red yellow and white – represent the four directions four seasons four winds and the four races of humankind. Towards the end of the dance all 28 hoops are interlocked in a spherical shape as fragile as the balance he works for in human affairs.
Locke is both an artist and educator. As a world citizen striving to forge bonds of harmony his contributions to both professions are unique.
Kevin Locke is a member of the Standing Rock Reservation in South Dakota.
Keith Bear’s name in the Nu E’ta (Mandan) language is O’Mashi! Ryu Ta. It means Northern Lights or He Makes the Sky Burn with Great Flame. A self-taught flute player Bear has been performing since 1986. His critically acclaimed performances include traditional storytelling and the sacred Buffalo Dance ceremony which only honored tribal members may perform.
According to Keith “The Nu E’ta people have had flutes for hundreds of years using the wind birds and water from the Big and Little Missouri Rivers for accompaniment.” His first recording Echoes of the Upper Missouri reflects Keith’s desire to take each listener on a journey back to the bottom lands as in times passed. In fact the natural sounds heard on this release were recorded on location in the ancestral lands of the Mandan-Hidatsa people.
Keith’s accomplishments as a flute player and performer include extensive performances at schools conventions and state and national parks. During the summer of 1995 Keith made his professional acting debut in the feature film “Dakota Sunrise”. In July Keith performed on QVC’s Home Shopping Network and sold over 2 copies of Echoes of the Upper Missouri in less than 5 minutes.
Born and educated in North Dakota, Bear lives on the Fort Berthold Reservation and is the father of four children. He volunteers to help children on the Fort Berthold Reservation. When he’s not performing he enjoys beading quilling and making flutes
Joseph Firecrow’s musical journey began as a child. “Drums were a regular part of our lives. In the summer were the war dances now called powwows. As kids we would imitate the drummers on my mother’s galvanized washtub.”
“The very first time I heard the flute I was a young boy living on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation located in Southeastern Montana. Grover Wolfvoice was the fluteman playing this wonderful music.”
“The music was beautiful to my ears yet it scared me. There was much poverty and depression at that time. The sound of the flute touched my heart where there was much pain and uncertainty. Through all of the hardships of reservation life the beauty and wonder of our homeland beckoned to me.”
Born in Montana and raised on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation until he was nine years old Joseph attended public school and a Catholic school before being placed with a foster family in Seattle as part of the Mormon Indian Placement program. He joined them in their Mormon worship and attended Brigham Young University in Provo Utah as was expected of him.
“I was starting to forget my Cheyenne Language and heritage. I needed to find out who I really was but I also had a lot of opportunities given to me and I wanted to take advantage of them.”
Just when it appeared he might forsake his Native American ancestry, two events happened that lead Joseph back to his people. Joseph reconnected to his heritage through music while he was in college and he read the book Cheyenne Memories by John Stands. “It was pivotal in my life in teaching me about the Creator and how we are tied to the land and animals.”
After three-and-a-half years of college education he returned to his reservation where it took a number of years to be totally accepted. “When I first went home, I sat in with my uncle’s drum group and there were certain members who said ‘̶What are you doing here? Are you trying to be an Indian?’”
Despite the initial adversity, Fire Crow re-integrated into his tribe and became a respected fluteman who was frequently called upon to perform at various community events such as weddings and funerals. He also shares his music and tribal history through lectures and workshops which include lessons in flutemaking.
“The Northern Cheyenne to this day are still very much a traditional and ceremonial people. These things give us our identity. The wooden flute is a tradition that is passed on from one generation to the next. Through our oral history stories legends ceremonies societies and songs our culture is maintained. The flute is kept in the same manner. The legend of how the flute came to the people the songs that are called wolf-songs and the construction of the flute are all kept strong and vibrant.”
In 1992 Fire Crow recorded the album The Mist. Two years later he released a second self-produced recording Rising Bird. These recordings were sold only at concerts.
In April of 1996 his self-titled release Fire Crow was one of the first recordings to be launched nationally on the Makoche label and was one of the label’s best sellers.
Fire Crow’s follow-up album Cheyenne Nation is a soulful mixture of traditional flute and contemporary instrumentation promoting the unity of the Cheyenne people.
In 1995 Fire Crow’s songs “Creator’s Prayer” and “Wind in My Mind” were selected to open and close the best selling album Tribal Winds: Music from Native American Flutes on the Earthbeat label. Ken Burns also chose some of Fire Crow’s music to be included on the soundtrack for his documentary “Lewis and Clark: The Journey of the Corps of Discovery.”
Fire Crow is included on Earthbeat’s Tribal Voices and Tribal Waters compilations as well as being a major contributor to several European releases including Shaman Circles of Life and Medicine Power on the German label Sattva.
Joseph has won numerous Native American Music Awards (NAMA).
The Mist (1992)
Rising Bird (1994)
Fire Crow (Makoché Music, 1996)
Cheyenne Nation (2000)
Legend of the Warrior (2003)
Red Beads (Makoché Music, 2005) Face the Music (2009) Night Walk (2012)
Jonas Simonson has a unique and profoundly personal approach to playing the flutes along with the bass saxophone. He began with classical training but converted to Swedish Folk Music and hasn’t been the same since.
His ornamented and cadence-rich style can be heard with the group Bask a trio with Sten Kallman and Hans Kennermark and in recordings with the bands Den Fule and Groupa.
Jonas Simonson has also worked with SÃ¥ngensemblen Amanda and Kapell Frisell. Also he has performed baroque music with Utomjordiska Theatre in Gothenburg. Jonas Simonson trained at the College of Music in Gothenburg.
Quake, with Den Fule
Bäsk, with Bäsk (Xource/MNW XOUCD 124 in Sweden NorthSide NSD 636 in USA 1999)
Slokt, with Bäsk (Xource/MNW XOUCD 136 2002)
Your Connection to traditional and contemporary World Music including folk, roots and various types of global fusion