A Beautiful Native American music tribute from the Lakota, Navaja & San Carlos Apache Indian Nations
Native American Songs and Stories
Three Native American tribes come together with sacred music and stories in honor of the Heartbeat of Mother Earth. James Peshlakai (Navajo): Navajo artist, educator and student mentor, James Peshlakai has been nominated twice for the highly acclaimed Who's Who among America's Teachers. The nomination came from Navajo students at Northern Arizona University who count Peshlakai's influence and guidance as part of their success at the university. "My People teach with songs. They go back into the course of the history of the Dine, the stories of the past. That's how I learned. When I teach, I use the songs that my people have sung." David Brush (Lakota): Noted pow-wow singer, dancer and renowned native artist, David Brush has traveled the world with the songs of his people. David's artistry can be found in many significant galleries. Currently David is pursuing his Bachelors of Arts at Arizona State University. He continues the teachings of his people and passes down the traditions to the next generation. Ken Duncan (San Carlos Apache) Taught the traditional songs and stories of the Apache by his grandparents, Ken Duncan continues to share his culture with many people worldwide. Ken is a graduate of the Institute of American Indian Arts; Santa Fe, NM. Ken is an accomplished Storyteller/ Lecturer. He is also a Flute Player and Traditional Apache Craftsman. He was also recently nominated for the prestigious Arizona's Culture Keepers Award. Tony Duncan (San Carlos Apache): Tradition cane flute player in the popular group Estun-bah who has pioneered their soft soulful sound.
As the suns first rays of light, rise from the East. We sing songs of a new day. With the sun in its highest point, we face the South. As we dance in respect for Mother Earth. When the sun sets in the West. We sing prayers and thank the creator for the day's blessings. Amongst the stars to the North. We dance and sing as brothers, as sisters, as a People. Our songs, our stories, our prayers are still heard. If you listen you can hear them in the wind. You can hear them in the Heartbeat of Mother Earth.
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Tony Duncan Hoop Dance Contest.
Tony Duncan Big Hoops Video with Nelly Furtado at the Grammies.
Tony Duncan Violet Video.
Tony Duncan Mountain Spirit Video.
Tony Duncan Spirit of the Mother Video.
Tony Ducan Introduction Video.
Tony Duncan Flute Introduction Video.
Tony Duncan Flute Montage Video.
Tony Duncan Hoop Interview Video.
Tony Duncan Hoop Dance Video.
Tony Duncan is of the Apache and Arikara, Hidatsa and Mandan nations. He incorporates both the Southwestern and Northern Plains styles of song and dance in his presentations. As leader of Estun-Bah, Duncan captures the true essence of Native America with the soft, and soothing melodies of the Apache cane flute as acoustic guitar adds a serene accompaniment while drums add the beats for his dancing. Estun-Bah blends traditional and contemporary styles to create an elegantly Native American music.
Duncan is also an accomplished pow-wow dancer and hoop dancer. In the hoop dance Duncan creates many intricate designs inspired by nature such as the Eagle and the World. He is a four-time World Champion Hoop Dancer and is consistently ranked among the top ten in the world. He has traveled extensively across the United States as well as much of Europe and Asia.
Duncan regularly performs hoop dances as part of his performances with Estun-Bah. He also performs with his family's performance group, the Yellow Bird Indian Dancers.
"I believe music is the language of our soul. One song can capture your heart and elevate your emotions. One melody can sweep you off to your own personal paradise. Music is and always has been an important part of native culture. As traditional sounds blend with more contemporary sounds. One element remains forever embedded in the sounds of Native America- the love and respect for all life. These are songs and melodies of the heart. I hope you understand my thoughts and expressions."
Aheeya-Eh -Tony Duncan (flute player and producer of Estun-bah)
The word "Estun-Bah" is an Apache word meaning "For the Woman." The Native American flute was traditionally used as a courting instrument. A man would play the most beautiful song on his flute before approaching a woman to show his honor and respect for the woman.
The Apache cane flute is indigenous to the Southwest. It's carved from the tall stalks of the desert river cane. According to traditional stories a young man played beautiful melodies as he was taught be his elders. This was the way to pursue a young woman with great respect, beauty, and gentleness. The flute of the high plains is said to be a gift from the bird people. A young boy heard the tapping of a woodpecker as he sat outside his tipi. As he looked up at the tree he saw 4 young woodpeckers. These woodpeckers carved holes out of a hollow tree branch. As the wind began to pick up the woodpeckers hopped up and down on the tree branch as the wind blew through it. The first sounds of the northern flute played as the tree swayed from side to side. The branch fell from the tree and into the arms of the young boy. From that day on the boy played the flute from village to village. A gift from the bird people.
Darrin Yazzie is born for the Tabaaha (Water's Edge) and Ma'il deeshgiizhinii (Coyote Pass) clans of the Navajo. Yazzie creates the soothing guitar leads and rhythms that provide the unique musical character of Estun-Bah. Known for his subtle guitar playing, Yazzie was born and raised in Chinle, Arizona on the Navajo Reservation. He began playing guitar at the age of seventeen and has developed his skills as a composer as well as creating many of the songs of Estun-Bah. Yazzie is motivated in his performances to share his love of music and to create a distinctive and original music that soothes the spirit.
Jeremy Dancing Bull
Dancing Bull grew up in North Dakota on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation of the Arikara/Hidatsa and attends the tribal pow-wow every summer. Since a child Dancing Bull has been inspired by the sound of the Native American drum and has always been drawn to its heart-beat-like tone.
He was also inspired by his late father Samuel who was a drummer beginning in high school and played in various bands throughout his life. Dancing Bull inherited his father's skill to play any rhythm he heard as well as the ability to freely improvise on different drums and percussion. With his tribal roots strong in his heart, Dancing Bull is thankful to his family and friends for supporting and believing in him: "Music can connect us all. My family, my father and heritage are in my music. I enjoy sharing my music with others."
What people are saying...
Calm, soothing music; Explanations tying the music and the flutes to Native American culture. - Heard Museum Indian Market 2007
The duo was very inspirational and moving! - Santa Fe Indian Market
I really enjoyed the Native American flute. Unique artist were very generous in answering questions. Beautiful talent and acoustics. Thank you for bringing this to Foothills! - Desert Foothills Library
The artists were great! Very relaxing! - Sedona Plaza Market
Wonderful performance! Beautiful music! Educational too. - Entz Elementary school Mesa, AZ
The music was lovely. We got to ask a lot of questions. I learned a lot! - Anonymous
Peaceful sounds. - Pinetop Festival 2007
I loved the music and the explanations. - Litchfield Park Indian Market
Increased my appreciation of Native American music. Beautiful! - Anonymous
I enjoyed the interaction, history, and stories, because it made me appreciate and enjoy the music all the more. - Spirit of the Planet Festival, Italy
The flute music was great and relaxing. Good harmony with guitarist. - Anonymous