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
2021 Native Rhythms Performers
2021 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.
21 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.
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 eleven 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
Together as the next phase of 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. Their
latest honor was a Native American Music Award last
November in the New Age/Soundscape Recording category.
Painted Raven is anticipating the release of their eleventh CD
this November at the Native Rhythms Festival in Melbourne, FL. Their brand new CD titled Taking
Flight, soars to yet another incredible level with a blend of the beautiful sounds of the Native
American flute, combined with mainstream musical styles, including inspirational, rock, blues and jazz. Taking Flight and other Painted Raven’s CDs will be available for sale and autograph at the event.
about Painted Raven is
available online at: www.painted-raven.com
Painted Raven also
YouTube ( www.youtube.com/user/PaintedRavenMusic )
FaceBook ( www.facebook.com/PaintedRaven2 )
Twitter ( twitter.com/PaintedRaven2 )
Sawgrass & Martin Olvera|
(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
reanactors 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
Johnny Kee received his
first guitar as a Christmas present from his parents in
1960, and was immediately drawn into the so-called
"folk music revival" culture. That was when it
all began! His first public performance was in April '62
with a good friend in the original Bayou Brothers folk
group out of Milwaukee. Although graduation, military
service, family, and career made public performances few
and far between, his love of the music never died.
In 2006 he took an
interest in the Native flute when his wife, Claire,
brought home a CD of NAF music from a visit to her
sister in Asheville, NC. Later that year, they attended
the Cherokee pageant "Unto These Hills" and had
up front seats to watch the opening performance by the
Apache flute player, Andrew Vasquez. Johnny had two
flutes of his own by the end of the year, and even began
About a dozen years ago
his interest in playing and singing in public was
revived when he joined the church's praise band. Members
of the band also did a few coffee house gigs together, but
when that ceased, Johnny Kee emerged as a solo performer
- sometimes accompanied by his good friend and very
talented musician Ken Holt of the band Who I Am.
Johnny's first public
performances with the flute were when he was asked to
play a song with the praise band. But it wasn't long
before he saw the potential and was rearranging his old
music from the '60s to include flute parts, and
expanding his repertoire with songs that feature the
After two and a half
years in development, Johnny released his first CD
called "Echoes From The Trail"
in 2018, a collection of a dozen songs from the old
Cherokee Hymn Book (first published in 1828, with the
most recent version released in 2014). This CD features
Johnny on a variety of instruments: various guitars,
banjo, autoharp, and flutes. Every song has at least one
section of flute solos and/or duets. All songs are sung
in Cherokee to the tunes of popular hymns and gospel
songs identified in the 2014 Cherokee Hymn Book. The CD
was honored with a nomination for a 2019 Native American Music Award
(NAMA) in the Native Heart category.
His second CD, "Johnny
Kee, Storyteller", was released in 2020. It
falls back on his deep rooted love of folk, blues, and
gospel music with many of the songs having been with him
since the '60s, but with new and revitalized
arrangements. The common thread through this album are
songs that tell a story. All songs have been arranged
with this objective in mind, selecting verses that flow
to tell a story, rewriting lyrics for some and adding
totally new verses for others. There's even an original
Johnny Kee song about the hurricane that struck
Galveston, Texas in 1900. As with his first CD, every
song has at least one section of flute solo and/or duet.
A third CD, currently
planned to be called "Johnny Kee, Folk
Interpreter", is in the works. That's a moniker
that was given him in the introduction to a performance
a few years back to describe how he
"interprets" his songs by selecting verses and
modifying or adding to them to tell their stories his
way. The songs will continue in the genre of Storyteller,
complete with flute contributions.
Here to follow Johnny Kee on Facebook
Here to follow Johnny Kee videos you You Tube
Here to view the "Great Galveston
Storm" music video.
Paula Ellis Memorial Flute Players' Competition Winner
earned a place on the 2020 program by virtue of winning
Paula Ellis Memorial Flute Players’ Competition. But
because we were forced to go "virtual" for the
Native Rhythms, Pete was
denied the opportunity to appear live on stage in Wickham
Park. And because there was no 2020 flute players'
competition, Pete was extended the invitation to share his
live performance at the 2021 festival.
some musical training during his junior high and high
school years, then went into musical hibernation until
about 10 years ago, when he was given his first flute.
That was 7 or 8 years ago now.
Pete and his wife, Val,
moved to central Florida in 2014, and soon became active
with the Riverwind Flute Circle in Leesburg. He credits
his development as a NA flute player to the many talented
and supportive members of the Riverwind Flute Circle. He
enjoys playing with fellow flute circle members for
residents of a convalescent center and animals in a
shelter, and at his church.
enjoys participating in the Native Rhythms Flute Player
Competitions, which he has done since joining Riverwind in
2014. He won 3rd place twice before being
honored with 1st place in 2019.