Cultural Encounter

Vision Maker Media
Flute School

We are proud to be able to offer our guests free concerts with a program of world-class performers who will entertain from mid-morning until into the night. Check our schedule page for the days and times of each performance.

Index of 2018 Native Rhythms Performers
(listed alphabetically)

Arvel Bird

Randy Granger  (also Master of Ceremonies)

Randy McGinnis

Shelley Morningsong & Fabian Fontenelle

Painted Raven

Dock Green Silverhawk

Ed WindDancer

Billy Whitefox

Deb Almy  (2017 Players' Competition Winner)

2018 Native Rhythms Headline Performers

Arvel Bird

"Braveheart Meets Last of the Mohicans . . . at Woodstock" is a colorful description of this award-winning Celtic Indian Arvel Bird’s live performances. 

With his violin, fiddle, Native flutes and Irish whistles, Bird weaves a powerful tapestry of music and stories.  He performs nearly 160 shows a year at a variety of venues from music festivals to concert halls where the audience gets a glimpse into his Native American heart and Scottish soul.

Classically trained as a violinist, Arvel Bird's compositions and performances encompass an extraordinary love of diversity—from traditional Celtic tunes and bluegrass standards to his original Native American and Celtic rock orchestrations.

In his youth, Bird’s first private violin teacher in Salt Lake City, UT encouraged him to play from his soul. Prophetically, she said, “Arvel, no one will remember if you’re the best or the fastest, but they will remember your passion.”   

Bird attended Arizona State University on music scholarship later transferring to Champagne/ Urbana, IL where he studied classical violin with renowned Hungarian violinist and teacher, Paul Rolland at the University of Illinois.  Bird credits Mr. Rolland with perfecting his performance technique.  

As a young adult, when Bird struggled with feelings of uncertainty as a violinist, he recalled the most important lessons he learned from these two brilliant educators.  And now during his performances, you will be able to feel that energy as he is transported to the place where he’s no longer playing the violin, the violin is playing him.  

As he worked to develop his own music style and a large and loyal following, Bird went wherever the music called him, which led him away from classical and towards Bluegrass, Appalachian, Folk and Celtic. During his years in the Midwest, Bird won the Indiana State Fiddle Contest four times while still perfecting a variety of musical styles. Bird returned to Arizona in 1986 and hired by Glen Campbell to tour worldwide for the next six years.  

In 1991, he continued to tour with Campbell and moved to Nashville, TN, later adding tours with Loretta Lynn, Tom T. Hall, Ray Price, Louise Mandrell, Clay Walker, and others.  

Once he began composing and recording his own music, the result was a fusion of both his Scottish (Clan Kennedy) and Native American (Southern Paiute) roots that are uniquely his own and intricately woven throughout his songs.

One of Bird's favorite aspects of touring is that it has taken him to Scotland, England, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and in prestigious locations including the SkyDome in Toronto, Ontario, Royal Albert Hall in London, England, Smithsonian Museums in DC and NY, Hochstein Performance Hall in Rochester, NY and the Kennedy Space Center in Cocoa, FL just to name a few -- with symphonies, chamber orchestras, large festivals and more, logging over 500,000 road miles. As he winds up his 11th year of full-time touring, Bird gives no indication he’s ready to slow down any time soon.  

As he prepares for his 2015 tour, Bird is looking forward to working with local Fisher Houses which is best known for a network of comfort homes where military and veterans’ families can stay at no cost while a loved one is receiving treatment.  A new facility is being built in Arizona, where Bird is planning a new concert to benefit the Fisher House in honor of his brother-in-law, Mike Dyer, a Viet Nam veteran, Purple Heart recipient and local Chaplain of the Purple Heart Society; and his own wife, Kimberly Kelley-Bird, a Viet Nam era veteran.  

Bird has released 23 CDs, two EPs and two DVDs, earning him numerous music awards. One of his most cherished is for his classical recording, Tribal Music Suite: Journey of a Paiute, a Celtic and Native American concerto, that earned him Best Instrumental Album and Best Producer/Engineer (with Grammy-winning producer Tom Wasinger and Nashville engineer Chas Williams) at the Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards. Other awards include Artist of the Year as voted by peers and fans as well as numerous Best Instrumentals.    

His continuously evolving music is delighting audiences worldwide. One of his recent albums of note is Titanic Centennial: Commemorative Special Edition, is an orchestral Celtic tribute to the passengers, crew and musicians aboard the Titanic, released in 2012 and distributed in several countries including Ireland, Australia, Canada and the United States.  

During his 13 years in Nashville, Bird built a master recording studio, to help him launch his own independent record label, Singing Wolf Records, to support most of his future recordings. Initially this gave him his own haven to write and record his own music and later to record hundreds of songs and album projects for songwriters and independent artists all over the world.  

While enjoying the life of concerts and festivals, Bird is also active in community outreach projects for local school assemblies, community centers, and social clubs where he facilitates a variety of music and spiritual workshops and performances at retirement centers, nursing homes and more.  

Although based in Nashville, TN, Bird is permanently on the road, connecting with audiences the old-fashioned way. . . live. This is where Arvel’s emotionally driven performances thrive, igniting concert venues, symphony halls, festivals and more, leaving his audiences inspired, transfixed and transformed.  

Contact:  Kimberly Kelley (615) 406-3689 or 

Randy Granger 
(Electronic Press Release)




"Granger 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

Multi-instrumentalist 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.”

The 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, SiriusMystic Soundscapes”, Pandora Radio,, Audiosyncrasy, 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 “Lifestyle Award” recognition award from New Age radio programmers and music directors. New Mexico Magazine wrote; “Richly 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 program, “Southwest Sounds” is uploaded to the music commission YouTube page. In 2012 PBS Station KRWG-TV chose him as their first subject to launch a new program called “Music Spotlight” featuring half-hour programs of selected area musicians and bands.

Granger’s 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.”

Granger 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 prestigious Rothko Chapel in Houston, Texas.

What 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.

Though 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.

Granger 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.

In 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.

In 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 project, Strong 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 awareness.

Randy McGinnis

Randy McGinnis, international performer, is the Native American Music Award Winner - 2017 Native American Flutist of the Year. In 2010 he was the NAMA award winner for Best Musical Compilation and has been nominated for six additional NAMA awards. 

He is a Cherokee Native American and brings his incredibly beautiful and rich culture to the stage. Speaking in his Native language along with the haunting music from his flutes creates an unforgettable atmosphere. Read all about him on his website and listen to samples of his music from his six CD's. You may also listen to his channel on Spotify, Pandora and YouTube. Join us for an evening of amazing music that will feed your soul.

When Randy shares his art, it not only includes incredibly beautiful music, but he brings a rich history of his Cherokee people to his performances. He includes the beautiful Cherokee language in his performances, often wearing his traditional regalia on stage. He is committed to doing his part to keep the Cherokee language and culture alive and has assisted in teaching it to many people.

Randy founded the Smoky Mountain Flute Circle in Townsend, Tennessee and was presented a prestigious award from famed Native American flutist R. Carlos Nakai for the promotion, preservation, and education of the Native American flute. He served on the Advisory Board for the International Native American Flute Association and was on the Board of Directors for the Renaissance of the Native American Flute. Randy also served on the Board of Directors for the Smokey Mountain Heritage Center.  He currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Flute Tree Foundation.

For more information and to hear tracks from his five CD’s go to:


Shelley Morningsong & Fabian Fontenelle

2016 Native American Music Awards "Artist of the Year"! 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 three Native American music awards, among other awards and accolades, including Native American Music Awards “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.


Dock Green Silverhawk

Dock 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 stations.

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".


Ed WindDancer

Ed WindDancer, dancer, flutist and educator, is a Nanticoke Indian who was born and raised on the eastern shore of Maryland in a family and culture that has a very close and unique relationship with the land. "We hunted, fished, and grew crops for our well being and, in growing up this way, learned how to live with our animal brothers and sisters and all the wonderful creatures belonging to our Mother Earth and Father Sky. Nanticoke Elders are beautiful people who taught me the precious things of our native culture."

While a member of the U.S. Military, Ed was president of an American Indian dance group that toured the Hawaiian Islands. He has successfully performed before audiences in Europe and across the United States where his gifts as a flutist, dancer, and educator continue to keep him in demand as a presenter at schools and at cultural and civic events. "I use my gifts from Creator to educate people and have dedicated my life to this path."

A highly regarded musician and head dancer at many Pow Wows, Ed has the honor of being adopted into a Lakota family, the Medicines of Wakpala, South Dakota.

Once again, Ed will lead out "cultural encounter", a program of music, dancing, story-telling with a strong educational overtone. The Friday performance is specifically directed at young people as the heart of our School Day presentation. Be sure to check out: "Becoming the Feather".

Painted Raven

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 nine 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, 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 5 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 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. 

Painted Raven is anticipating the release of their tenth CD this November at the Native Rhythms Festival in Melbourne, FL. Their brand new CD titled Sacred Spiral, features the meditational and healing sounds of the Native American flute, combined with nature sounds, chimes, Tibetan bowl, and soothing synths. Sacred Spiral and other Painted Raven’s CDs will be available for sale and autographed at the event. 

Additional information about Painted Raven is available online at: 

Painted Raven also appears on:
YouTube (
FaceBook ( )
Twitter ( )

Billy Whitefox

Billy 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 Journey".

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 awarded 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 Sings".

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.


2017 Flute Players' Competition Winner

Deb Almy

Deb earned a place on the 2018 program by virtue of winning the 2017 Native Rhythms Festival Flute Players' Competition. Congratulations, Deb!

Deb Almy is an active member of Riverwood Flute Circle in Leesburg, Florida. About seven years ago, Dave McCullen put her first flute in her hands. It was love at first breath. Years of practice, practice, practice and the encouragement of her fellow “fluties” led to her winning the Native Rhythms Festival Flute Players Competition in 2017. 

Her first CD, “Musings”, was released in May of this year. It is a compilation of stories and Native American flute music created during her Artist’s Way journey. Want to know more about Artist’s Way? Ask Deb when you see her at Native Rhythms.

Deb performs regularly at local festivals, nursing homes, Alzheimer’s and dementia units, as well as being a Cornerstone Hospice volunteer.



Please send questions or comments regarding this website to