Backstage Pass

Cultural Encounter

Vision Maker Media
Backstage Pass
Vendor Village

We are proud to be able to offer our guests free concerts with a program of world-class performers. These concerts, recorded specifically for this year's virtual festival, will stream live on November 14th and 15th, and will be available on our Native Rhythms Festival YouTube channel thereafter. Check our schedule page for the days and times of each performance.

Index of 2020 Native Rhythms Performers
(listed alphabetically)


Randy Granger  (also Master of Ceremonies)

Hawk Henries

Jonny Lipford   [2019 NAMA award winner]

Shelley Morningsong & Fabian Fontenelle   [double 2019 NAMA award winner]

Painted Raven   [2019 NAMA award winner]

Jim Sawgrass & Martin Olvera

Dock Green Silverhawk

Billy Whitefox

Ed WindDancer

Pete Conde  (2019 Paula Ellis Memorial Flute Players' Competition Winner)

2020 Native Rhythms Headline Performers

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.

Shelley Morningsong & Fabian Fontenelle

2019 and 2016 Native American Music Awards "Artist of the Year"! 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.


Hawk Henries

Hawk Henries is a member of the Chaubunagungamaug band of Nipmuck, a people indigenous to what is now southern New England. He has been composing original flute music and making flutes using only hand tools and fire for 30 years.

Hawk is committed to music as a traditional art form and as a vehicle for building bridges of communication and mutual respect. He teaches and performs in a wide variety of settings: indigenous and international art festivals, museums, concert venues, powwows, and educational settings from kindergarten through university level, flute making workshops and private family gatherings

His rich and varied experience allows him to adapt his performance to match the needs of the venue and the audience. Though he presents to audiences of all sizes, he especially enjoys small groups where he can engage people on a more personal level.

“On behalf of the National Museum of the American Indian I want to express to you my deep appreciation for coming here and presenting such superb programs last month. Your music, your words and your ability and willingness to spend long hours on the museum floor talking with the
public provided our visitors with exactly what we in the department want to provide: beauty, wisdom, humor, and the experience of meeting Native people face to face. It is my guess that meeting you will be the strongest memory that many visitors took away from the museum, and that’s exactly as it should be.”

Howard Bass, Cultural Arts Manager
Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian

“Hawk participates at many of our regularly scheduled cultural bazaars across New England, which generally draw a multi-cultural and international audience of several thousand. Their response to Hawk’s extraordinary music is always enthusiastic. Listeners come away with an understanding of the richness of Native American culture that would not be possible coming from a less talented or less gifted educator.

Cultural Survival wholeheartedly supports Hawk’s life-long commitment to the preservation of his artistic and cultural traditions through his work as a master flute maker, composer and orator. His dedication to Native American flute music contributes both culturally and musically to the
re-flourishing of Native American cultures. His ability to communicate with Native Americans and those from different cultures and world perspectives makes him a powerful ambassador for the perpetuation of Maine’s Native communities and traditions in particular, and for improving cross-cultural relations in general.”

Ellen Lutz, Executive Director
Cultural Survival


Jonny Lipford

Jonny Lipford is an award-winning musician specializing in the music produced with Native American flutes and a variety of world flutes. His music embodies characteristics of new age music joined with a touch of pop, resulting in the listener feeling relaxed and uplifted. His mission is to create and compose music that highlights the Native American flute while pushing its boundaries and making it more accessible to audiences of diverse backgrounds.

He received his first Native American flute in 2002 as a Christmas gift after hearing it in a cartoon at the age of 13-years-old. This instrument provided a voice for Jonny as an artist and he has since made his mark as one of the most versatile musicians of the Native American flute.

His solo works spans more than 16 independent albums. Among his progressive contributions within the Native American music industry he has garnered several accolades including a 2019 Native American Music Award, three Indian Summer Music Awards, six Silver Arrow Awards and one Humanity 4 Water award. He has also had the honor of being nominated by the Native American Music Awards six times for his original works.

Not only is Lipford a well-decorated artist, he is also an instructor and has worked with hundreds of students helping them learn how to play the Native American flute. His passion for connecting and instructing students in a meaningful and charismatic way has led him to be one of the most sought-after instructors of the Native American flute. He regularly teaches the Native American flute in one-on-one lessons via Skype/Facetime or in person and in a group setting through workshops, seminars and flute schools. Jonny is the co-founder and director of the Sweetgrass Flute & Nature Festival and Sweetgrass Flute School in Hiawatha, Iowa.

Jonny is based out of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where he records and produces new music. His life-long goal continues to be writing and composing music that reaches new audiences and encourages inspiration within those that hear the voice of the Native American flute.


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".



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.

Jim 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 Channel.

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 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 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. 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. 

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.


2019 Paula Ellis Memorial Flute Players' Competition Winner

Pete Conde


Pete earned a place on the 2020 program by virtue of winning the 2019 Native Rhythms Festival Paula Ellis Memorial Flute Players’ Competition. 

Pete had 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.

Pete also 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.



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