The following is the list of workshops for the 2021 Native Rhythms Festival.
All of these workshops are free, except as noted where a nominal fee is charged to cover the cost of materials the attendee
will take away from the workshop. All of these workshops have limited enrollment (most limited by the space in the workshop
tent). Early (on-line) registration is strongly encouraged.
Workshop registration now open!
Use the instructions at the bottom of this page for advanced registration for
individual workshops. Seats in all workshops will be allocated on a first-come/first-serve basis, beginning with
advanced registration from this page. Any remaining seats (not allocated by advanced registration) will be available for
on-site registration on a first-come/first-serve basis at the workshop check-in tent. Once all available seats have been
allocated, a waiting list will be established for each workshop.
When registering, please limit your selections to 5 workshops
that you actually plan to attend. PLEASE do not register for
workshops that you "might" want to attend. It's not
fair to others if workshops reach their stated capacity only
because numerous people who aren't sure they will attend have
registered, and others who really want to attend are blocked
from registering. If you have more than 5 workshops that you
want to attend, list those additional workshops in the stand-by
section of your registration message and you will be placed on
the waiting list for them.
Upon receipt of your registration request message, our workshop registrar will send an e-mail to you to confirm your
registration or indicate your position on the waiting list. That confirmation message will come from the e-mail address
Nothing else will be accepted as confirmation of your registration. You may wish
to print out your confirmation e-mail message from NRFconf@gmail.com
when it arrives, and bring it with you to the festival.
In the past, some of our flute enthusiasts have registered for all workshops, including those they did not actually plan
to attend. This prevented people wanting to attend those workshops from registering. We ask all to please be respectful of
others. Do not sign up for workshops that you don't definitely plan to attend.
On-line advanced registration will open when the workshop
schedule is published and closes at the end of the day on
Sunday, November 7, 2021. A workshop
check-in tent will be set at the entrance to the large workshop tent. On-site check-in for those who pre-register on-line is required, with
empty seats filled at the check-in tent on a first-come/first-serve basis. A waiting list will be maintained when the workshop
capacity is reached.
All advanced (pre-registered) registrants must check-in at the workshop check-in tent upon arrival at the festival
on the day of their workshops to confirm their presence and their plan to participate in the workshops for which they have registered. Seats not confirmed
in this manner will be reopened and made available to those on the
Although most of the workshops are designated as "space available" and likely will be able to accommodate all who
wish to participate, we request that those who wish to participate in them submit an advanced registration
so that we will have an idea of the number of people to expect and can plan accordingly.
At this time, we do not know what state will exist at
the time of the festival regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, and
what precautions will be recommended. Attendance at some
workshops may be limited to allow for appropriate distancing of
Due to concerns over spreading the
COVID-19 virus, we will not be able to provide loaner
flutes at this tent this year. People wanting to learn
about playing a flute will need to bring their personal
flute for instruction on it. If you don't already have a
flute, there are a dozen or so flute makers in our Vendor
Village who would love to help you find the right flute
A separate vendor-style booth will be set up
near the main workshop tent for on-going
instruction in the basics of playing the Native American Style
Flute. Skilled players, including volunteers from the Indian
River and Riverwind Flute Circles, will rotate in leading this workshop.
Participants must bring their own flute as we will not be able
to provide loaner flutes this year as we have in the past. Instruction will include hand placement in properly
holding the flute and covering the playing holes, mouth
placement and basic breathing techniques, playing the basic
scale, and other basic playing techniques. Instruction
techniques will vary by instructor.
If you've ever been to a Pow Wow, you hear the drummers playing and
singing for the dancers. You also have heard drummers on our Native
Rhythms stage during Ed WindDancer's cultural experiences. But have
you ever wondered about the traditions of the Pow Wow drum? At this
workshop, learn about the meaning of Pow Wow drumming and singing.
Tobacco is the first plant that the Creator gave to First Nations Peoples. It is the main activator of all the plant spirits. Three other plants, sage, cedar and sweetgrass, follow tobacco, and together they are referred to as the Four Sacred Medicines. The Four Sacred Medicines are used in everyday life and in ceremonies. All of them can be used to smudge with, though sage, cedar and sweetgrass also have many other uses. It is said that tobacco sits in the eastern door, sweetgrass in the southern door, sage in the western door and cedar in the northern door. Elders say that the spirits like the aroma produced when we burn tobacco and the other sacred medicines. Traditional people say that tobacco is always first. It is used as an offering for everything and in every ceremony. “Always through tobacco”, as the saying goes.
Leather supplies and materials
needed for assembling your pouches (kits
assembled by Joyce) will be available for each participant as well as
information for each of the Sacred Plants used in Prayer and cleansing
THIS CLASS SIZE WILL BE LIMITED TO 25 STUDENTS.
QUIET WATCHERS WILL BE ALLOWED BUT MAY NOT HAVE ROOM FOR SEATING.
YOU ARE WELCOME
TO STAND AND WATCH AND QUIETLY SLIP OUT WHEN YOU CHOOSE.
"I love sharing my art and mostly 'self-taught' skills with
anyone who wishes to learn. I find great joy in seeing the excitement of someone who
has just learned how to do something new that I have taught
them. It fills my heart and spirit with great satisfaction of knowing traditional
skills and crafting will continue on for generations.
In my adult life I have overcome many obstacles to reach my goals
in learning and sharing."
Joyce's art has been published many times, including 6 editions
of the Cherokee Heritage Calendar, and has illustrated 2
children's books. She has also won over 100 awards for her art,
including several at previous Native Rhythms Festival
competitions. Joyce currently serves Native Rhythms as the
competition coordinator and regularly leads workshops teaching
crafts such as various styles of beading, dream catcher making,
Definition of Talking Sticks: Talking Sticks
have been used for centuries by many Native American tribes as a means of an orderly, just and impartial hearing. Talking Sticks were most commonly used at major events such as tribal council meetings, Pow-Wow gatherings, & important ceremonies.
But their use was also extended to storytelling circles & teaching children. Talking Sticks allow people to present and express their Sacred Point of View.
Description of Talking Sticks
The people responsible for holding any type council meetings were required to make a Talking Stick specifically for the event. Talking Sticks were therefore made from carefully selected materials that had a special meaning and significance to the maker. The size of Talking Sticks was usually taken from the measurement between the elbow to the tips of the fingers. Talking Sticks were usually long, narrow, brightly colored and adorned with furs and/or feathers.
Symbolism Associated with Talking Sticks
Talking Sticks are decorated with paint, carvings and occasionally wrapped in buckskin or other leather materials. The ornamentation, colors and painted decorations on talking sticks had special meanings, as did the wood they were made from and any fur or feathers that were used. The symbolism associated with the fur, skins, feathers or symbols of animals used in the decoration of talking sticks were also highly significant due to the belief that they brought the attributes, characteristics and medicine of the creatures to the event.
Sticks will be available to make your
Talking Stick, or bring your own to make your Talking Stick
THIS CLASS SIZE WILL BE LIMITED TO 25 STUDENTS.
QUIET WATCHERS WILL BE ALLOWED BUT MAY NOT HAVE ROOM FOR SEATING.
YOU ARE WELCOME
TO STAND AND WATCH AND QUIETLY SLIP OUT WHEN YOU CHOOSE.
This workshop will honor the sacredness of Water with a
Blessing that calls in the Spirit of the various watersheds of our state and
includes any Waters brought to the workshop. The workshop will also include
teaching about the Rights of Water and the Rights of Nature, and information
about how people can participate in the FL5 campaign. George Tortorelli/Medicine
Wind Music will provide musical accompaniment. Participants are encouraged to
bring a small container of Water from their home watershed or local waterway.
A handout will be provided for personal ceremony. All faith traditions are
This workshop is presented by Rights of Water, a
nonprofit organization dedicated to enhancing the ethical, moral, and spiritual
dimensions of Floridians’ relationship with Water.
George Tortorelli of Medicine Wind Music will provide musical
We are delighted to have George as our guest
Johnny Dame is an Artist and Naturalist, Choctaw
by heritage, who combines his fascination with nature with his talents
and skills as a painter, muralist, leader, and presenter. He creates his
Art with a desire to express his appreciation and devotion toward the
Spirit that moves through the Universe affecting all things animate and
inanimate, which is known to many different cultures. He believes that
each and everyone of us can contribute to healing the Planet and
providing for sustainability and survival, and that each of us has a
responsibility to share our particular Gift and Talent.
Johnny Dame is available for Commissioned
Paintings and Drawings, Murals, Speaking Engagements and Classroom
Presentations. His website is http://johnnydame.com.
Participants will leave this workshop with a greater understanding of what wisdom is and how connection is vital to oneself and
their greater environment.
Walking With Wisdom-A Path To Understanding…is a workshop/seminar based on the book written by Will Davis, by the same
title. The workshop/Seminar will be an abbreviated version of the offered full day workshop/seminar. During the several hours
of this seminar presented at the Candlewood Suites as part of the Native Rhythms Festival, the participant will engage in defining
what ‘wisdom’ means for them and sharing some accolades of how it has worked in their lives. The participant will be guided through
several meditations including a short walking meditation. The idea of connection and being connected will be part of the presentation.
Will, has a Facebook
page also by the same name.
Copies of the book, “Walking With Wisdom-A Path To Understanding” will be available for purchase.
Will Davis is an experienced workshop/seminar provider for over 25 years. He has provided professional training for
areas such as mental health, HIV/AIDS awareness, Human Resources, Stress Management, Communication Skills, Cultural Awareness, and
Spirituality. He has presented all over the country including, Florida, Arizona, Oklahoma, Washington, DC, and Oregon.
Title:Video Production Leader:Michael Desabrais Fee: Free Scheduled time: Saturday,
12:00 - 2:00. Program Length: 2
hours Location: Workshop tent, main festival grounds Class Size: Space available
Over the past year we have increased our use of
video platforms such as YouTube and Facebook. This workshop will
focus on skills and techniques you can use in creating your own
videos for the NAF. Firstly we will focus on effective shooting
techniques you can utilize with one of the most incredible cameras
readily available…your smartphone! Secondly the workshop will
introduce you to effective techniques you can use in editing your
videos. We will explore software for both your phone and desktop.
While Mike will demonstrate his favorite software, the techniques
you will learn are applicable to almost any software.
Mike came to the NASF
four years ago and is an active member of the Riverwind flute circle in
Leesburg Florida. As a novice he was eager to learn so much through the
workshops provided at Native Rhythms.
From the first time he
touched a camera Mike had a lifelong curiosity about photography.
Graduating from Rochester Institute Of Technology in 1977 with a degree
in photography, Mike has worked for newspapers, magazines, and film
production studios. A freelancer since 1987, Mike has helped major
corporations and small businesses create videos for marketing,
advertising and training purposes.
Mike recently has retired, and in combination with his passion for the NAF,
has followed that quest by creating videos for the enjoyment of native flute
players. Jonny Lipford used Mike’s skills in creating videos used in his
YouTube channel, and in Jonny’s native flute academy. Last year Mike worked
on the virtual production team that delivered the Native Rhythms Festival
to thousands of Face Book and YouTube viewers.
QIGONG for Breath and Energy Leader: Pam Dickey Fee: Free Scheduled time: Saturday, 9:00 -
10:00. Program Length: 1 hour Location: Workshop tent, main festival grounds Class Size: Space available
Qigong is a mind-body-spirit practice that improves one's mental and physical health by
integrating posture, movement, breathing technique, self-massage, sound, and focused
intent. In this class we will focus on opening up the lung meridians and opening up the
energy flow for flute and drum playing. This class can be done in sitting for those who are
unable to tolerate standing.
Friday, 9:30 - 10:30. Program Length: 1 hour
Location: Workshop tent, main festival grounds Class Size: Space available
Have you ever wanted to play written music on your Native American Flute but don’t know how to
begin? Or have you ever wanted to write any of your own songs into sheet music form without drawing
flute pictorials with finger hole representations? Learning to read Nakai Tablature may open some
musical adventures for you that you didn’t expect. In this workshop, you will gain an understanding of
how Nakai Tablature works so that you can begin to play written music. If you have no experience
reading music on a staff in western style notation, don’t worry. We’ll go over the basics of what all of
these symbols and notes mean too. And since this can be a lot to learn in just a one hour workshop,
you’ll go home with some great resources that will help you to continue your learning and practicing
at home. Bring your flute (preferably an “A” flute, but not necessary) so we can all practice together.
On a personal note, I love playing my flute from the heart with no boundaries or structure.
Initially, playing from the heart is the origin of all the music I have written. However, I also
really enjoy playing some of the beautiful written music that is available to play. Reading the
tablature opened up another dimension and excitement in playing for me. For example, I have
played some beautiful written duets with other flute players, and it allowed me to experience
harmonies and the beauty of the flute in a different way. As a result, I have become an
advocate of learning the tablature for those who are interested.
Story of Smudging Leader: Randy Granger
Fee: Free Scheduled time:
Sunday, 9:30 - 10:30.
Program Length: 1
hour Location: Workshop tent, main festival grounds Class Size: 30
This workshop looks at the practice of Smudging or burning resins, leaves,
wood, and using the smoke to purify or cleanse. Cultures worldwide have
practiced Smudging for thousands of years. Learn the ways in which Native
Americans have used Smudging for centuries and how to smudge
Note: There will be smudging in the workshop.
Granger is an award-winning recording artist, composer, flute instructor
and performing artist. He is classically trained in percussion, voice,
and performance. A former instructor with the Yamaha School of Music, as
well as teaching private students in guitar, percussion, voice, and
flute, he now conducts workshops around the country on flute and Hang
playing. The majority of Granger's private students are now taught via
Skype with students all around the world. He has performed and shared
the stage with R. Carlos Nakai, Michael Graham Allen, Peter Phippen,
Skip Healy, Scott August among many other top recording artists. His
workshops are extremely popular and he has facilitated flute playing
workshops at INAFA, Zion Canyon, Native Rhythms, Oklahoma Flute fest,
and Handpangea, to name a few. (www.randygranger.net)
So you want to get the most out of your Native American style flute? The journey starts here.
In this workshop, Gareth Laffely (Native American style flute
player/singer/songwriter/musician/recording artist/producer) will
show you how you can get the most of your flute.
The workshop will include the following:
Special effects in flute playing
Ways to approach practicing
“The world of the Native American style flute is an
amazing place… let me be your guide!”
- Gareth Laffely
Rhythmic Connection: Drumming and Fluting Together Leader:Painted Raven (Annette Abbondanza and Holly Harris) Fee: Free Scheduled time:
Friday, 3:00 - 4:30.
1 1/2 hours Location:Workshop tent, main festival grounds Class Size:Space available
Enjoy getting back to basics with Painted Raven (the Native American
Flute and World Music duo of Annette Abbondanza and Holly Harris)
through experiencing the rhythmic connection between drums and
We will begin by connecting with each other and the
rhythm by learning basic cooperative drumming skills. We will then
learn and practice rhythmic flute techniques. This will be followed
by each individual having an opportunity to play flute along with the
group providing supportive drumming.
encouraged to bring along their own flutes and/or hand drums (djembes
preferred). The class is tailored towards beginners, but anyone of any ability
Friday, 12:30 - 1:30. Program Length:1
hour Location:Workshop tent, main festival grounds Class Size:Space available
An historical presentation of the role that the Navajo Code Talkers played in
World War II through the display of artifacts and a slide show presentation.
While the allies were able to break the most secure codes of the Axis powers,
The code talkers "code" was never broken.
U.S. Marine Commanders initially opposed the idea of using the Native
American language again in the war (they had been used in WW I), but later agreed to a test mockup trial
run for secret battle intel to be sent via NCT vs the more common
cryptography. A group of (30) Navajos were initially recruited and after a sucessful test, more
were authorized. After testing, 29 remained, which now are commonly referred to
as the First 29.
The code was created. During the first two days during the Battle of Iwo Jima, 800 message
were sent, and all were flawlessly received. Where the cryptography machines
sometimes took 25-30 minutes or longer to decipher its message, the NCT
accomplished this within minutes. A total of 400 NCT were used during WWII and
less than 11 survive today.
In search of a way to help honor first responders
and military personnel, the Founder-CEO of
Families of the Shield, John A. Pasko, a (Ret.) Police Officer, located
one of the few remaining United States Marine WWII Navajo Code Talkers
(NCT), from Keyenta, Arizona. Pfc. Samuel Tom Holiday and members of
family agreed to come to Florida to participate in the show and was
also honored by U.S. Congressman Bill Posey. Holiday received a Special
Certificate of Congressional Recognition for his contributions to our
country during WWII.
As time went on, both
families became friends and John was invited out to Window Rock, Arizona,
to attend as a guest of the Holiday family, to the National Code
Talkers Day; August 14th by Helena Begaii, (Samuels daughter). Helena
introduced John to the Navajo Nations President Russell Begaye and VP
Jonathan Nez and many other high ranking dignitaries.
Title: Stepping Back in Time Leader:Dock Silverhawk Fee: Free
Scheduled time: Friday,
2:00 - 3:00. Program Length:1 hour Location: Workshop tent, main festival grounds Class Size: Space available
Dock will be displaying and playing several very old Native American
flutes that have been gifted to him from a private Native American
collector. He will also be telling the stories behind them.
Accelerate your flute playing by taking private
lessons from one of several of our headlining recording artists.
One-on-one or as a couple, take advantage of the opportunity to
get personal guidance in a private lesson.
The following performers have agreed to offer
private, personal instruction for a fee. Contact the individual
artist to make arrangements for your personal lesson. These
artists will be available throughout the weekend at the festival
site, or contact them by e-mail to make arrangements prior to
To complete your on-line
workshop registration, send an e-mail message to NRFconf@gmail.com.
In that message, provide the following information. When your registration
message is received, a confirmation message will be sent back to you. If you
don't receive a confirmation within 48 hours, your message was most likely lost
and not received. If this happens, please resubmit.
If multiple people are registering for the
same workshops, you may put more than one name on the name line. If multiple
people are registering for different workshops, please provide separate
information for each person.
Phone (cell preferred):
Desired workshops (up to 5, in priority
Workshops to go on stand-by for:
pre-registration closes at the end of the day on
Sunday, November 7, 2021.