A powerful global blend of musical traditions from Native America, India, and the Middle East featuring R. Carlos Nakai and Houman Pourmehdi
with Will Clipman and Chad Hamill.
Tuesday, June 9th
CIMC 213 S San Francisco St. Flagstaff, AZ
Children as always are free
About The Artists
Of Navajo-Ute heritage, R. Carlos Nakai is the world’s premier performer of the Native American flute. He began his musical studies on the trumpet, but a car accident ruined his embouchure. His musical interests took a turn when he was given a traditional cedar flute as a gift and challenged to master it. As an artist, he is an adventurer and risk taker, always giving his musical imagination free rein. Nakai is also an iconoclastic traditionalist who views his cultural heritage not only as a source and inspiration, but also a dynamic continuum of natural change, growth, and adaptation subject to the artist’s expressive needs.
Nakai’s first album, Changes, was released by Canyon Records in 1983, and since then he has released fourty albums with Canyon plus additional albums and guest appearances on other labels. In addition to his educational workshops and residencies, Nakai has appeared as a soloist throughout the United States, Europe, and Japan, and has worked with Grammy® winner flutist Paul Horn, guitarist/luthier William Eaton, composer James DeMars among many others. The famed American choreographer Martha Graham used Nakai's second album, Cycles, in her last work Night Chant. Nakai contributed music to the major motion pictures New World (New Line) and Geronimo (Columbia).
Nakai, while cognizant of the traditional use of the flute as a solo instrument, began finding new settings for it, especially in the genres of jazz and classical. He founded the ethnic jazz ensemble, the R. Carlos Nakai Quartet, to explore the intersection of ethnic and jazz idioms.
Nakai brought the flute into the concert hall, performing with over fifteen symphony and chamber orchestras. He was a featured soloist on the Philip Glass composition, Piano Concerto No. 2: After Lewis & Clark, premiered by the Omaha Symphony. Nakai also works with producer and arranger Billy Williams, a two-time Grammy® winner, in composing for and performing the traditional flute in orchestral works of a lighter vein.
In a cross-cultural foray, Nakai performed extensively with the Wind Travelin’ Band, a traditional Japanese ensemble from Kyoto which resulted in an album, Island of Bows. Additional recordings with ethnic artists include In A Distant Place with Tibetan flutist and chanter Nawang Khechog, and Our Beloved Land with famed Hawaiian slack key guitarist and singer Keola Beamer. Recently, Nakai released Voyagers with Philadelphia Orchestra cellist Udi Bar-David which blends Native American melodies with Jewish and Arabic songs.
Nakai has received two gold records (500,000 units sold) for Canyon Trilogy and Earth Spirit which are the first (and only) Native American recordings to earn this recognition. In 2014, Canyon Trilogy reached Platinum (over 1 million units sold), the first ever for a Native American artist performing traditional solo flute music. He has sold over four million albums in the course of his career.
HOUMAN POURMEHDI is a master percussionist, well known for his diverse abilities as a musician, composer, and multi-instrumentalist. Performing and recording in numerous ensembles and at a variety of venues. He was introduced to Persian music by his father, and received his first Tonbak at the age of three from his grandfather. He was privileged to study Tonbak under guidance of the late Grand Master Amir Nasser Eftetah. At sixteen he continued his studies at the Center for Preservation and Propagation of National Music, where he completed the techniques of playing Tonbak under supervision of Master Morteza Ayan. His interest in the spiritual path of Sufis introduced him to the Ghaderi Sufi order's virtuoso Daf players, such as Haj Agha Sadeghi, Mirza Agha Ghosi, and Darvish Karim, with whom he studied the heart-to-heart traditional techniques of playing Daf. Pourmehdi moved to Chicago in 1988, where he founded the society for the Advancement and Preservation of Traditional Persian Music and he study Persian Music Under supervision of Dr. Mehdi Forough, it was here that he first fathomed the exciting possibilities of introducing the unique sounds of Persian instruments to American audiences. He also preserved the ancient Persian Percussive instrument called Kurekeh. The Society also facilitated his meeting the eminent Mohammad Ali Kianey-Nejad, who taught him the Ney (Persian Reed Pipe). Pourmehdi designed the tuneable Dayereh which is part of the Cooperman's Artist Innovation Series of instruments. Houman is both a recording artist and concert musician. He has appeared at many radio and TV interviews with live performance. He has performed widely throughout Europe, North America, Asia, and North Africa . Pourmehdi composed music for a short educational film in 1999. His knowledge of traditional repertoire and intimacy with Sufi world are made to serve a very personal style of interpretation in his compositions. Houman has been performing with the Salaams ensemble, sponsored by the Music Center of Los Angeles since 2005. He is the recipient of the Individual Artist Fellowship Award C.O.L.A. 2008, L.A. Treasures Awards 2004 & 2008, ACTA the Folk & Traditional Arts Mentorship Initiative 2004 & 2006, and ACTA Apprenticeship Program 2003. Houman has composed music for two plays "Philoktetes" Directed by Michael Hackett and Olivier Award-winning British actor, Henry Goodman; as well as, "Medea" starring Annette Bening directed by Lenka Udovicki. In 1996 Houman has co-founded The Lian Ensemble. He currently lives in Los Angeles , and teaches Persian Percussion at the California Institute of the Arts
Will Clipman began playing his father's drums and his mother's piano at the age of three. He played his first professional gig at fourteen, and has since then has mastered a pan-global palette of over one hundred percussion instruments in addition to the traditional drumset. Will is a seven-time GRAMMY® Nominee, a three-time Native American Music Award Winner, a Canadian Aboriginal Music Award Winner, a New Age Reporter Music Award Winner, and a two-time TAMMIE Award Winner; and has been inducted into the Tucson Musicians Museum for his contributions to the musical community in his hometown. Will has recorded over sixty albums, including over thirty for Canyon Records, where he is regarded as the house percussionist.In addition to his solo work, Will performs with R. Carlos Nakai and William Eaton, among many other internationally-acclaimed artists. Will's solo CD Pathfinder earned a GRAMMY® Nomination for Best New Age Album. His Planet of Percussion® performance and workshop provides a hands-on tour of world music rhythm and polyrhythm.
A poet since the age of six, Will has published a book of his original poetry entitled Dog Light (Wesleyan University Press) and his work has appeared in numerous anthologies and literary journals. His writing has been honored with the Whiffen Poetry Prize, the Academy of American Poets Margaret Sterling Award, the Tucson/Pima Arts Council Poetry Fellowship, and the Arizona Commission on the Arts Award of Merit for Poetry. His poem The Quiet Power is the official Dedicatory Poem of the Tucson Main Library.
Will is also an accomplished maskmaker and storyteller. His Myths & Masks® performance and workshop combines his original mask art, mythopoetic storytelling, and multicultural world music, and is now available as a DVD. Will has provided over two hundred workshops, lecture-demonstrations, master classes, full-length artist-in-residencies, and self-realization events to elementary, middle, and high schools, colleges and universities, art galleries, libraries, adult prisons, juvenile detention facilities, senior centers, hospitals, parks and recreation programs, retreat centers, spas and resorts. His service to the community as an arts educator has been honored with the Arizona Commission on the Arts Decade of Distinguished Service Award and two Governor's Arts Award Nominations.
Will holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Syracuse University, and a Master of Fine Arts Degree from the University of Arizona.
Chad Hamill specializes in the classical music of northern India and Native American music. In addition to teaching at Northern Arizona University, he has taught courses in indigenous and world musics at Cal Arts, Naropa University, Washington State University and the University of Colorado at Boulder, where he received a Ph.D. in ethnomusicology in 2008.
After earning a BFA degree in African music from CalArts in 1993, Hamill began his MFA studies in Indian classical vocal music under the direction of Pandit Rajeev Taranath, world-renowned vocalist and master of the sarod. Soon after receiving his degree, Chad was asked to join the North Indian classical department at CalArts where he taught courses in Indian classical theory, sargam, private lessons, and Indian classical ensemble. As a performer he has been featured alongside artists such as Pandit Ramesh Misra, Ustad Roshan Bhartiya, Pandit Nayan Ghosh, Abhiman Kaushal and Arup Chattopadhyay. Chad Hamill continues his lifelong study of Indian classical music under the direction of his guru, Pandit Rajeev Taranath.
Prior to earning a PhD in ethnomusicology, Chad Hamill was an active recording artist, releasing four CDs of original music. His most recent CD, "Sympatiko," is a collaborative effort between himself and Brazilian musician Joao Junqueira. During its release, "Sympatiko" received airplay on over 200 radio stations nationwide and was featured on the nationally syndicated show "Native Sounds, Native Voices."
A descendant of the Spokane tribe, Hamill's doctoral dissertation, Songs from Spirit: Power and Prayer in the Columbia Plateau, explores traditional song as a catalyst for spiritual power among tribes of the interior Northwest. In addition to regularly giving papers at national meetings for the Society for Ethnomusicology, he has presented papers at Native American and indigenous studies conferences, including AISA (the American Indian Studies Association) and NAISA (the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association). He recently completed a book titled Songs of Power and Prayer in the Columbia Plateau: The Jesuit, the Medicine Man, and the Indian Hymn Singer (Oregon State University Press, 2012), which examines the role of song both Native and Catholic in the perpetuation of indigenous identity, a phenomenon he explores largely through the relationship between Gibson Eli (Hamill's great-uncle) the last medicine man of the Spokan tribe, Fr. Tom Connolly, a Jesuit active in the Columbia Plateau for over half a century, and Mitch Michael, an Indian hymn leader. Songs of Power and Prayer will be a part of an indigenous studies series titled First Peoples: New Directions in Indigenous Studies.
He currently serves as chair of the Applied Indigenous Studies department at Northern Arizona University.