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A Familiar Haunting Melody

Value Added: Meet a family of Comanche flute players who are, in many ways, responsible for preserving an important tradition of Native Americans.
A Familiar Haunting Melody

A Familiar Haunting Melody

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Show Details

Show 1524: A Familiar Haunting Melody
Air Date: June 14, 2015



Rob: Well, throughout today's show, you've heard the music of a family of Native American flute players, who are, in many ways, responsible for preserving an important tradition of our native peoples. Here is our Courtenay DeHoff.

Lean Sonny Tate Nevaquaya: It's not magic, it's just the music. There's something powerful about it. When I would play, I would visualize my father.

Courtenay: Lean Sonny Tate Nevaquaya is a renowned Native American flautist and the son of the most influential to have ever lived.

Lean: The flute was very important to my father, and matter of fact some of the greatest flute players such as Carols Sanki, Kevin Locke, have credited my father for bringing back the Native American Indian flute.

Lean: when I was a young boy I would hear these elderly men, there was four of them that used to come visit my father, but the sound as i was playing in the backyard, it was just like, it was like a magnet. I would just drop everything and go into this willow arbor and they would have this fire going and to hear the stories and the music, to me I can still visualize it and see it.

Courtenay: Nevaquaya's brother Timothy Nevaquaya says the instrument is more than just music to his family and his people.

Timothy Nevaquaya: The flute really to the Native Americans was a form of medicine. It was a marvelous instrument, and it was the only melody making instrument of the North American Indians so it was very influential on them. It seemed to me that people really were taken by the flute. It seemed to me that the flute had a wonderful effect on them, and it helped them to reconnect with nature, reconnect with their inner self, and it taught them how to have some sort of peace in their life. I believe that it's helped certain people change the course of their life.

Lean: My mother and father have created nine beautiful children. And luckily, my brothers and I were all renowned flautists, we travel around the world, my brothers are great artists, and to me that we're here carrying on our father's legacy, the Native American Indian flute, and also the strong voice from my mother, to carry out her dreams, that stand tall son, be proud of who you are, always smile at people, never frown; cause I always have a happy smile, and sees people that will, they are going to see something in you.

Courtenay: The Nevaquaya brothers carry on an almost magical tradition from their father, regularly performing around the globe, but playing here at a festival dedicated to their father.