Flute circles- who we are and what we do
What does a flute circle do?
To begin with, everyone is welcome at any of our events. We have members of all ages, skill levels and ethnic background. Most of the people who attend Flute Circles are players of Native American style Flutes, not Native Americans who play flutes. Most people are there to learn how to play the Native American Flute, or how to play better, but some come just to listen and enjoy the energy our flutes always generate. We also encourage musicians with other instruments to join us and jam at the open mic sessions. At past meetings this has included: hand drums, shakers, didjs, guitar, piano, nay, daf and kalimba just to name a few!
We have sub-groups (called “clans”) in various geographies throughout Northern California: the Sacramento area, the main Bay Area, the wine country , the Auburn/Grass Valley Area, the Sonora Area the Garden Valley area and the Modesto/Fresno area.
We do lots of things at the actual meetings:
We play our Native American Flutes. One of the best ways to learn how to play is to Play, Play, Play. The Flute Circle gives those who haven’t had a chance to play in front of a group an opportunity to play for appreciative, supportive friends. There’s always some kind of “open mic” time, and often we’re joined by well known professional NAF performers.
There is usually some kind of educational or informational topic presented about The Native American Flute which helps to make us better flute players. This might include playing techniques, history, seeing and playing exceptional flutes with special artistic or historical significance, learning songs, mini-concerts by visiting recording artists/flute players, and to the extent you are interested, connecting with the traditional and spirit of the Native American aspects of the flute. We also sponsor regional workshops/classes, for an additional fee, to help you push your limits and enrich your experience.
At NCFC meetings, there are always lots of resources for our members, the likes of which are often highly specialized information, and often difficult for each person to find on their own. Occasionally there are flute makers in attendance at the meetings who will bring their flutes and share their insights and advice on making and playing flutes. Most of these flutemakers will give discounts to members of NCFC.
Always, there is a Social Hour or time to just talk and get to know each other better, most of the time with sharing of food. People who are drawn to this unique instrument seem to have some kind of immediate commonality and community, and frequently other common interests. Guests at recent NCFC meetings have included recording artists R. Carlos Nakai, Mary Youngblood, Scott August, Gary Stroutsos, Mac Lopez, William Gutierrez; Flute Makers Geri & Hawk Littlejohn (Cherokee), Paul Thompson (Navajo), Scott Loomis and many others.
PLAY SOME MORE!
Sometimes we play in groups, and sometimes with other instruments, most often drums and other percussion instruments. One of the most popular activities is playing an improvised duet with another player!