A Short Autobiography

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I was introduced to the Native American Flute when I attended a Native American sweat in San Diego County years ago. One of the women was playing a beautiful song on this wood flute and I asked her what it was. She said it was a Native American Flute and I was simply enchanted by its beautiful melodic voice. She told me she bought it from Michael Graham Allen. The next week, I called Michael www.coyoteoldman.com and bought a Gm4 flute from him. I was working as a Massage Therapist at the time and a co-worker gave me a CD of William Gutierrez playing his Native American Flutes. I was moved to obtain some flutes from William, so I called William and bought a couple of flutes from him[I could not find William’s site].
I soon retired from public school teaching and accepted a position at Bryman College teaching Massage Therapy. I must have played some Native American Music or spoke to another teacher about my love of the Native American Flute because I was introduced to Jonette Yazzie whom I was told actually made these instruments. Another synchronous event that led me to meeting both Marvin and Jonette of www.yazzieflutes.com. As my obsession blossomed, I purchased a couple more flutes from them.
The Yazzies invited me to a flute building class held on the Morogno Reservation near Palm Springs California. I learned how to make a Yazzie flute that weekend and that was the beginning of my flute making journey. Marvin and Jonette helped me on my way by sharing many of their techniques of flute making and over the days and months and now years they have become family to me. We have shared many hours in their flute making classes, playing flutes at different venues and sharing time with them on trips and gatherings. They are simply wonderful Spirit filled people and make beautiful flutes.
I have had many flute making teachers buy observation and from an excellent book by Russel Wolf “Flute Shop: Crafting The Native American Style Flute,” as well as Lew Paxton Price who has a series of books on crafting the Native American Style Flute which delve into the physics of the flute and are a wonderful reference for making all sizes of Native American Flutes. Russel’s publication is out of print but can be found searching the net and Lew’s books can be found at his site www.lewpaxtonprice.us.

2 thoughts on “A Short Autobiography

  1. Hey Stephen, how are you, hope you’re doing well! You may remember I bought some flutes from you some time ago, a mojave and an alder NAF, they’ve been such a joy to play and have given me hours and hours of peace and meditation. Very beautiful in every way, beautiful tone and great sculpting. Haven’t recorded anything yet to send back to you, but that will probably change soon, just started a musical partnership with a friend of mine, and he loves your work too. Just wanted to drop you a line. Any new ones coming along by chance?
    Peace and goodwill from Norway,
    Anders

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