July 03, 2008

Nakai the flute legend

UW-EC to host Native American flute conventionWith more than 4 million albums sold, Nakai is regarded as the world's eminent Native American flutist. He co-founded the International Native American Flute Association, which will hold its biennial convention next week at UW-Eau Claire.

The five-day conference will feature workshops, vendors and nightly concerts by the biggest names in Native American flute music. Artists scheduled to appear include Bill Miller, Michael Graham Allen, Peter Phippen and Kevin Locke. Nakai will play Saturday, July 12.
Nakai's eclectic efforts:Nakai also has spread his talent among many musical genres. He has played with more than 15 orchestras. He formed a jazz ensemble. He has recorded with musicians from Tibet, Japan, Hawaii and the Middle East.

"I deal primarily with life experiences and going to other communities and saying, 'My culture is like yours,' " Nakai said of his international travels. "When you get back down to earth-based thinking, we're all very similar."

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