Randy Granger

Randy Granger
In the Chihuahuan Desert near the Organ Mountains, New Mexico

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Zion Flutes Fest Wrap Up

I’m back from a road trip to the Zion Canyon Art and Music Festival in Springdale, Utah. Though the weather was amazingly hot, dry and breezy—kind of like living in a huge blow dryer set on low—overall some really excellent music took place and loads of fun.

On my drive up, which is a 13 hour drive from my home in New Mexico, I camped out in Canyon de Chelly on the Navajo Reservation of northeast Arizona. Canyon de Chelly is a deep, red-walled canyon with a small river running through it. The Anasazi and later the Navajo have made this verdant canyon home. Driving into Zion Canyon is always stunning and stirs every part of my being. Seeing the friends I’ve made again always makes me happy. This time I met several new people as we gathered around the campground across from the entrance to the festival. Rick Dunlap and his family on Djembe, the Tank Tongue Drum which sounded like a Hang and son Ricky on didgeridoo and all the others who were jamming up a storm made for a raucous good time. I volunteered to MC the open mic stage on Saturday and Sunday. I loved hearing the flute players from all over the country. Some really nice and original music was made.

Probably because I had a Hang drum with me several people asked me to sit in with them. Kiriel from Phoenix, Stephen DeRuby, the Dunlap Clan and others that I played with were all just really open and we all shared a passion for the Native American flute and its possibilities. Joe Young, a musician from Boise, Idaho did a fantastic job with sound and played an amazing set of music. He was nice and asked me to sit in on Hang and Cornell Kinderknecht on Bansuri played so beautifully both in his solo set and with us.

Will Hoshal asked me and California musician Vince Chaffin to sit in during his concert and it was just an hours worth of smiling on both sides of the stage. Thanks Bill. Can’t wait to do it again. Being able to do what is your passion is truly a privilege. All the dehydration, sunburn, egos, too little sleep and extremely long drive was worth it. On the return trip I camped below Sunset Volcano Crater north of Flagstaff, Arizona. Very serene.

I lusted after so many flutes this year and really wanted one of John Kulias’ ceramic flutes and several of Michael Allen’s flutes but since gas is over $4.00 a gallon so the choice was pretty clear. Buy flutes or walk home….ha ha

Here is a video/photo montage of Canyon de Chelly and Zion Canyon set to a song from my new CD “A Place Called Peace.” The song is “Apache Tears.” The CD is ready and available but I’ll post a note soon about a special MySpace offer….stay tuned.


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