Roundup: May 14, 2014

Almansor Court – 700 S. Almansor, Alhambra, CA.
Social Hour: 5:00 PM
Dinner: 6:00 PM

Speaker: Elk Whistle Bill Neal
Subject:  History of Native American Flutes

Click here to view photos from the event.

By the latter half of the 20th century, the Native flute, indigenous only to North America, was in danger of becoming nothing more than a museum exhibit. However, through the efforts of a few individuals like Elk Whistle Bill Neal, this unique and beautifully-voiced instrument has come back alive to enchant all those who hear its music.

This program will describe the flute’s history, its traditional construction, as well as its contemporary form. Elk Whistle Bill Neal will demonstrate cedar flutes of the Lakota of the northern plains and the Kiowa and Comanche of the southern plains as well as river reed and cane flutes of the Choctaw and the Cherokee.

He will explain how beautiful songs of the flute address Native American cultural values that have become increasingly important to all of the two-leggeds on Turtle Island.

Elk Whistle Bill Neal is a master Native American flute player and storyteller of Cherokee ancestry who began playing this instrument almost 24 years ago while a singer in a traditional powwow drum group.

He has worked in environmental engineering for 22 years, including 10 years with the U. S. Forest Service; taught forestry, wildland fire management, and natural resource management in college; and co-founded and served as general manager of a biomass energy fuel supply company.

He has performed in numerous venues: museums and libraries, cathedrals and temples, powwows and festivals, before the smallest audiences to almost 10,000. He has served as the Native American spiritual leader in a California state prison, and powwow coordinator for the 2nd Annual Powwow at Pomona College in Claremont which took place on April 5th as well as the 3rd Annual Intertribal Eagle and Condor Powwow set for May 17th and 18th in DeAnza Park in Ontario.

Click here to view photos from the event.

Paul McClure
Deputy Sheiff