Gary Stroutsos, a master musician who has explored the music of many cultures, especially Native American, will present a music and lecture performance based around “Remembering the Songs,” a documentary film and musical album that provides a unique look at the musical traditions from Zuni, Navajo and Salish communities.
In it, Stoutsos will stress the importance of songs to these people through the stories of three song keepers and music makers from the three tribes.
The program begins at 3:00 p.m. Wednesday (Dec. 6) in the Arizona Senior Academy’s Great Room, and regular audiences are reminded of the non-standard start time. The program includes the screening of a 30-minute documentary in addition to a live performance of storytelling and music performed by Stroutsos on his one-of-a-kind, hand-made, traditional American Indian cedar wood flutes.
“Story and song—both are gifts that all people have enjoyed from time immemorial,” Stroutsos explains. “Through story we make meaning of the world and our place in it. With song we celebrate, entreat, and embrace the sacred dimension of it. This continent is an old tribal world that was filled with the story and song traditions of American Indian Tribes. Some of these stories and songs have been lost, but many have persisted. Through the care of culture bearers and song keepers, irreplaceable cultural knowledge remains alive with individuals, families, and communities.”
Stroutsos (www.garystroutsos.com) has collected flutes from around the world, including an American Indian flute that dates back 2,000 years. He has devoted years to learning about the music traditions of the native flute, and has created beautiful original compositions as well as authentic renditions of old songs.
Documentary filmmaker Ken Burns commented: “I cannot imagine trying to come to terms with the history of this complicated country I have chosen to make my life’s work without Gary’s exquisite mastery and understanding of its many varied musical traditions. We don’t leave home without him.”
Written by Mike Maharry, Academy Village Volunteer