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NATIVE DAWN FLUTE GATHERING:August 3-4,2013, in Lawrenceburg,KY!

Posted By PowWows.com July 26th, 2013 Last Updated on: July 26th, 2013

Interview with Fred Keams (Navajo), Producer of the Native Dawn Flute Gathering, by Dr. Dawn Karima  Pettigrew, Ph.D

1) What a lovely name for an event! Please tell us about the beautiful name of your festival and how you thought of it. So Creative! What does it mean?

A)We where sitting at the kitchen table and decided to have a Native American Flute event here in Lawrenceburg, KY.  Then we needed a name.  Chipper said, “The Native Dawn”. We thought that was great.



2) What are the Dates of your fantastic festival?

A)This year our dates are Aug 3rd and 4th,2013. We normally do the third weekend in Oct. That way we are not interfering with any other events. Last year was very cold, so we looked and found a date in September that was good, but the city doubled booked us. So, we ended up in Aug this year. We have been wanting to do a school day for a long time.  We are thinking of doing a Friday and Saturday next year.

3) Where is your great festival held?

A)This is year four in Lawrenceburg, KY.  The address is, 123 Township Square, Lawrenceburg KY 40342.

4) What can folks who attend your terrific festival expect?

A)Folks can expect to meet some of the nicest people they have ever met. And to hear some good music.  And to come away with an understanding of the beauty of the Native American Flute, since there is no right or wrong way to play it.  Everyone on has a heart song, and everyone's heart song is their own.

5) What is your main goal in holding this esteemed event?



A)  Our Goals are to share, educate, give back, to say,”We are still here. “, and to offer people a chance to play on a stage.  There are many many flute players, but only a few ever get heard.  We try to reach out to those who never get heard.

6) How can potential sponsors and performers connect with you and participate?

A)We would love to have people contact us. You can call us at 502-600-0024 or 502-600-1895. You can email us at [email protected]. And you can find us on Facebook under  The Native Dawn Flute Gathering,  or Yellowknife Navajo Flutes.

7) What do you hope the audience will learn by attending?

A)We hope that people learn that even though we look or do things differently, we are all related.  We are all the same.

9) What are some of your favorite memories of this event throughout the years?

A)How all are friends are always so happy to come and share their music. It feels like old home week,  like a family reunion. The energy is good. There is an old lady that comes out every year no matter what, takes her set and stays all day.  One friend and flute player, got up and danced in the circle last year.  He has traveled all around for years, but he had never danced before.  Another friend said that it feels like sacred ground to him.  Everyone starts talking about next year before we are even done with this year.

10) Why do you think the Native American flute remains a timeless favorite with audiences?

A) I think people are drawn to the Native American Flute sound, it is haunting. It will get inside of you and you will hear it when no one is around.

11) Tell us about yourself. You have a thriving musical career personally. We'd love to hear about your music.

NATIVE DAWN FLUTE GATHERING FLYER WITH DAWN KARIMAA) I was born and raised on the Navajo Nation. I spent the first thirty three years of my life there.  I have been in KY now for seven years. I had always wanted a flute but never had the money to buy one on the Rez.  So when I came to Kentucky,  I had time after work and  started trying to make one.  I found Roger Mcgee on the Internet, I called him and he talked with me.  He lives in Oregon. Next thing I knew, there was a flute in the mail.  So I would work on my flute and then call Roger.  Long story short, I have been making flutes for four years now.  I call my flutes, Yellowknife Navajo Flutes.

Yellowknife is in memory of my best friend Sheldon. We worked to gather at the hospital in general services, so we would be all over the hospital. We had walkie talkies,  and we would play Codetalkers. We had funny names for each other like, Looks Twice or Wind In Face. I left my multi-purpose tool on the loading dock during the rainy season. When we found it it was yellow, so from then on Sheldon would call me Yellowknife.  Sheldon was a Marine, and was in the war.  He was never the same, he took his life. That is why we are Yellowknife Navajo Flutes, so that he is always with us.

I love all music and play with anyone.  I am part of SunShadows and recently formed a group here in KY, called  Nizhoni' Sky. I also have a traditional CD called, “This Is Who I Am.” I  travel and perform all across the USA. I play my flutes, talk about life on the Rez, and I dance the Apache Crown Dance that was taught to me as a small child in government boarding school.

12) Is there anything else you'd like us to know about your event that we don't already know? Please tell us.

A)Our event is put on by me and my wife. We do it out of love. It is a free event and all are welcome!  Thank you, Dawn, for wanting to help. You are a beautiful soul.  May you always walk in beauty.

13)Thanks for sharing. Best wishes on this year's festival!

Dr. Dawn Karima is a NAMMY-Winning Recording artist and the host of A CONVERSATION WITH DAWN KARIMA, a Native-themed radio show that airs on TalktainmentRadio.com and its affiliates. She is also a Southern cloth Women's Traditional Powwow dancer and a stomp dance shellshaker.


Home » Native American Articles » Native American Music » NATIVE DAWN FLUTE GATHERING:August 3-4,2013, in Lawrenceburg,KY!


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Fred Nez-Keams

Do’laa’ Doo’ Nizhoni’ Daah’. I would like to Thank evenyone so much for all your support to help this Native Dawn Flute Gathering 2013 be a success. Fred Nez-Keams. Walk In Beauty.

Dave Fallis

Hi Fred,
I seem to have misplaced your phone number and wanted to see if you would be performing again at Tony’s?? Also I hear there is some support for the Pow Wow to remin in Lawrenceburg; is this true??

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