March 3rd, 2014 Last Updated on: March 3rd, 2014
Interview by Dr. Dawn Karima, Music Editor
Stirring, soulful sounds are the hallmark of David Rose's intense flute playing. Recently honored with the Silver Arrow Award, this Choctaw/Cherokee recording artist is a fixture on the powwow trail. David Rose took a break from Powwwow Highway to celebrate his One World Music Award with Powwows.com!
Q) It's great to visit with you!!! There's a lot to congratulate you for these days! What are some of the honors and accomplishments you have received recently?
A) Hey Dawn. Thank you so much. I feel very honored doing this interview. I just recently received my second Silver Arrow Award for 2014 from Donald Blackfox of Spirit Wind Records. And I won the One World Music Award for Best
Native American Album of 2013 in the UK.
Q) You're so talented! What is your Native heritage?
A) My Native Heritage is from my father's side which is Choctaw/Cherokee from Oklahoma. My family members lived on the Wichita Indian Reservation in Oklahoma and they lived in what was at the time Indian Territory in Sequoyah, Ok. My mother is Mexican and of Zacatecas Indian descent.
Q) What are some of your tribal values that shape your character? How so?
A) I would have to say strong family values. It's important to me have strong relationships with my wife and sons and of course my grandson. It's important to me to pass on to my children the importance of family and their heritage. I think it's very important to pass on this legacy to our children. And for myself, I take pride in who I am and want to share my heritage with others, especially with non-natives.
Q) Powwows sure mean a lot to all of us here and to our audience! When you think of powwows, what do these special cultural gatherings signify to you?
A) Powwows reinforce a spiritual reconnection to my roots, sense of pride in my heritage, and fellowship with other native cultures.
Q) How would you describe the meaning of powwows to someone who had never been to one?
A) A powwow is a communion of Native peoples including dance, drumming, singing and other forms of music and traditional celebration. All people are welcome to attend.
Q) Why should they attend a powwow? Encourage someone to start out on the powwow trail!
I would say to them that it's a great place to start to learn about Native People and learn the facts about Native culture. I think it's a great place to break the ice.
Q) What are some of the lessons from your Tribal heritage that keep you spiritually centered?
A) I think the most important lesson is to learn is to keep my heritage alive with my children, and hopefully they will do same with their children. I have a great respect for Mother Earth and the environment, and this keeps me grounded.
Q) How do those internal ideas influence your music?
A) I think for myself it boils down to having a sense of pride in my culture and who I am, and I put that spiritual/emotional content into my music. And, in a sense, I want to pass this spiritual/emotional content on for people to hear and to enjoy. My relationship to the natural world is an inherent part of my music.
Q) How did you start playing?
A) I had already been a life-long musician and played many genres of music, when I first heard the Native American flute. I heard R. Carlos Nakai in the early 90's play in his album “Canyon Trilogy.” I felt that taking up playing Native American flute would be the perfect way for me to start my journey of spiritual/cultural reconnection to my Native heritage which is very important to me.
Q) How did you know that this life of music was what you truly wanted to do?
A) It's really hard for me to put my feelings into words as to why I wanted to play Native American Flute, but the best way to describe it is it gives me a sense of inner peace and cultural connection to the instrument which allows me to sing through the instrument from the heart.
Q) What do you think the power of Native music truly is?
A) Because much Native music is improvisational, it truly comes from the spirit and the heart.
Q) Why do you believe your music has become so popular?
Q) I would have to say that the positive feedback I get from listeners is overwhelming and, from what I'm told by my listeners, it is the way I play from the heart and how I connect with the way I play the Native American flute. Plus what's very important to me is putting the emotional content into the songs. They tell me how it sends their minds to special places and paints an imagery in their minds. I feel humbled when people get excited and tell me how wonderfully I play. I explain to them I'm just a student of this instrument and always trying to learn new ways of playing the Native American flute.
Q) Why does our music reach so many Non-Natives?
A) As I mentioned, the emotional and spiritual content of Native music is unique in the music world, and speaks to Natives and Non-Natives.
Q) What do you think distinguishes your music from other artists?
A) I think the best way to answer this is that each Native American flute artist has a unique signature voice, just like singers that have their own distinct sound. So for myself I have my own voice that is unique to me, but at the same time I try to emulate some of my favorite artists like R. Carlos Nakai who has been a big influence on my playing style. I also try to put a lot of emotional content in my playing.
Q) How do your songs come to you?
A) My songs come to me when I lock myself down in my studio and just play. And sometimes they come from events in my life or places that I have been to. I get a lot of imagery of the South West in my mind because I was I born in that area of the country and I'm so drawn to its beauty and majesty, that it's a part of me in so many ways that I can't put into words.
Q) Do you improvise when you create?
A) I love to improvise when I try to come up with new songs. I always have my H2N Zoom digital recorder handy to hopefully capture something that I play and create a song from it. Or, if I do record an improvised song in one take, if it sounds good, I'll keep it.
Q) Or do you hear the songs first before you make them?
A) That's an interesting question that I never thought of much, but it's very rare that I would hear a song in my head and put it down in music. I'm a more hands on player that needs to hear what I play while I improvise. If I hear something that catches my ear I build a song from that.
Q) When you play, what do you hope your audience will learn about themselves as they listen?
I hope for my listeners that they can find inner peace in their lives and be more compassionate with other human beings. We live in a world I feel that is full of stress and I hope that my listeners will learn that music is great way to heal the spirit and it's a very universal language of all cultures.
Q) What do you hope that they will discover about Native People and Culture?
A) My biggest hope is that Non Native people is take the time to learn about us, and to learn facts about Native People and Culture.
Q) Where can we purchase your music?
You can order my music from these sites
Q) How can we see you perform?
World Flute Society
You can check out my web site for performance dates
Q) How can folks connect with you?
A) They can connect with me on my contact page at my web site or if they are on Facebook, they can contact me there too.
Q) What do you wish we knew about you that we don't already know?
A) Well for one thing, I am very concerned about animal protection and the preservation of endangered species. I had the honor to record with Mars Lasar, and my flute music from “Tahoe Spirit” was featured in segments of MSNBC's Jeff Corwin's 100 Heatbeats documentary from the Future Earth Series. The documentary is available at the following lin
Q) Mvto…thank you for your sharing with us! We sure do appreciate you!Any final thoughts?
A) Please check out my Website at http://www.musicofthewinds.com and my cd ordering links at
Dawn Karima hosts a Native radio show, A CONVERSATION WITH DAWN KARIMA, on Talktainmentradio.com and its affiliates.
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