Flute and Art Gathering celebrates power of music

Music has always been an integral part of Native American Culture, particularly the flute. The simple wind instrument, which works on the minor pentatonic scale, has been used for meditation, healing, celebration, courtship and public entertainment.

These factors will all come into play when the annual Flute and Art Gathering returns to town Friday through Sunday, Aug. 24 through 26. The three-day event at SunWatch Indian Village and Archaeological Park, 2301 W. River Road, in Dayton features Native flute music, storytelling sessions and workshops dedicated to traditional and non-traditional American Indian music.

The lineup: This year’s bill features local performers such as Douglas Bluefeather and Joseph Whitefeather and out-of-town acts such as Jonny Lipford from Fort Walton Beach, Fla., Baltimore-based Jan Seiden and Steve Rushingwind from Los Angeles.

Gathering hours: 4 to 8:30 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday; and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

Admission prices: $6 adults and $3 seniors and children 6-17. Prices are half off for members of the Dayton Society of Natural History. Free for children 5 and younger.

Background info: The Flute and Art Gathering began as a two-day event in 2007. It proved to be so popular it was expanded to three days in 2011.

Flute vendors: Festival attendees inspired by the talented flautists performing during the event can shop for their own custom-made flutes from companies such as Feather Ridge, Woodpecker, Redbelly, Mockingbird, 4 Winds and Ghost Owl.

Beyond music: Traditional Native American music is the primary focus but no gathering is complete without food. Festivalgoers will have an opportunity to purchase Indian tacos, bison burgers, corn and other items.

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