Abert Grey Eagle has played the flute for 39 years. Even after that long a
time he said the flute changes, and he learns something new every day. He
was introduced to the cedar flute by his grandfather, Pueblo and Ute, who
"It's very awesome at the festival. Being a veteran is a proud thing.
Indian people have dances honoring veterans who return home. This gets
people together artistically and musically, it's good, there is a sense of
belonging to something."
Grey Eagle works with the Oklahoma City Arts Council and travels to the
schools in the area teaching the art of flutemaking and playing music. He
just finished recording a new CD titled "Going Home" that will be released
This was Grey Eagle's third time at the festival. He said the competition
is pretty intense because there are good singers and musicians in the
competition. He didn't know how may participated in his category.
After the festival he returned to the school district and will spend most
of the year making flutes and teaching young people how to play.
"I love doing it. I'm surviving. These kids get really good and they see
something they created out of their own hands and it makes it more
wholesome in my heart.
"I tell them to learn to use the heart. I speak to a lot of kids. They are
learning a modern way of life, but we are all taught to say our prayers and
they will come true. I remind them not to lose hope because you don't see
it unravel in front of you. I encourage them to practice, stay away from
alcohol and drugs, it will kill you."
He said maybe 150 of the students he has taught continue to play and make
He said his music is not just his, he lets God come through the flute. "I'm
his tool. What comes out is what will be. The feeling comes through the
energy God has given me.
"The flute is bigger than I am. Everything around us is related to us, it's
part of us, it helps me survive every day, it helps me wake up every
morning - wake up to something."