TAHLEQUAH, Okla ? "Pow Wow Flutes," by Tommy Wildcat, Cherokee, is a double CD set featuring six tracks on the first CD titled "Flute Music" and nine traditional "Pow Wow Drum Songs" by LittleDeer Big Mountain on the second.
"Pow Wow Flutes" is produced by Warrior Spirit Productions, an independent production company organized by Wildcat and his twin sister Tammy. The album earned Wildcat a 2002 Native American Music Awards nomination for flutist of the year.
In a July 31 interview with Indian Country Today, Wildcat said that he became very interested in sharing his Cherokee heritage with others after he met Native American activists and took part in Cherokee Nation Tribal programs such as International Fest when he was 21 years old. Leaders such as Wilma Mankiller had a profound effect on his life and it became Wildcat's personal mission to promote positive messages about Cherokee tribal culture that are not to be found in textbooks.
With "Pow Wow Flutes," Wildcat honors the Cherokee Chief and Revolutionary War hero Dragging Canoe, a mentor to the more widely known Tecumseh. "I try to represent the proud Cherokee people and promote the beauty of all people. I use historical stories to inform the public," said Wildcat. "My [albums] not only help myself, but other people as well. They help to meet a need common to all human beings, the need to understand and be understood."
Wildcat has produced four other albums: "The Fire People" "A Warrior's Spirit" (his best seller to date) and "Flames of Fire." He has performed his flute music on television several times, including the Discovery Channel's "How the West was Lost," (the Cherokee Trail of Tears episode) and TNT's "Tecumseh: The Last Warrior."
On the second CD, "Pow Wow Drum Songs," Wildcat's close friend LittleDeer Big Mountain (Comanche/Mohawk) demonstrates the differences in several traditional dance songs and briefly explains their origin and purpose.
Big Mountain, his wife Katrina and their seven children form the Iron Mountain Dancers who perform, educate and compete across North America. Big Mountain receives a part of this album's proceeds to help supplement his family while they tour extensively on the Pow wow circuit. His daughter, Amanda Big Mountain, plans to run for Miss Indian World 2003.
Wildcat is currently at his home with his beloved Shar-Pei dogs in Oklahoma so that he can gather the wild river cane that he will use to make flutes over the winter months. He can be contacted at email@example.com or by writing to A.W.S.P. Records, P.O. Box 1418, Tahlequah, Okla. 74465.