Joseph FireCrow, a Northern Cheyenne flute player, drummer and storyteller, will be performing at the Hampton Community Center, Main Street, Hampton, on September 22, 7 PM. This unusual opportunity is presented by the Hampton Recreation Commission and funded in part by a grant from the Town. Donations will be requested to further support the event.
Joseph FireCrow’s recordings have been nominated for GRAMMY awards three times and NAMMY awards nine times. He has won Native American Music Awards three times, for Songwriter of the Year in 2003, Best Instrumental Recording in 2005, and Flutist of the Year for Red Beads which featured FireCrow’s late mother, Elva Stands In Timber. He won two NAMMY awards in 2010, for Flutist of the Year and for Artist of the Year, and a GRAMMY at the 52nd Annual Awards for Best New Age Album. His music has also been featured in albums and films. Creator’s Prayer and Wind in My Mind were chosen to open and close the best selling album Tribal Winds: Music from Native American Flutes. FireCrow’s music was included on the soundtrack for the Ken Burns documentary Lewis and Clark: The Journey of the Corps of Discovery, and featured in the PBS film, The War that Made America. His first music was songs learned at tribal gatherings. Later he was mentored by tribal elders and acclaimed as a prodigy. He left the reservation in Montana in 1993 to pursue a musical career fulltime. He now makes his home in northwestern Connecticut.
The Hampton performance is an excellent opportunity to experience Native American culture and to hear the complex life story of an individual who has lived in two worlds, both the American and Native American cultures.
From the Makoche website:
“Born in Montana and raised on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation until he was nine years old, Joseph attended public school and a Catholic school, before being placed with a foster family in Seattle as part of the Mormon Indian Placement program. He joined them in their Mormon worship and attended Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, as was expected of him.
‘I was starting to forget my Cheyenne language and heritage. I needed to find out who I really was, but I also had a lot of opportunities given to me and I wanted to take advantage of them.
“Just when it appeared he might forsake his Native American ancestry, two events happened that lead Joseph back to his people. Joseph reconnected to his heritage through music while he was in college and he read the book Cheyenne Memories by John Stands in Timber, his mother’s father. It was pivotal in my life in teaching me about the Creator and how we are tied to the land and animals.
“After three-and-a-half years of college education, he returned to his reservation where it took a number of years to be totally accepted. When I first went home, I sat in with my uncle’s drum group and there were certain members who said, ‘What are you doing here? Are you trying to be an Indian?’
“Despite the initial adversity, Fire Crow re-integrated into his tribe and became a respected fluteman who was frequently called upon to perform at various community events such as weddings and funerals. ”
YouTube features numerous Firecrow performances and his music is also available for listening and purchase at his website www.josephfirecrow.com.
INFO: Gay Wagner 860-455-9875