Sunday, July 20, 2008

INAFA Convention 2998

I got back from the INAFA convention last week and thought I'd share a little of my time there. This won't be a review of the event but more like a journal of my time there. This was one of the best, if not the best, organized events, flute or otherwise, I've ever had the pleasure of attending. The schedule was well laid out, the venue was almost perfect, the sound guy knew what he was doing and everything seemed to go off like clock work. Most of credit belongs to Kathleen Joyce-Grendahl. The Exec Dir of INAFA. She was greatly assisted by members of the Clear Water Flute Circle. They all did a great job!

Just getting to Eau Claire was amazing for me. My flight from LAX to Minneapolis went over many of my favorite places on earth.

First we flew over one of the main routes out of southern California, the "Cajon Pass" which heads through the Mojave desert to Las Vegas and on into Utah.

After flying directly over Las Vegas and Lake Mead the jet passed Zion and then Bryce Canyon National Park. A UPS plane flew passed below us as we crossed over Sunset Point, the Visitor's Center, Rubys and the town of Tropic.

The next major site was Capitol Reef National Park. This is a off-the-beat park in south central Utah. One of the last areas of the country to get regular mail service.

Next was Canyonlands National Park. This is where the Green and Colorado rivers meet. It is a land of sun baked canyons with two ribbons of green meandering through them. My last free MP3 download was inspired by a back country four-wheel drive trip I took along the stretch of river shown above.

Further to the east is the Upheaval Dome. A very odd geologic feature. Now thought to be the strike of a meteor it was once thought that underground salt erupted from this site. The drainage from in the lower right portion of the dome is very interesting. Something that one doesn't see as clearly from the ground.

Here is the town of Moab, UT the strip of green on the far right, and Castle Valley on the far left. Between the two snakes the Colorado river and Hwy 128, one of the most scenic roads in the country. Below that is Arches National Park. We flew over Balancing Rock, the Windows section and Delicate Arch.

The INAFA convention was held in the little city of Eau Claire, WI. People came from all over the country to attend.

The vendors and artist set up their tables in the lobby of the Haas Fine Arts Building.

I met up with a lot of my friends and made new ones. Here are some of them in alphabetical order.

Mary Jane and Michael Graham Allen, aka Coyote Oldman and Coyote Oldman Flutes.

Bobb Fantauzzo

Robert Gatliff

Keith and Kathleen Joyce-Grendahl

John Kulias of Meadowlark Flutes -ceramic flutes!

Colyn and Kitty Peterson of Woodland Voices flutes

John Sarantos

I took some photos of Jeff and Jo Ann of the Oregon Flute Store, but they were out of focus...

All of the makers shown can be found on the Makers page of my website. You can find INAFA in the links section or just just click on the link here.

Well that's it until the next convention...

Tom Vezo

In my journey with the Native American flute I've been lucky to meet a lot of really great people. Most are just NAF folks that play for fun, others come from other interests but share a love for the NAF. One of those was Tom Vezo.

Tom was an incredibility talented photographer. His speciality was wildlife photography and his focus was birds. It was quite a shock that I learned that Tom died Friday afternoon ( July 18th, 2008) while hiking in the Rincon mountains of AZ. I've spoken one of his close friends and the details are still slim. He was 61.

Tom was a very dedicated and passionate person. He was also one of the original members of the Tucson Native American Flute Circle.

The family has requested no flowers...Donations may be made in Tom's memory to Defenders Committee of the Friends of Madera Canyon; P.O. Box 1203; Green Valley, AZ. 85622

If you have a love of the wild and a love and respect for birds as I do you owe it to yourself to check out his site

Here is some more information about Tom from the Green Valley News and Sun:

Tom Vezo's work is widely published in the United States and Europe in many books, calendars, magazines and advertisements. His credits include: Audubon, Birder’s World, Bird Watcher’s Digest, Discovery, Ducks Unlimited, National Geographic, National Wildlife Federation, Nature Conservancy, Nature’s Best, Natural History, Outdoor Photographer, Sierra Club, Travel and Leisure, Wildbird, Wildlife Conservation and many more.

He was winner of 1998 and 1999 Nature's Best Magazines photo contest for “Wildlife” in the professional category and the BBC Wildlife photographer of the year in 1997 as an honorable mention.

He was recognized as one of the top bird photographers in the United States but also photographed landscapes all over the world. He led many photography tours throughout the United States and Canada teaching people the techniques of nature photography in the field. His expansive photo library contained more than 400,000 images.

Passionate about preserving Madera Canyon, Vezo helped publicize organizations like Friends of Madera Canyon and The Defenders of Madera Canyon on his Web site and in his monthly e-mailed newsletters, illustrating many of his causes with photos of the endangered areas.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Echoes From The Mesa, Summer 2008

The Scott August Newsletter

The Summer 2008 newsletter is up. In it you can find information about the following:

Ancient Light DVD to air on PBS
Flute Class: Intermediate NAF & Beginning Anasazi flute
Native American flutes Scales and Modes: part 1
New MP3 Download (Emailing List Member's)
Anasazi Signature flutes

If you are a member of Scott August's Emailing visit the member's section of or to find the member's version of this newsletter.

If you are not a member you can become one at any time by going to the Sign Up page.