Letters

Letters 04-14-14

Benishek Inching

Regarding “Benishek No Environmentalist” I agree with Mr. Powell’s letter to the editor/ opinion of Congressman Dan Benishek’s poor environmental record and his penchant for putting corporate interests ahead of his constituents’...

Climate Change Warning

Currently there are three assaults on climate change. The first is on the integrity of the scientists who support human activity in climate change. Second is that humans are not capable of affecting the climate...

Fed Up About Roads

It has gotten to the point where I cringe when I have to drive around this area. There are areas in Traverse City that look like a war zone. When you have to spend more time viewing potholes instead on concentrating on the road, accidents are bound to happen...

Don’t Blame the IRS

I have not heard much about the reason for the IRS getting itself entangled with the scrutiny of certain conservative 501(c) groups (not for profit) seeking tax exemption. Groups seeking tax relief must be organizations that are operated “primarily for the purpose of bringing about civic betterment and social improvements.”


Home · Articles · News · Music · Blue Stone Project
. . . .

Blue Stone Project

Kristi Kates - June 21st, 2010
Blue Stone Project brings Native American music to Petoskey
By Kristi Kates
He’s been nominated for a Grammy Award (2003, Best Native American
Recording) and has won a Native American Music Award for Group of the
Year (2004.) He’s half Navajo and half Northern Ute. He has
collaborated musically with John Densmore of The Doors as well as with
a plethora of other musicians on his own projects. The flutes that he
makes by hand are known world-wide.
And this is only scratching the surface of Native American musician
Aaron White’s story.

BURNING SKY
White, whose Blue Stone Project will be performing live in Petoskey at
the Odawa Casino Resort on Tuesday, June 22, says he’s been involved
with music his whole life in one form or another; Blue Stone is only
the latest of his musical endeavors.
“I started playing Native American music in 1993,” White explains, “I
started a group called Burning Sky with two other people. We were
pioneers of a new sound - mixing acoustic guitar with Native American
flute and percussion. I played guitar and also some flute in the band;
with the Blue Stone Project, I do the same, but not at the same time.”
After White’s first band dissolved in 2004, he became a solo artist,
performing all over the country, everywhere from Denver, Colorado to
New York City.
“Anywhere I could gig,” White says.
 As for working with Densmore, White met The Doors’ legendary drummer
at an awards show, and their connection continues to this day.
“At the show, we talked and ended up exchanging numbers,” White
remembers, “I was working on a project, so I called him and asked if
he would be interested in working with me. He said ‘yes,’ and we ended
up doing a workshop and a benefit concert. We have done various
benefits for cultural and environmental awareness, and we are still
collaborating on projects.”

RENOWNED INSTRUMENTS
Meanwhile, yet another of White’s talents was taking form, one that
would both further express his love of music, and also delve more into
his Native American heritage.
“I come from two different tribes,” White explains, “the Utes are from
the northeastern part of Utah, and the Navajos are from the Four
Corners region of northern Arizona.” (This is the only place in the
U.S. where the corners of four states - Arizona, Utah, New Mexico, and
Colorado - meet precisely together at one spot.) “I started making
Native American flutes 14 years ago,” he continues, “I wanted to make
my own instruments, and was curious how they worked.”
White says that the process of making flutes, while rewarding, is
“sometimes tedious.”
“The old way was to find a good branch, split it in half, hollow the
inside out and make your holes, and put it back together using tree
sap or pine pitch,” he explains, “now we have modern tools, so we use
good old wood glue.”
White’s handcrafted flutes are now purchased by a wide variety of
people around the globe, and have become a favorite collector’s item.
White also takes everything that he’s learned about the instruments
and shares that information with others.
“I give flute lectures at the Enchantment Resort in Arizona,” he says,
“I talk about the history of the flute and how the instrument has
evolved from the traditional to the contemporary music we hear today.”

BLUE STONE LIVE
Today, White’s music has taken the shape of the aforementioned Blue
Stone Project, which White began at the end of 2006.  Described as “a
rock oriented sound flavored by contemporary Native American life in
America,” the band’s first eponymous CD was recorded in 2007, and the
trio of experienced musicians has progressed steadily since then.
“I met Gary Rasmussen (bass/vocals) and Ed Michaels (drums/hand
percussions/vocals) at a festival in Silverton, Colorado,” White
explains, “I was on the bill, and they were on a tour with Alvin
Youngblood Hart. They are both very accomplished musicians and have
played with many performers - Gary with Iggy Pop, Fred “Sonic” Smith’s
Sonic Rendezvous Band, Patti Smith’s Band, and more; he is a Detroit
homeboy. Ed hails from Minnesota, and he has also been in good
company, working with Roy Rogers’ Blues Band, Buddy Miles, Marty Balin
(Jefferson Airplane), Derek Trucks - the list goes on and on.”
The Blue Stone Project performs mostly originals in their concerts,
plus a few surprises.
“We may also play a few songs people may recognize - with a touch of
Blue Stone flavor to them,” White says.
Native American culture will be additionally showcased through some of
the concert’s other special features.
“Our mix of music has a real down-to-earth feel to it,” White
continues, “and you can expect to be enlightened with stories and
culture as well. I always look forward to playing in Michigan every
year. It’s such a beautiful place - especially Up North in Petoskey.
We plan on having a good time.”

Aaron White/Blue Stone Project will be performing at the Odawa Casino
on June 22 at 7 p.m. For additional info, visit www.odawacasino.com or
call
877-442-6464 (toll free) or locally at 231-439-6100.  For more info on
Aaron White, visit www.whistlingwind.com; for more info on The Blue
Stone Project, visit
www.myspace.com/bluestoneproject.

 
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