Native Rhythms Festival, Melbourne, Florida

Once again November is the time for Native Rhythms Festival which is an exceptional Native American Flute Festival which is held at Wickham Park in Melbourne, Florida. I decided to attend again this year. It is their 10th anniversary and I think I have been to about 7 of them. Check out their website to read about the extraordinary performers and vendors.

I took numerous photos and posted the photos in an album. The lighting at night makes it difficult for me to get pictures with the actual colors because colored lights are used on the stage.

I’m glad I went because I got to see many of the vendors that are my friends and I get to help in their booths occasionally. I also love to watch the performers, several of whom are people I have heard and known over the years. This year, I did get to meet some new performers and I am so glad I met them. Shelley Morningsong and her husband Fabian Fontenelle were incredible. Shelley has the most pleasing and interesting voice and Fabian performed songs and dances that were centuries old. He had permission from his tribe to perform them. I was fortunate to be able to have some time to visit with them in their booth when they were not performing. Shelley and Fabian are so warm and they love talking with the people who stop by their booth, and I can tell they thoroughly enjoy performing and it’s evident how much they love each other.

Other performers I have seen before have new music they create and they include it in their performances. This year the weather cooperated and it was clear skies and sunny, and occasional cloud cover. Last year it rained really hard all weekend and we were sitting watching the performances using umbrellas. So, it was nice to have pleasant weather this year.

One of the workshops was on the Navajo Codetalkers. It was very interesting to hear the story behind these special Native Americans who helped the United States win the war and they were not allowed to tell anyone about it for about 40 years. Finally, the men involved were recognized, sadly many had died before they received the much earned recognition.

My friend Sandie Buttry creates the most unusual pieces of artwork. I am continually amazed at the items she puts together to create her magical pieces. She gave me permission to take pictures and post them on my website. Also, there was a man who had a booth selling his shirts and he painted his entire van with murals. He gave me permission to take pictures too. He said it took him an entire weekend to paint the van.


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