In 2011 Gary Stroutsos worked with Julie Cajune at the HeartLines Center for American Indian Policy and Applied Research - Salish Kootenai College with the support of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to produce "Remembering the Songs," a CD and DVD collection of traditional Native American music. This project sprang, in part, from Stroutsos own path after he gave up a career as an Afro-Cuban jazz band leader in 1995 to pursue the simple and incredibly pure sound of the Native American flute. That path led him from the banks of the Missouri River to the red rocks of the Southwest. Along the way elders asked him to preserve their songs through the flute and implored him to play them often, lest their songs be forgotten. Remembering the Songs reflects time spent with friend and mentor Paul Thompson, Navajo flute maker, Fernando Cecillion, Zuni song keeper, and Lucy Vandenburg, daughter of Jerome Vandenburg one of the last Salish men who made and played traditional flutes.
Gary Stroutsos has brought a rare gift to the world with his music. With influences spanning rock, jazz, Latin, West African, Indian, Zen, in addition to his work with American Indian cultures throughout the West, he has consistently translated world music into music of the heart. He has more than 45 recordings to his credit, plus the sound tracks of several films including the Ken Burns PBS documentary, Lewis and Clark: The Journey of the Corps of Discovery and the HeartLines Center for American Indian Policy and Applied Research -Remembering the Songs project. Never satisfied to rest on his accomplishments, Gary took up the classical Chinese xiao and dize, bamboo flutes rarely heard outside of the Far East. Not long after, one classical master of these flutes, named Gary the best contemporary player in the world. Gary has performed throughout North America and in the Far East. He has played at the White House for President Clinton, and he is a frequent head-liner and master-of-ceremonies at flute festivals throughout the country.
Village Books will have copies of Gary's CDs and DVD available at the event.