John Sarantos invited to emcee and perform Live In Concert at the 2nd Annual World Flute Fest Concert in New York City's CARNEGIE HALL.
Other featured performers include: Flutists: Marco Granados, Carol Alban, Robert Dick, Bassam Saba, James "Nyoraku" Schlefer, Skip Healy, Nancy Tyler, Ann Licater and Grammy-nominated pianists Taylor Eigsti, and Matt Herskowitz, guitarist Bert Lams (of the California Guitar Trio), bassist Harish Raghavan, didjeridoo player Paradiso, Jazz vocalist Alvenson Moore, Soprano Jacquelyn Familant and others.
2008 Indian Summer Music Awards Nominee
BEST ALBUM: MONTANA CROSSINGS
Category: Native Spirit
Also, John Sarantos accepts ISMA invitation to perform Live In Concert with very special guest artists Jan Seiden and Redbelly (David Martinka).
Indian Summer Music Awards (ISMA) recognizes and promotes the very best in commercially released Native American music created by both established and emerging artists. Entries are judged by a panel of respected professionals from across the music and entertainment industries.
!!! Overwhelming Response To First Two New York Open Center Workshops Leads NYOC Officials To Schedule A Third and Fourth!!!
NIGHTDANCERS TO PRESENT THIRD WORKSHOP AT NEW YORK OPEN CENTER
Contemporary Native American Flute Music Duo NightDancers Set to Present their third "Learn To Play Native American Flute – For Healing and Inner Peace" Workshop at the New York Open Center. The Workshop is a weekly course scheduled to run 4 consecutive sessions, Tuesdays, September 16 - October 14, (9/16, 9/23, 10/07 & 10/14), 8:00pm – 10:00pm. Cost of the workshop is $120 for Open Center Members and $130 for non-members. Note: A high-quality $65 cedar flute will be available for $35 for registrants who pre-order one week before the class. There will be a Free Introductory Class on Tuesday, September 9, at 8:00pm. For workshop information, contact the New York Open Center directly at 212-219-2527 ext. 2.
NIGHTDANCERS TO PRESENT FOURTH WORKSHOP AT NEW YORK OPEN CENTER
Contemporary Native American Flute Music Duo NightDancers Set to Present their fourth "Learn To Play Native American Flute – For Healing and Inner Peace" Workshop at the New York Open Center. The Workshop is a weekly course scheduled to run 4 consecutive sessions, Tuesdays, January 13, 2009 - February 3, 2009 (01/13, 01/20, 01/27 & 02/03), 8:00pm – 10:00pm. Cost of the workshop is $120 for Open Center Members and $130 for non-members. Note: A high-quality $65 cedar flute will be available for $35 for registrants who pre-order one week before the class. There will be a Free Introductory Class on Tuesday, January 6, at 8:00pm. For workshop information, contact the New York Open Center directly at 212-219-2527 ext. 2.
MONTANA CROSSINGS - the debut studio recording from New York city based composer/flautists Gera Clark and John Sarantos is a well-crafted, melodic gem of an album featuring themes of exploration, transformation, interconnection and grace. Recorded at the world-famous AVATAR Studios in NYC by Jim Anderson, with mastering by Fred Kervorkian, CLARK and SARANTOS assembled a team which successfully captured the essence of NightDancers' vision. MONTANA CROSSINGS contains 15 instrumental tracks featuring twenty-five flutes representing eleven flute makers from coast-to-coast. No overdubbing or sound samplers were used on the recording. 10% of the sales of the physical cd will be used to buy flutes for Butch Hall Flutes for Cancer Patients.
GENRE: Native - New Age - World
FORMAT: Instrumental - Public Radio - Variety - World
MUSIC STYLE: Contemporary Native American Flute
STREET DATE: May 29, 2007
". . . NIGHTDANCERS have put together an unusual collection of music that is rarely heard . . . and have recaptured that soothing and mystical art and preserved it for eternity."
John Tenting - World Voice News
"I really liked your music and would love to have you at Kenny's."
Maria Kenny/Owner - the legendary Kenny's Castaways NYC
". . . Jethro Tull, eat your heart out -- there's a new flute-toting band in town."
Ben Johnson - Staten Island Advance Weekly Entertainment
". . . This CD is an extraordinary collection of smooth and beautiful melodies . . . Night Dancers Gera Clark and John Sarantos have created a wondrous gift of Native American flute music rarely heard played so beautifully."
Jesse Ramos - Official Publication of the International Native American Flute Association
"TAKING CONTEMPORARY NATIVE AMERICAN FLUTE MUSIC TO A NEW HIGH!" - NightDancers
CLARK and SARANTOS, known collectively as NightDancers, enjoy sharing instrumental flute music with a unique style that takes listeners on a musical journey . . . painting sound pictures with original contemporary Native American flute songs - successfully capturing the soothing, mystical and healing qualities which are the heart and soul of Native American flute music.
NightDancers - in their own words . . .
GERA CLARK: I grew up in a house full of music with my mother Muriel playing beautiful music on the piano and me trying to do the same. During this time my Aunt Ursula had tales of adventures and pictures of places out West from her trips. When I hit the age of travel, I exchanged my playing piano for a more portable instrument, a nickel silver-plated flute.
After many adventures and misadventures, I one day found myself about a hundred miles west of New York, standing outside a Tibetan Buddhist Temple, when suddenly I heard the most beautiful sound. Following the powerful, yet haunting sound, I found it emanating from a Native American flute, played by Ed Callshim (Ponca Sioux). After this experience, I finally found a flute of my own at the National Museum of the American Indian in New York.
Later, when traveling to Niagara Falls with my teacher Amy Lee (Iroquois), a deep desire to connect with my earlier travels in the Southwest was awakened. On one particular journey, I found myself retracing my steps of meeting a koshari many years ago and spending time exploring the canyons along the Rio Grande. Eventually I was led to the mountains and the Taos Pueblo, where I heard that haunting sound drifting through the air, and followed it to its source, a little adobe. Looking inside, I met a kind and talented gentleman, who encouraged me to play the native flute. That gentleman, unbeknownst to me at the time, is one of the finest Native American flute players, John Rainer Jr. (Taos/Creek). Leaving New Mexico with renewed faith, I was led, via The American Indian Community House in New York, to Franc Menusan (Muskogee Creek), who became my extremely patient mentor for several years.
On my birthday, I flew out to an R. Carlos Nakai (Navajo/Ute) concert with the San Francisco Symphony, where I learned about the Renaissance of the Native American Flute (RNAF) workshop in Montana. I came back to New York and booked myself a flight to Montana, which was where I met John Sarantos, and our musical partnership was born.
JOHN SARANTOS: All my life I wanted to be a musician. Even after my junior high drum instructor told me I had no rhythm and quit teaching me. Even after being inspired by a Jethro Tull concert only to be dropped by my silver flute instructor on the grounds of being tone deaf - a verdict reinforced by several singing instructors. I still did not give up my dream. I just gave up dreaming for a while.
When I was 45, my mother Demetra introduced me to Native American flute music. The next day, synchronicity struck when my friend Nick Stamas introduced me to the flute music of Coyote Oldman.
Synchronicity struck again in 1996 when I heard Peter Kater and R. Carlos Nakai in concert in Chicago where I learned about Renaissance of the Native American Flute (RNAF) in Montana. After gaining more information on the upcoming workshop by spending an hour on the phone with Penny Light, I turned down a free two week tour to Japan and found myself inside a tipi at RNAF. I have been attending RNAF for over ten years, first as a participant, then as a facilitator. It was there that I met my first two flute teachers, Ken Light and R. Carlos Nakai. My dreams were re-awakened.
Next, my flute journey led me to Eugene, Oregon where I met my flute mentor Charles Littleleaf (Warm Springs), who has shared many sacred places, wisdom, stories, laughter, and friendship with me.
I have been fortunate in my life to have shared my knowledge of the flute with over 1,000 people from coast-to-coast, in a variety of workshops, thanks to the encouragement and support of folks like Bill Tucker, Bob and June Picard, Susanne (Suz) Tarhay, Peg and David Hernandey, and Wayne McClesky.
At RNAF in 2005, I was fortunate to meet and play flutes with Gera Clark. Through the encouragement of Gera’s friend, Bob Hegler, we continued jamming together, often via speakerphones 1,000 miles apart. A year later we formed NightDancers.
Gera Clark: Composer/Flautist
John Sarantos: Composer/Flautist
MONTANA CROSSINGS (2007)
511 Avenue of the Americas, Suite 343
New York, NY 10011
NightDancers' Montana Crossings: Flute Music Of Transformation
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by Mark Kirby Monday, March 17, 2008 Whether it has to do with the philosophy of better living t...by Mark Kirby
Monday, March 17, 2008
Whether it has to do with the philosophy of better living through habit, thought or magical action, things that are associated with "New Age" are theoretically supposed to have some basis in spirituality. Yet much of this spiritually is lightly rooted in the shallows of corporate productivity techniques or power-of-positive-thinking type truisms with some pseudo eastern promises for dressing.
Then there is the New Age philosophy that harkens back to something ancient, even primordial. This is especially visible in the music. So much of what is called New Age music is made from artificial ingredients, from canned sounds created by synthesizers tuned and programmed for maximum vapidity; and voices, always the voices, high and breathy with a thin, grating tone that someone somewhere decided signified the celestial. But there are musicians who create spiritual and contemplative music based in the traditions and sounds of antiquity, from nations and cultures with long shadows such as Africa, China, Japan and India.
Riding on this track is the group NightDancers, a duo consisting of flautists Gera Clark and John Sarantos, who perform original songs based on the folkloric styles of several Native American tribes. The music on their CD Montana Crossings is both ethereal and earthy, reflecting the unitary, all-is-one world view common to Native American cosmology. The songs are mostly built on simple three to seven note motifs that go through different permutations. The flutes - NightDancers plays twenty-five different kinds of these wooden, handcrafted instruments - blend together and dance, their music resonating in what sounds like a valley high up in the mountains or a cathedral (kudos to engineer Jim Anderson of AVATAR Studios in NYC). The effect of the music is meditative and dreamy. The music itself is never static or boring; in fact its intricacies reveal themselves with repeated listening. The titles evoke, perhaps invoke, aspects of the natural and supernatural worlds, which many indigenous tribes say are one and the same.
The song titles and how the pieces are composed and arranged reflect this thinking. Musically these pieces evoke the objects and ideas behind the titles as well. The opening track "Spirit Winds" starts with soft, breathy tones that rise from silence in unison. Then one flute states a simple theme that is answered by a counter melody from the other flute; they go back and forth, each musical voice getting time and space alone while connecting with the other. The title track starts with bursts of fluttery, echoing sounds, followed by a long-toned plaintive melody calling to mind Montana’s terrain of mountains and wide-open plains. One characteristic element of all the songs is how the flutes will hit consonant harmonies that ring out dramatically, and dissonant unison lines that buzz gently yet also sooth in an odd sort of way.
On "Butterfly Dance" the flutes play lines that gently glide like the butterfly itself, answering and echoing each other in way that suggests the "round" form found in European folk and classical music. On "Turtle and Bird," NightDancers take evocation literally. One flute moves in long-toned, deliberately paced turtle lines while the other play’s light riffs that flit and hop like our aviary brethren would. As the piece continues, the unitary theme comes through as the two flutes move together, conversing in similar voices that stills maintain their original animal character. "Elk Medicine" is a gentle wail of pleading and prayer and is one of the strongest tracks on the record. It is also an example of healing music. The opening cry is answered by melodies that create a sense of quietude and peace. And healing.
Ms. Clark and Mr. Sarantos take the healing aspects of their music literally. Clark, a RN, has been teaching people how to play the flute for meditation and stress relief. She also started New York City's Miracle House Flute Circle where she works with cancer patients using music for healing. Sarantos teaches flute workshops all over the country.
Montana Crossings creates music that is relaxing and interesting, that can be played either as background or as an immediately engaging listen.
Sonicbids Artist Review Series #24 - NightDancers
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by John Tenting Tuesday, December 4, 2007 With the use of original contemporary Native American ...by John Tenting
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
With the use of original contemporary Native American flute songs, NIGHTDANCERS have put together an unusual collection of music that is rarely heard. History proves that the Native American culture used music as a way to produce healing qualities. With the debut release of, "Montana Crossings" Gera Clark and John Sarantos have recaptured that soothing and mystical art and preserved it for eternity. Using a collection of twenty-five flutes creates a combination of sounds that would otherwise be stale in comparison. On a special note, 10% of the physical sales of this cd will be donated to buy flutes for Butch Hall Flutes for Cancer Patients. This pair uses the tonal quality of each flute to harmonize with the other. The clarity and sound of the wood is amazing. This is a mood inducing, thought provoking collection of instrumental arrangements that create a relaxing sound to the ears. These songs were recorded impeccably at Avatar Studios in New York by Jim Anderson and mastered with that same attention to detail by, Fred Kervorkian. My words can not do justice to the feeling these recordings produce. Being part Native American myself, I felt connected to these songs and sounds. From the inventive, playful interaction of the instruments on "Turtle and Bird" to the solo flute sounds on the beginning of, "Windhorse".
A little NightDancer music
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by Ben Johnson Thursday, November 15, 2007 This may be the most unique CD release party we've ev...by Ben Johnson
Thursday, November 15, 2007
This may be the most unique CD release party we've ever written about.
Not because it's at the Every Thing Goes Book Cafe, or because it's free, though those little facts never hurt. No, this one's different because, instead of an indie rock band or rap artist, it's NightDancers: A Native-American flute music duo that rocks something like 25 different flutes and writes original, contemporary songs.
Jethro Tull, eat your heart out -- there's a new flute-toting band in town.
Actually, it was Tull who first inspired John Sarantos, a 59-year-old teacher who just moved to the city from Milwaukee, Wisc., to get into music.
"I was so impressed with Ian Anderson that I went out and bought a silver flute," says Sarantos. "But after two weeks, my instructor said I was tone deaf and wouldn't teach me anymore."
Messed up, right? That's OK, because Sarantos didn't give up, and years later, he became a connoisseur of Native American flutes, and eventually met up with Gera Clark, a resident of Silver Lake who was also getting into the traditional instrument.
"There's a few different stories that go with the instrument -- the woodpecker had made the holes, or the termites hollowed it out," says Clark. "I played silver flute for years, but when I picked up the Native-American flute, I had to sort of throw out everything I'd learned. You can get the tonalities of different animals out of it. It's a very relaxing instrument -- and it's also taught me to be an instrument of peace."
There are apparently two different kinds -- one is woodlands native, and one is plains native -- but with what Clark and Sarantos are calling a renaissance of the Native-American flute, there's been new innovations and explorations. Sarantos says that he's discovered only about five different early 1900s recordings of what may or may not be traditional Native-American flute music, but most of the NightDancers stuff is purely original.
By now, you know as well as we do that these two players -- who after meeting at a workshop in Montana began to jam together over speaker phone -- are serious about their craft. Clark could tell you the entire history of the flutes, which come in many different shapes, sizes, and lengths, and Sarantos, who describes the instrument as "very haunting," helps Clark lead regular flute circles and teaches the instrument.
The duo's record, "Montana Crossings," is filled with the duo's original music recorded at NYC's Avatar Studios by avant jazz guru Jim Anderson.
"We feel like a lot of the songs that come to us are channeled through us," says Sarantos. "With the CD, we had ideas of the beginning, middle and end, but we also improvised a lot of the melodies."
NightDancers play at 8 p.m. tomorrow at the ETG Book Cafe, 208 Bay St., Tompkinsville. Admission is free. For more information, call 718-447-8256, visit etgstores.com/bookcafe or nightdancersmusic.com.
Contact AWE music writer Ben Johnson at email@example.com or MySpace.com/statenislandrocks.
CD REVIEW: Montana Crossings by NightDancers
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(The Official Publication of the International Native American Flute Association) by Jesse Ramos ...(The Official Publication of the
International Native American Flute Association)
by Jesse Ramos
Listening to Night Dancers Gera Clark and John Sarantos play their flute duets is an evocative, healing and transporting experience. The titles of their selections along with their flute music bring the listener to Rocky Mountain Big Horn, where you soon are gazing at Bitterroot Sunrise mountain range, and then witnessing a Butterfly Dance. You are taken Into the Night by Spirit Winds where you fall into a Forest Dream. The titles are as evocative as the music they name. This CD is an extraordinary collection of smooth and beautiful melodies. Two flutes playing duets that soar, glide, dance and mystify. There have been scientific studies on how music can be healing, soothing and comforting to the soul. Montana Crossings posses all these properties and I predict word of mouth will make this CD one of the best selling flute compilations.
Whether you play this beautiful contemporary Native American flute music in the morning, mid day or evening you are magically transported to another time and space. I first played Montana Crossings early one morning and I was compelled to stop my morning musings and listen closely to the haunting melodies and I erroneously thought this is a great morning CD. A few days later I played it one evening and I thought these exquisite flute sounds are the perfect accompaniment to a day’s end, they usher in dusk and is the quintessential background music for a sun setting peacefully. Then one hot August afternoon I played it and I was an eagle, soaring through Montana’s skies with wings brushing mountains majesty. As you listen to this album you will grow to appreciate the different flute sounds, the subtleties, richness of soft notes, tender melodies, haunting whispers and sounds that skip through the air like tossed pebbles in a lake rippling into a hundred circles of flute sounds.
Night Dancers Gera Clark and John Sarantos have created a wondrous gift of Native American flute music rarely heard played so beautifully. Take the journey with this astonishing music.
Montana Crossings by NightDancers is available from CD Baby, Itunes, and Digstation.com.
NightDancers website: www.nightdancersmusic.com
Miracle House NYC Performance Thank You
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Marisa Maack Volunteer Coordinator Miracle House I just wanted to personally THANK YOU for taki...Marisa Maack
I just wanted to personally THANK YOU for taking the time and effort to come to the Miracle House apartments and teach and share the flute with our guests. I have gotten wonderful feedback and they are really looking forward to the next Circle.
Set list can be provided, but varies performance by performance. Includes originals:
Spirit Winds (5:38)
Forest Dreams (4:21)
Montana Crossings (5:41)
Butterfly Dance (3:54)
Full Moon Lake (3:08)
Elk Medicine (3:43)
Into The Night (4:13)
Jazzy Pueblo (3:10)
Summer Hummer (4:47)
Turtle And Bird (3:33)
Going-To-The-Sun Road (2:24)
Spring Thaw (4:45)
Rocky Mountain Big Horn (5:41)
Bitteroot Sunrise (3:28)
There are no upcoming dates at this time.