Clarence Clearwater

Clarence Clearwater

 Williams, Arizona, USA
BandFolkAcoustic

Clarence Clearwater's spellbinding style blends traditional Navajo songs within a contemporary, often rockin' format. His songs are cross-cultural and cross-generational including 6 languages and 6 Native dialects. A sound you've never heard before, but it will be on your ipod as soon as you do.

Biography

My music is a development of traditional themes within a contemporary format. I do not write songs. They are given to me as a gift from the Great Spirit, a Higher Power, The Universe. Music is a means for me to convey ideas of my spirituality, which has its basis in both traditional and Christian ideologies.

My songs have been created in so many different ways. At times it just takes a moment. At other times it has taken years to develop a theme. My songs are usually written around certain aspects of Navajo spirituality such as the Four Sacred Mountains, The Wind Spirit and the elements that create our environment. Some of my songs also address the repression and oppression of Native Peoples.

Music started for me very early in life. The technical aspects of the music came through learning at school. I played the trumpet at the age of eight and then progressed to other wind instruments and percussive instruments. By the time I had completed my secondary education I was fairly well versed in reading, writing and transposing music as well.

There are healing aspects in my music. The universe, as I understand it, is balanced and this balance strives to exist in each one of us. Often times the upsetting of this balance creates conflict internally and is reflected externally through our actions. It is my hope that my music will soothe the confused soul and create new enlightenment for those who seek it.

Clarence Toledo, Jr. (DBA Clarence Clearwater)

Born on August 15, 1949 in Rehoboth, New Mexico, the middle of three children born to Nina Pinto Toledo and Clarence Toledo, Sr. Clarence enjoyed a happy, family oriented childhood. His eldest sister, Kathryn Manuelito, resides in Tempe, Arizona. His younger sister, Eulynda Toledo-Benallie, lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Both sisters have doctorate degrees in education.

At the age of six, Clarence was enrolled in a Christian Reformed Protestant Mission School in Rehoboth where he spent eleven years. He graduated from Gallup High School in Gallup, New Mexico. While there he had the distinctions of being the Boys State Representative and Rockefeller Foundation Scholar. He was active in chorus and band activities including All State Band and Chorus throughout his high school years.

Toledo attended Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, University of New Mexico at Albuquerque and the University of Oklahoma at Norman. After visiting New York City Clarence relocated there and joined a funk band called Angelique and the Third World. He then moved on to New Jersey and played bass guitar with a rock and roll band called Ruby and the Dykes. He then became acquainted with the "Native American Theater Ensemble" in New York City and filled the roles of singer/songwriter and musician.

Eventually all of this led Toledo back to his origins. In 1981 he moved back to the Navajo Land in order to gain a better understanding of his people and their traditions. It was only then that he learned to speak his native tongue and to truly understand certain elements of his heritage.

Clarence Toledo is the father of four children. His eldest son is Adakai, his daughters are Summer and Fashawna, and his youngest son is Dylan. He also has eight grandchildren. He resides with his partner, Kat in Williams, Arizona.

Lyrics

Leaving at High Noon

Written By: C Toledo

Girl, tomorrow at high noon I am leaving and you'll be watching me go. Girl, tomorrow at high noon I will be leaving and you will be overcome with grief.

Ayo I noosh nii (I love you)

Written By: C Toledo

When ever I'm away from you it’s the little things you say and do that keep me thinking only of you, I love you dear. Whenever I am on the road, just thoughts of you ease my load and I'll be coming home to you, I love you dear.

Love Song

Written By: C Toledo

Some people go through life never knowing why they're here; they never meant some one like you. I was born to love you to the day that I die.

Let’s Get It Together (Anjelika’s song)

Written By: C Toledo

Our beautiful world has begun to shake so let's get it together. To some it's a scene that would never end, or so they believe. But we have encountered a permanent thing and it's so hard to take. So let's get together hand in hand and it will make us feel better. The hardships in life are many to come that's just the way time takes it. But if we go through this together as one, we'll be better for it. So let's get together hand in hand, it will make us feel better. Our beautiful world has begun to shake, so let's get it together.

Why Don’t You Look (At Me)

Written By: C Toledo

(Sung in Navajo) I’m having trouble with my ex. Last summer at the dance you had your arms around me and you told me you loved me. But now when I see you, you don’t even look at me. Why? And now that I have a girlfriend you’re always looking at me.

Discography

Grey Boy Has Come, LP
Leaving at High Noon, LP
Bobcat's Foot is Hurting, LP
...but I've got a job. LP
One Love, LP
Songs of the Season, LP
All CDs have samples of all songs on the website.

Set List

Opens with Navajo songs, crosses into some english, then into songs in foreign languages. I usually do around 11 songs, and last about 35-40 min. A typical set comprises the CD "...but I've got a job", as this is the set I perform on the Grand Canyon railway. Iv'e been known to go several hours without a break and without repeats.