Fri February 13, 2009
Meet Arvel Bird, an award-winning Native American violinist.
By Rich Fisher
Tulsa, Oklahoma – Our guest today is Arvel Bird, an award-winning Native American violinist who plays several other instruments, too, including the flute and various drums. (He brought along his violin for some in-studio performance during today's program.) Bird had classical music training early on, then worked professionally in various bluegrass and country contexts, and about ten years ago decided to create and record his own music exclusively. He's playing today, tomorrow, and Sunday at the 23rd Annual Tulsa Indian Art Festival, which is happening at the Spirit Bank Event Center. (You can learn more about this festival at http://www.tulsaindianartfestival.com/.) As this personable musician tells host Rich Fisher --- indeed, Bird speaks freely and engagingly about his heritage, his past experience, and his ongoing journey as a creative person --- his mother was Native American and his father was Scottish. Both of these backgrounds figure heavily into his own compositions. Bird's newest CD is called "Tribal Music Suite: Journey of a Paiute --- Concerto for Violin and Native American Flute." It's an entertaining recording that has, interwoven into its musical mixture, Celtic, bluegrass, classical, American Indian, and modern cinematic strains. (Bird's website, by the way, is at http://arvelbird.com/.)