Native American Mary Youngblood , half Seminole and half Aleut, is not only the first woman to professionally record the Native American Flute, but also the first woman to win not just one, but two Grammy Awards for “Best Native American Music Album”.
Sacred Place – A Mary Youngblood Collection, was released late 2008. A compilation of some of her finest songs, this CD plays like a gentle legend: timeless, inspiring, and soul-soothing. The selections emphasize her serene, sometimes melancholy flute playing against sparse backdrops. She does flirt with rhythmic textures on “Yuba” and “Wind Whispers,” and guitar weaves its way through much of the album. But Youngblood’s confident flute playing has enough presence to make you push the other elements to the background and focus solely on her harmonies.
Mary’s amazing talent brings a twist to Native Melodies through the influence of her favorite American music styles, Classical and Blues. In fact, Dirty Linen Magazine stated, “Mary Youngblood brings a fresh perspective to original melodies.”
In addition to Mary’s two Grammy Awards and three nominations (the second was for her 2007 album, “Dance with the Wind,” she was the first woman to win ‘Flutist of the Year’ in both 1999 and 2000. She also won ‘Best Female Artist’ in 2000 at the Native American Music Awards (NAMMYS).
Mary started piano lessons at age six, violin at eight, classical flute and guitar at ten. As an adult, when Mary received her first wooden Native flute, she was driven to pursue the mastery of this instrument so tied to her own heritage.
Now years later with five unique and accomplished albums under her belt, Mary owns over 250 hand carved Native American Style flutes in her collection and uses a wide variety of them throughout every one of her albums. Each of her flutes is masterfully crafted from different types of wood, bringing a unique sound and texture to each song.
When Mary performs, it takes only a moment to acknowledge the profound spirituality of the sacred Native American flute and its historical courtship and wooing attributes. Her haunting music is much more than a song … it’s liquid poetry, a prayer.
Mary Youngblood takes little credit for the intense emotions people feel when they listen to her music. “I am only a vessel between Creator and this instrument. As a sculptor would tell you, the clay has a spirit of its own and decides what it will become; so it is with the flute. These songs came from those who walked before me.”