Greetings, One & All~

Spring is traditionally a time for seed-planting, and while the seeds planted in Willyworld are artistic rather than agricultural, they are nevertheless cultural. As we approach the vernal equinox, and a moment of balance and harmony in the solar year (not to mention two full moons, on the first and last days of this month) enjoy this broadcast* of artistic seeds in your March A 440 Newsletter!

*A 440 Fun Fact: the term broadcast originally referred to the ancient agricultural planting method of hand-casting seeds broadly over a patch of turned earth, with the hope that most if not all of them would germinate and take root.

MIM Drum

On February 16th, I delivered my prized Merced Maldonado powwow drum to the internationally-renowned Musical Instrument Museum, where it will be featured in the new Canyon Records exhibit, devoted to the history and artistry of the world’s foremost producer and distributor of Native American music. Canyon has been in continuous operation since 1951, and I have recorded thirty-five albums for the label since 1992, including the iconic Feather, Stone & Light with R. Carlos Nakai and William Eaton, on which this drum was featured, and which launched the legendary Wilde Boys trio.

Canyon Ranch

Having begun on February 28th, I’ll continue an adventure in a different kind of Canyon on March 1st & 2nd as I conduct Myths & Masks workshops from 7-9 PM each evening with guests at Tucson’s internationally-acclaimed wellness and personal transformation mecca Canyon Ranch.

Spring Concerts

I’m blessed with a rich and varied menu of Spring performances, featuring some of the most accomplished artists of my generation–and some of my favorite human beings on the planet–at some of the coolest venues in Arizona, California and Colorado. Don’t pinch me!

Friday March 23rd

  1. Carlos Nakai Quartet: Desert Botanical Garden, Phoenix AZ


Wednesday April 4th

  1. Carlos Nakai Quartet: Don Quixote’s International Music Hall, Felton CA

Thursday April 5th

  1. Carlos Nakai Quartet: Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse, Berkeley CA

Friday April 6th

  1. Carlos Nakai Quartet: Sebastopol Community Concert Center, Sebastopol CA

Sunday April 8th

  1. Carlos Nakai Quartet: Marin Center Showcase Theater, San Raphael CA

Wednesday April 11th

Leon Littlebird & Will Clipman: Musical Instrument Museum Theater, Phoenix AZ

Thursday April 12th

Leon Littlebird & Will Clipman: Monterey Court, Tucson AZ

Sunday April 29th

  1. Carlos Nakai & Will Clipman: Pueblo Grande Museum, Phoenix AZ

Saturday May 5th

Leon Littlebird & Will Clipman: Old Town Center for the Arts, Cottonwood AZ

Thursday May 10th

Leon Littlebird & Will Clipman: Casa DeVilbiss House Concert, Colorado Springs CO

Friday May 11th

Leon Littlebird & Will Clipman: Wildwood Sounds, Del Norte CO

Saturday May 12th

Leon Littlebird & Will Clipman: La Veta Mercantile, La Veta CO

Sunday May 13th

Leon Littlebird & Will Clipman: Steamplant Events Center, Salida CO

Saturday May 19th

  1. Carlos Nakai & Will Clipman: Shumei Institute, Crestone CO

Wednesday May 23rd

Leon Littlebird & Will Clipman: SMRF Benefit House Concert, Keystone CO

Friday May 25th

Leon Littlebird & Will Clipman: Tabor Opera House, Leadville CO


While I’m touring in NoCal, I’ll film a new segment of Theatre from the Ground Up, the Marin TV show produced by Lori Greenleaf, on Saturday April 7th. You may recall my previous segment a few years back: an interview with psychologist and shamanic healer Leslie Gray of the Woodfish Institute, which still stands as the definitive exegesis of my Myths & Masksphilosophy and practice. This new installment will focus on Planet of Percussion–which makes sense, since I’ll be touring with a van-load of pan-global drums!


Veterans’ Flutes

On Friday March 16th at 6:30 PM, my esteemed colleague R. Carlos Nakai will perform a fundraising benefit concert for veterans at the Berger Performing Arts Center. As a Navy veteran who served in Vietnam, and the foremost Native American flutist in the world, Flutes for Vets couldn’t have a better spokesperson or fundraising performer than RC.

Bubbling Tar

On March 20th I’ll record drum and percussion performances for the soundtrack of the movie Tar, a sci-fi horror thriller produced by Tim Nuttall, with a score composed by Conor Jones, and starring Timothy Bottoms and Graham Greene. Also featured on the soundtrack will be Yaqui-Apache vocalist and fellow Canyon Records artist Roman Orona.

Cheyenne Masks

The students at Cheyenne Traditional School elevated their creative work to a new level in this year’s Myths & Masks Artist-in-Residency, as evidenced by this group photo of Christen Anderson’s fourth grade class, and by the Poem of the Month that follows below.

Sonoran Stories

Ditto that for the historical fictions written by the fourth grade students at Sonoran Sky Schoolin this year’s Arizona Alive! Artist-in-Residency. Their epic creations are too long to be included here, but this snapshot of one group of storytellers from our culminating community showcase shows their pride of accomplishment.

Poem of the Month

I’ve never featured a poem other than my own as the Poem of the Month, but I can’t do better than this wonder-filled Mythic Persona Poem from this year’s Myths & Masks Artist-in-Residency at Cheyenne Traditional School. Out of the mouths of babes, right? Enjoy!



Guardian of the Waves


My name

is Evrak Ayerf,

the goddess of the sea.


I am as old

as the beginning of time,

yet as young

as the last salty breeze

across my shore.


I originated from God’s hands

billions of years ago,

and my purpose

is to bring life

with the rocking waters

of my ocean.


My eyes area as colorful

as the rarest of fishes

and my hair is smoother

than the tail of a dolphin.

Since my skin is shiny

like a clam’s pearl

and my eyelashes are longer

than a sea urchin’s spikes

I attract the prettiest

of creatures.

I have a brightly colored tail

Which helps me swim,

and strings of seaweed

slick on my cheeks.

Along my face,

there are sandy trails

that resemble the shore.


My voice is like a mermaid’s song

and it will put the sea

to sleep at night.

With my precious seashell flute,

my melody will call

to all of the ocean.


I live throughout

the Atlantic waters,

but I’d prefer to sleep

in large underwater volcanoes.

The warmth of the lava

will bubble around me,

helping me escape the cold sea.


My favorite meal to eat

is the crunchy shells

of the colorful seahorses’ eggs

after the babies are born.

To wash it down,

I drink the glowing liquid

of the midnight starfish.


All throughout the sea,

I will make sure all the creatures

are happy with the temperature

of the water.

I will check on the bay

every so often

to help the tide go up.

And lastly I will

attempt to prevent

the horrible pollution every day.


The fish that fill the ocean

respect me.

They love the care

that I give them

and my love of the sea.

I am their special

and unique mother.


I am destined

to have more work;

I’m guessing that soon

the sea’s population

will rise.

I am hoping

to get in touch

with the gods of the rivers,

if that would be possible.

But I’m happy

to help this world.


    ~by Freya Karve (fourth grade, Cheyenne Traditional School, 2018)



Photo of the Month

We’ve been blessed with multiple generations of a bobcat family in our twenty years here at Rancho Improvisoso, but this early morning visit from a mother and her yearling kitten together is a first, which Shery was quick enough on the shutter to capture on film. Meow!

Harmony and balance to one and all,

this Spring and throughout the year.