(Cherokee for "Welcome")
Osiyo (Cherokee for
Welcome to the cyberspace home of Turtle Mound
Flutes. Native American flutes sing a soothing, meditative song that many believe has a healing
power. Turtle Mound
Flutes shares this belief and promotes the making, playing, and
listening to these wonderful instruments.
Let me walk you through what you will find at this site...
We craft high quality wooden flutes in the Native American style, each
themed with images of an animal. In tribute to my Cherokee heritage, I give each
flute the Cherokee name for its animal. Check out our most recently made flutes
on our Flutes For Sale page, and
earlier examples on our More Flutes
As the popularity of our flutes has
grown, so have been the orders for custom flutes. If you can envision a theme
for your special flute, let's talk about making it a reality. See examples of
our custom work on our Custom Flutes
Performer Series Flutes
From our earliest flutes, we have focused on our animal and custom
themed flutes, described above. When Johnny
Kee emerged and needed flutes in keys he didn't have for
the flute solos and duets on his recordings (see below), we made him our
standard flute, but without the carvings and artwork.
It turned out that other flute enthusiasts familiar with our flutes
were also interested in a Turtle Mounds
Flutes quality flute without the artwork for a lower
price. The first batch quickly sold. Thus was born the Johnny
Kee Performer Series flutes. These are made with the same
care and attention to detail as our themed flutes, which are made
together in common batches. These are not inferior "student"
or "beginner" flutes, but of the quality expected by
performers for studio or stage.
In addition to our
wooden flutes, we also make a more rugged version of
this style flute that we call our Knock-About
Flutes. These use a heavier gauge of PVC than most similar flutes
and have the sound mechanism crafted in the same manner as with our wooden
flutes. This produces a sound that more closely resembles that of wooden flutes
than most other PVC flutes on the market.
In addition to providing a lower cost option for the first-time flute
buyer, many of our knock-about flutes are bought by experienced players
to have an extremely durable flute to keep in their cars, throw in their
suitcase for travel, take back-packing, or just knock-about with.
In 2014 we added
bigger bore flutes in the lower, more mellow keys of F, E, and E♭
to our long standing A, G, and F# flutes. We can also make the slightly
higher pitched B and B♭ flutes with the same bore diameter as the
A flutes. Check them all out on our Knock-About
The most recent addition to the Turtle
Mound Flutes lineup of musical instruments incorporating our pyrographic (wood-burning) artwork
is our line of guitars. Our guitars are carefully assembled and
set up for easy playing in our facilities, and incorporate electronic
components so that they may be played through an amplifier for larger
Currently, our sole guitar model is our hybrid classical /
electric guitar, ideal for accompanying the Native American flute in duo
arrangements or in larger groups. These guitars begin with the basic
nylon-stringed classical guitar and add features, like strap buttons and
fret markers, making them easy to adapt to by steel-string guitar
players. The softer, more mellow sounds of the nylon strings are ideal
for accompanying Native American style flutes. Click
here to learn more about our nylon-string guitars.
These instruments feature the same beautiful artwork as on our Native American style
flutes, with either Nature-Themed or Patriot-Theme images .
Check them out on our Guitars
Johnny Kee CDs
Our flute maker's alter-ego, Johnny
Kee, now has 2 CDs available. The vocals on each album are
accompanied by instruments including guitars, banjo, autoharp, and
percussion. Each song on both of these CDs features at least one flute
solo or duet. The flutes used on these albums were made by Turtle Mound Flutes.
The first had national and personal history.
The album, called Echoes From the Trail, comprises 12 songs from the Cherokee
Hymn Book (the first book published in the Cherokee syllabary back
in 1829) in memory of the tragic Cherokee Trail of Tears (1838-1839).
The vocals on this CD are all sung in Cherokee.
The second takes Johnny Kee back to his folk music roots in the
so-called "folk music revival" of the late '50s and early
'60s. The album is called Johnny Kee, Storyteller, consisting of
12 of Johnny's favorite old folk and gospel songs that tell a story.
Featured on this CD is Johnny's original song, called The Great
Galveston Storm telling the hurricane that hit Galveston, Texas on
September 8, 1900, killing 8000 people.
Click here to go
directly to Johnny Kee's web page to learn all about these CDs, including
60-second samples and back stories on each of the songs on them. That
page also includes information on ordering your copies.
Flute & Guitar Songbooks
Our first songbook for the Native American flute, A
Song A Week for the Native American Flute & Accompanying Guitar
features 52 time-honored, public domain songs in symbolic
"flutie" tablature under guitar chord symbols. (All songs also
include the lyrics for sing-alongs.) The flute and guitar play together
beautifully and this book not only provides the tablature for many songs
that the flute player is probably already familiar with, but also shows
how chorded instruments can be played to accompanying the flute.
This songbook is accompanied by a pair of companion audio CDs. Each
of the songs in the book has 3 tracks on a CD: one with the flute and
guitar parts played together, and one track for each of the instruments
by itself. Not only may the solo instrument tracks be used to learn that
instrument's part, but the other may be used for accompaniment.
Visit our Songbook
page for a more detailed description of this book, including a PDF
excerpt from the book to check it out.
Also visit our Legends page for some interesting
myths and legends surrounding the Native American Flute. In particular, enjoy
the beautiful painting of the woodpecker by our dear friend, Dr. Frances Rinaldi,
that illustrates the Legend of the First Flute.
Also visit our Extras page,
where our friends have sent us poems and such for us to share with you. Please
visit it and enjoy the beauty to be found there. A recent addition to this page
is the beautiful artwork of our dear friend, Joyce Bugaiski.
See Who's Playing Our
Our Turtle Mound Flutes
instruments have found their way into the hands of some outstanding musicians.
Below are some of them:
Jan with John (the flute maker) at the 2008 Oklahoma Flute Festival
Jan's soundtrack CD, featuring a song
on her Turtle Mound Flutes
Immediately captivating, Jan's soulful eloquence transports
listeners to an inner tranquil state, a journey of
imagination and healing that endures far beyond the
Seiden’s evocative artistry on flutes from the
ancient Anasazi people and other more contemporary
indigenous nations flow with themes of nature and global
for the 2009 Native American Music Award (NAMA), 2-time
nominee for the Indian Summer Music
Awards, a 2006
recipient of an Individual Artist Award from the
Maryland State Arts Council, and national First place
winner of the 2002 Musical Echoes Native American flute
competition, Seiden has performed at the Smithsonian's
National Museum of the American Indian and many other
concert stages across the U.S., both as a solo artist and
sharing stages with numerous Grammy-winners.
Ms. Seiden has presented at numerous federal
agencies, including the U.S. EPA, USDA, and Dept. of
Justice DEA where she was keynote speaker. Ms. Seiden’s music carries messages of global
unity, peace and personal empowerment to international
humanitarian conferences and indigenous gatherings
throughout the U.S. and Canada.
appeared on CNN Headline News / Comcast and on Maryland
Public TV for her healing work with the flute as
presented at national medical and environmental health
conferences and various hospital patient groups at
Johns Hopkins Hospital
and the Muscular Dystrophy Association, among others.
Her work with Washington DC inner city youth was funded by a grant in 2005 from the
National Endowment for the Arts and Washington DC
Seiden is Composer, Recording Artist, Engineer and
Producer of the soundtrack for the Chickasaw Indian
play, Te Ata. Funding for Ms. Seiden's work was provided by the Ford
Foundation in partnership with the Smithsonian's
National Museum of the American Indian and award-winning
Chickasaw playwright JudyLee Oliva. Te
Ata’s 2012 season includes performances at
Oklahoma City University and the Smithsonian’s NMAI.
One of the tracks on the Te
Ata soundtrack features the Turtle
Mound Flutes red cedar Tsulasgi
("alligator") flute in the key of E pictured
with Jan in the photo to the left.
For more information on Jan Seiden please visit:
Billy Whitefox with John (the flute maker) playing the brother Turtle
Mound Flute Uktena flutes at the 2012 Native Rhythms
Whitefox Stall is a Native American of the
Southeastern Muskogee Creeks. As a tribal dancer in
men's traditional dance Billy won many awards. He then began teaching tribal
dance to youth and in 1985, was gifted his first flute
by a student's father. It was a cedar flute given to
him by Quana Parker, Jr., and of course this changed his
life. With his interest now
focused on tribal flute music, he sought knowledge from
his Uncle Clyde concerning rivercane flutes.
He played his Native
American Flute Music and made his Old-Style Rivercane
Flutes for the next few years, until in 1998 he released
his first professional CD, "Sacred
Billy was made Vice-Chief
of the Red Heart Clan of Alabama in 2003, a significant
event and great honor in his life. In 2009, Billy was asked to
join the Southeastern Elders Council and was
re-appointed by Governor Crist to his 3rd consecutive
term as a Florida State Commissioner on Human Relations.
In 2005 Billy was
Flutist of the Year, winning that year's Native American
Music Award or NAMA with the release of his second disk,
entitled "When the Wind
Billy shares his
Creek ancestry through international recordings of
Native American flute music and storytelling. He enjoys
touring the country sharing his music and stories of his
heritage. Billy Whitefox is also a national champion
Flute Maker, well known for his old-style techniques in
making rivercane flutes.
Annette with her custom "Painted Raven" guitar from Turtle
Mound Flutes at the 2011 Green Frog Moon Festival in
Drawing their inspiration from Mother
Earth, Native culture, nature and wildlife, and
combining the ancient Native American flute with today's
modern instruments, is what creates the signature sound
of Painted Raven, the Native American flute and
guitar duo of Annette Abbondanza and Holly Harris.
Annette Abbondanza, self
taught on guitar, keyboards, bass, drums, and several
other instruments, has performed at many festivals,
concerts and benefits across the country, while devoting
most of her musical career to furthering the efforts of
various charitable organizations, including Native
American, social, environmental, and wildlife causes.
Annette draws her songwriting inspiration from
her love and respect for the earth and all living
creatures. She has shared
the stage with many folk music legends, including Tom
Paxton for the live broadcast of the public radio
production “The Chords are Stacked” at the historic
Hershey Theatre. Annette
is from Pennsylvania but currently resides in Florida.
Painted Raven has released
nine CDs to date, all original, instrumental songs
featuring Native flutes, guitars, keyboards, ethnic
percussion instruments and drums. Their 2017 CD
"Crossroads" won 2 Indian Summer Music
Awards, and their current CD "Medicine Wheel -
Prayers of the Four Directions" has 8 Indian
Summer Music Award nominations.
information about Painted Raven is available online at: www.painted-raven.com
Here Mark is playing his red cedar Daksi ("turtle") flute
from Turtle Mound Flutes at
the 2012 Silverhawk Flute Festival at Withlacoochee River Park, Florida
Mark McGourley is a seasoned performer and multi-instrumentalist with over 25 years of professional experience. He started his career performing bass guitar, keyboards and lead vocals in a variety of cover bands throughout the Tampa Bay area. For the past 15 years he has focused more on his acoustic guitar and vocal abilities and has become a
solid solo act performing at the top venues along the Suncoast beaches.
More than 20 years ago Mark's mother gifted him his first Native American flute and he has been playing and composing on it ever since. He has written several hundred tunes largely inspired by nature and many of these peaceful songs are based on melodies created with the NA flute. His original performances feature selections which are sure to soothe the soul from his debut CD titled
Dance" as well as tunes from his upcoming second album focusing on NA flute, guitar and percussion.
In 2009, Mark performed as guitarist with world premier NA flutist R. Carlos Nakai and multi-Grammy nominee world percussionist Will
Clipman. Over the past several years Mark has performed at several NA flute festivals and events in the U.S. and his performance of “Kokopelli's Dance” is featured on the “Live from the 2010 Native Rhythms Festival” compilation CD along with many of the world’s top NA flute artists.
He was selected and performed at the 2012 INAFA Convention where he premiered his
"Universe Dance Visual
Concert" and officially released his debut CD. He also launched his first tour of the midwest to promote this powerful live show. The studio version of his music synchronized to his nature video is
available on DVD and his second CD "Celestial Spirits" was
released in 2013.
For more more information and audio-visual demos please visit Mark’s website at
you're in the Central Florida area, stop by and visit us at the Indian
River Flute Circle. We meet the 2nd Tuesday of each
month, between 6:00 and 8:00 in the evening, at the Central Brevard
Forrest Ave., northeast of S.R.520 and U.S.1) in Cocoa, FL.
The circle also offers free performances at the Enchanted Forest
Sanctuary in Titusville on the last Saturday of January, April, July,
and October (normally at 10AM).
For more info, visit us at:
or contact Laura Clark at 321-268-5473.
Our events are informal and encourage, but do not require,
participation from anyone interested in sharing, playing, learning more
about, or just listening to Native American style flutes.
We hope you will visit these pages often, as we are constantly adding new
Wado (Cherokee for "Thank You").