In 1990s, I was walking by a booth at the Mill Ave Arts Fair in Tempe, Arizona. A man in an art booth called out to me with a cedar flute held out in his hands saying, “You HAVE to learn how to play this flute! I am gifting this flute to you!” That moment began my almost 3 decades long love of playing cedar flutes.

I became friends with Stephen DeRuby and hand-painted a large ‘Love Flutes’ banner for him to use on his booths while selling flutes at art fairs.

When I first met Stephen, I was not a singer or musician. The Woodland flute in the key of ‘A’ that he gifted me led to drumming, drumming led to singing (and buying 2 more of his love flutes) and singing led me to playing guitar and other stringed instruments, and all of this led me into becoming a professional musician.

I wonder if Stephen could sense my musical future that inspired him to gift me with my first ‘A’ flute? … or was he planting the seed? . . . or both?

Thank you Stephen for your great inspiration and cosmic vision!

Happy Graduation Stephen! May you walk in beauty wherever you be!

December 26, 1948 – February 22, 2016

Stephen DeRuby’s NativeLoveFlutes.com website archived on the Wayback Machine on March 28, 2002.

Stephen DeRuby’s DeRuby.com website archived on the Wayback Machine on October 21, 2016.

Stephen DeRuby’s YouTube channel

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January 22, 2019