Live Climate, Avanti Consortium and Sedona Arts Academy collaborate to bring the performance by Micki Free, Commanche/Cherokee Native American, Grammy-award-winning, Native American Music Hall of Fame inductee and musician extraordinaire offering his Native American Flute music for healing, love and spirituality for the world.
Free’s performance is scheduled Friday May 7, 7-8:30 p.m. at Sedona Arts Academy at The Collective, 7000 SR 179, in the Village of Oak Creek.
Free is a mixed-blood Native American born in West Texas and moved to Germany soon afterward. He claims Irish, Comanche, and Cherokee descent.
His stepfather, a U.S. Army sergeant, was stationed in Germany, and Free was introduced to rock ‘n’ roll there as a child, when one of his five sisters received tickets to a Jimi Hendrix concert and took him along to the show.
“It just blew my mind”, Free remembered.
His family later moved to Illinois, where Free formed a rock band, Smokehouse. When he was 17, he was discovered by Gene Simmons of KISS, during a concert at which Smokehouse was the opening act for KISS, Ted Nugent, and REO Speedwagon.
After Simmons’ encouragement, Free joined Shalamar in 1984, just in time for the band’s big successes, including a #17 position in U.S. Top 20 in 1984 with “Dancing In The Sheets” from the Footloose soundtrack, and a Grammy for “Don’t Get Stopped In Beverly Hills” from the Beverly Hills Cop (1984) soundtrack in 1985.
With Shalamar, he was nominated for a Grammy three times.
After Shalamar, Free and Jean Beauvoir (of The Plasmatics) founded an AOR band, Crown of Thorns. Free later founded (and still tours with) The Micki Free Electric Blues Experience, with Jon Brant (formerly of Cheap Trick) on bass, and Curly Smith (formerly of Boston) on drums.
Recognition for his musical career after Shalamar came from the Native American Music Awards, where he won in the categories of Male Artist in 2002 and Pop Rock artist in 2004.
Micki Free has recorded with Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top and the DVD/CD/EP release Micki Free Live in Hyde Park featured Bill Wyman, formerly of The Rolling Stones.
In 2002, he was cast to play Tonto in a new production of The Lone Ranger.
Native Music Rocks is a music program created by Micki Free, designed to give Native American musicians an opportunity to tour alongside Micki and his band, American Horse Trio.
The band features Cindy Blackman-Santana, former drummer for Lenny Kravitz, and David Santos on bass. Free was Director of the Native Music Rocks program and went on to create the first Native American Record company, Native Music Rocks Records, distributed by Fontana/Universal Music. He was a recording artist on the label as well as Chief Creative officer/VP.
The event was sponsored by Hard Rock International and the Seminole Tribe of Florida.
Free was invited to appear as part of an all-star cast of Native American musicians, known as Native Rocks, at the American Indian Inaugural Ball in Arlington, Virginia, on the occasion of president Barack Obama’s inauguration.
He performed with Native Rocks at a related event at the Hard Rock Cafe prior to performing at the Inaugural Ball.
Tattoo Burn (2012), is a blues-rock style album written, produced, arranged, and performed by Free.