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Charles Martinez to perform at Art in the Garden

Native American flute player Charles Martinez will perform at the third annual Art in the Garden Festival on Saturday, Aug. 21, from 3 to 7 p.m., at the Pagosa Springs property of Maryse and Werner Buck, in Continental Estates, off of U.S. 84. Charles will provide one of eight live musical performances, adding to the ambiance of this year’s event.

Charles Martinez has lived in Pagosa Springs his entire life, and has been performing professionally for over 10 years. His music is representative of his Jicarilla Apache and Navajo heritage. He makes his flutes and composes all of his music. Charles has had no formal music training, and began playing as therapy while recovering from a serious illness.

Charles plays the Plains style, Native American flute that was first used as a courting instrument. Each flute is unique, and created by the arm, hand, and thumb measurements of its maker.

After completion, every flute has a unique “voice,” or sound. Charles has made flutes using juniper, aspen, aromatic red cedar, and other types of wood. The wood contributes to the uniqueness of each flute he makes.

Charles does not use sheet music when he composes or performs. A melody will come to him, then he will work to produce it on one of his flutes. A song may start as a short “sound bit,” but more notes will come as he practices, until the entire song is complete. He plays it over until the fingering becomes automatic. The inspiration comes from sounds in nature and from within his spirit. He can also compose a song by using a fingering diagram to record the finger positions, but more often his music comes from his spirit.

Charles has performed at events throughout the Four Corners, and can be seen every month during the summer at the Full Moon programs at Chimney Rock Archeological Area. The visitors who attend each month are captivated by his tranquil tunes that convey a calm sense of wonder and closeness to the earth as they watch the moon rise over the horizon. Though his music is traditional, it also relates to audiences today. Charles feels it is important to balance the past with modern life. He also has his own sound studio where he produces CDs, which are sold at Chimney Rock, and will be available at Art in the Garden.

The Art in the Garden Festival is a community event of fine art, live music, and gourmet food in a garden setting. The main purpose is to raise funds for those in need in Archuleta County, and to provide a wonderful afternoon showcasing local and regional talent. All net proceeds, including 30 percent of fine art and music CD sales, will be donated.

Tickets are available at the Pagosa Springs Area Chamber of Commerce, Nello’s and Community United Methodist Church. Cost is $45 for an individual ticket, or $40 each for a group of two or more.

Everyone is invited to experience this enjoyable event of art, music and food.

For more information visit the website at www.PagosaArtintheGarden.com.