The music comes from White Feather's flute, but he says in reality he is "channeling" the music of his Native American ancestors. He has never taken flute lessons, nor does he perform the published work of others.
White Feather, a native of the Powhatan Renape Nation, is an accomplished musician who will perform Native American flute music Friday night and Sunday in the "Menifee's Got Talent" show, sponsored by Arts Council Menifee. Different groups of local residents will perform in the Friday and Sunday sessions at Kay Ceniceros Center, but White Feather will entertain the crowd in both programs.
The Sun City resident has performed at dozens of venues throughout Southern California since discovering his special gift nine years ago. It was then, at age 40, that White Feather began to learn more about his Native American heritage and the special message he was meant to deliver to others.
At a Pow Wow (a Native American gathering), White Feather picked up a flute and found he could perform beautiful music, without really knowing how he was doing it. That's when an old Medicine Man from the local tribe, listening to the peaceful melody, told White Feather he was channeling the music of ancient Native American flute players.
"He told me I played very similar to the music of my grandfather and uncles," White Feather said. "He said he hadn't heard that ancient sound in many years. I was being guided by ancient ancestors."
This realization helped White Feather develop his beliefs in the power of spiritual healing and love for all. Raised as a black American, he eventually learned from his mother that his heritage was really with the Powhatan Nation. He has since traced his lineage back to King Powhatan, father of Princess Pocahontas, in pre-colonial Virginia in the 1600s.
His family moved from New Jersey, home of most modern-day Powhatan tribe members, to Pomona in 1969, when he was a young boy. White Feather remembers those days fondly and began to develop his love and respect for the beauty of nature then.
"Pomona was a beautiful town in 1969," he recalled. "We were still drinking well water. The skies were blue. I would climb to the top of a mountain and fly homemade kites.
"I can remember sitting with my father on our back wall, watching the sunset without saying a word. Later, my father told me those were the most special of all moments."
In the early 1980s, while living in Orange County, White Feather met his bride to be, Dyandra Maddox. They were married in 1988 and later moved to the Menifee Valley. She is also his manager, coordinating his many personal appearances as a solo performer, a motivational speaker, and as part of the group The Spiritual Flute of White Feather, where he is accompanied by his brother, Otik.
White Feather's incredible music talent is not the result of hours of practice. It comes to him through spiritual channels at a moment's notice, he says.
"I don't hardly pick up a flute except when I'm performing," said White Feather. "It's kind of amazing. I close my eyes and I hear a voice telling me, 'Blow, White Feather.' "
Dyandra explains that the "Old Ones" do the rest.
"The Old Ones keep the tunes in their head, and they guide his fingers," she said.
Listening to this inspired music is a unique experience -- one those attending "Menifee's Got Talent" will get to do for themselves this weekend.
"Menifee's Got Talent"
Kay Ceniceros Center
Newport Road and Evans Road
Friday, 6:30 p.m.
Sunday, 2 p.m.
Tickets: $10 at the door