Native American Flutist Joseph FireCrow Dies

Award winning Native American flute player Joseph FireCrow died July 11 in his Winsted, Connecticut home as a result of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis – a condition that includes scarring in the lungs that makes it hard to breathe – at the age of 58. FireCrow’s wife was by his side at the time of his death.

FireCrow

The Award winning artist is a member of the Norther Cheyenne Nation. He did not begin making and playing the flute until he was 18 years old; but once he did, he not only played it, but made it sing. He didn’t just play the flute, he made them as well.

FireCrow once said in an interview that he was inspired by everyday life, traveling, his wife, his people, and his personal experiences.

He has performed with the Billings Symphony Orchestra, the Boise Philharmonic, and composer Jim Cockey. Documentary maker Ken Burns chose some of FireCrow’s music to include in the soundtrack for his production of “Lewis and Clark: The Journey of the Corps of Discovery”.

In 2000 FireCrow earned a Grammy nomination for the Best Native American Album. While he did not win his Grammy, he has won seven Native American Music Awards and a Native American Music Award Lifetime Achievement Award in 2016. He was a guest artist on the Grammy Award winning New Age album “Prayer for Compassion” by David Darling.

Born Joseph FireCrow Jr, he was one of 10 children to Elva Stands in Timber and Joseph FireCrow Sr. in Crow Agency, Montana and grew up on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation. As a child he would play the “drum” on his mother’s washtub but it was the flute where he found his life’s work. After graduating from high school in Idaho, he spent some time at Brigham Young University.

FireCrow is survived by his wife Joann, children – Brandon, Karrie, Joseph III, Damian, and Jared –, grandchildren – Dylan, Sylvia and Genevieve, and siblings – Josephine, Alvina, Ron, Jon and Ivan.

Joseph FireCrow discography:
“The Mist”
“Rising Bird”
“Fire Crow”
“Cheyenne Nation”
“Legend of the Warrior”
“Red Beads”
“Face the Music”
“Night Walk”


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