Biography of James Greeley
As a Native American, he identifies strongly with his Mother's Hopi ties. He admires Hopi resistance to European assimilation and feels a strong affinity to one of the legendary forefathers, the flutist Kokopelli, whose image is found in 3000 year old petroglyphs.
It is said the presence of Kokopelli, a symbol of fertility and abundance, can be felt when life comes forth. The notes that flow from James' flute, evoking timeless themes of earth and man, could well be those of his ancestor, so universal are they in their call to advocate spirituality and serenity.
years ago (1996), James did not feel this call. He planned to write - stories or poetry. But when he accepted a flute from his uncle, Charles Littleleaf, he found his life. He admits to initial frustration as his efforts were rewarded only with unharmonious "cracks". He felt "no spiritual connection" to the instrument. That came on the third day. From that moment on, he has been 'one' with the flute.
He realized that his talent brought spiritual solace, not only to himself, but others as well. This was displayed when he was asked to perform at the funeral of a friend's grandfather. As he began an unrehearsed, spontaneous composition, he instinctively knew where its beginning, its middle and its ending were. He was honored to learn that his music comforted mourners as they released the spirit of their loved one on the ethereal notes of his flute.
His music continues to be unplanned; neither written nor rehearsed. As sparse and elemental as the poetry he once planned to write. Listen well, for you will not hear the same piece repeated. The music comes from his soul and the inspiration of the moment. As a fellow artist once advised, "Don't play like anyone else. Play from your heart."
As he reflects on the path to his calling, he cites a defining moment - a 1991 motorcycle accident. When he regained consciousness, he opened his eyes and saw the three stars in the belt of the Constellation Orion. Certain that he had been spared to do something specific with his life, he didn't find the flute for another six years. However the moment he connected with it, he recalled the stars and the certainty they inspired. "Was I here to share music?" The answer to his own question is a resounding, "Yes."