World’s Premier Native American flutist, R. Carlos Nakai and Award-Winning Yaqui classical guitarist Gabriel Ayala are putting on a benefit concert for Tucson’s homegrown conservation group, Sky Island Alliance. The concert will celebrate and Support Sky Island Alliance’s 20 years of protecting and restoring the treasured landscapes of the southwest. It’s an amazing opportunity to experience unforgettable pairing of these acclaimed musicians right here in Tucson. Get your tickets today!

11/11/11 – Friday, November 11, 2011

Reception begins at 6:30, concert to follow

at Grace St. Paul Episcopal Church
2331 E. Adams St. (near the Arizona Inn)

Cost: $65

Tickets can be purchased at, by calling Keri at 624-7080 x15 and other locations. Visit for more information.

R. CARLOS NAKAI, internationally renowned Native American flutist. Of Navajo‐Ute heritage, R. Carlos Nakai is the world’s premier performer of the Native American flute. Originally trained in classical trumpet and music theory, Nakai was given a traditional cedar wood flute as a gift and challenged to see what he could do with it. Since 1983, he has released over 35 albums on the Canyon label. In addition to his solo appearances throughout the United States, Europe, and Japan, Nakai has worked with guitarist William Eaton, flutist Paul Horn, composers James DeMars and Phillip Glass and various symphony orchestras.

While well‐grounded in the traditional uses of the flute, Nakai has explored new musical settings including new age, world‐beat jazz and classical. His cross‐cultural collaborations have included an album with the Wind Travelin’ Band, a Japanese folk ensemble and Tibetan flutist and singer Nawang Khechog on several productions including “In A Distant Place.” Nakai has earned two gold records for “Canyon Trilogy” and “Earth Spirit” and has received eight Grammy® nominations. Nakai’s career has been shaped by a desire to communicate a sense of Native American culture and society that transcends the common stereotypes presented in mass media.

GABRIEL AYALA Gabriel Ayala was just named Artist of the Year at the 2011 Native American Music Awards! A member of the Yaqui people of southern Arizona, Gabriel Ayala is at the forefront of a new generation of Native Americans making a career performing classical music (Guitar). Ayala performs regularly throughout the United States and has appeared at the Poway Center for Performing Arts, John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, National Museum for the American Indian, and Oscar Meyer Theater in Madison, Wisconsin. In 2010, Gabriel was honored to perform at the Musical Instrument Museum in a series called “Guitar Masters”.

He has been recognized by the former State of Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano, now Director of Homeland Security, for his musical achievements. Gabriel received many accolades in his career, among them the honor of sharing the stage with Motown living legends The Four Tops, The Temptations, Richie Havens, Dr. John and many others.

As Ayala continues to travel throughout the United States and other countries he serves as an advocate for education for all youth while instilling his values of living a traditional lifestyle while abstaining from Alcohol, Drug and Tobacco. Gabriel believes in leading our children in the right direction through his philosophy, “Love your children, Honor your elders, and Respect your women”. Gabriel wants to share the gift of music with as many people and show children that they can become whatever they dream.


Sky Island Alliance is a grassroots organization dedicated to the protection and restoration of the rich natural heritage of native species and habitats in the Sky Island region of the southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico. Sky Island Alliance is celebrating its 20th year working with volunteers, scientists, landowners, public officials, and government agencies to establish protected areas, restore healthy landscapes, and promote public appreciation of the region’s unique biological diversity.

Join us or learn more about us online: