Music bio of... Arlie Neskahi



Arlie is Dine' (Navajo), born within the Dine' Nation of New Mexico. His Dine' name is Hataali Chee,"Red Singer", and his vocal and native flute music is noted for it's melodic and soulful style. Currently living in Seattle, Washington, he is well known throughout the Indian Nations for his performance, composition and knowledge of traditional music. In addition, he is an excellent storyteller and lecturer on Native American culture and spirituality. Arlie has won many awards and has numerous song commissions from the Gathering of Nations Song to the Mayor’s Honor Song of Seattle. His band, Songcatchers, album, Dreaming in Color was awarded the First Americans in the Arts; Outstanding Musical Achievement for 1994. His composition and performance, Round Dance, was featured on the 1995 Grammy Award winning Prayer for the Wild Things; by Paul Winter and the Earth Band.

Arlie w/original White Eagle Drum
In 2002, Arlie completed a commissioned song for the Office of the Mayor of Seattle. Then in 2003, he was appointed to the Seattle Arts Commission by Mayor Greg Nichols. The Mayor Song’s documentary was chosen for screening at the NAFTA filmfest in LA, Nov. 2002, and won first place in it’s category at the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors Awards, 2003. He wrote "Kinji's Suite" for the Third Angle ensemble of the Oregon Symphony, which was debuted in November 1999 and performed again in February 2001. His music has been featured on four Spirit Mountain Casino ads promoting the Grand Ronde’s Tribe’s community fund. In 1999, Two Rivers, a native flute/electric guitar duo, was released on Sounds of Portland. This CD, produced by KXL FM 95.5, and the Portland Visitor's Association, featured some of the finest of Portland's musicians. His native singing group the White Eagle Singers are known throughout North America as one of the finest "powwow drums" today. They are winners of numerous singing competitions in both the US and Canada.

Arlie w/Grammy certificate


  • Appointed by mayor Greg Nichols to Seattle Arts Commission, 2003.
  • Member of Recording Academy (Grammy Association), Voting Member, Pacific NW Branch, since 2002.
  • First American in the Arts; Outstanding Musical Achievement, 1994. Songcatchers; Dreaming in Color, A&M/Horizon Records.
  • Featured Artist, 1995 Grammy Winning; Prayer for the Wild Things, written and produced by Paul Winter.
  • Singing Champions; White Eagle Singers. Winners of numerous singing championships, too many to list, all over the US and Canada.


Rainbow Walker, 1995-present

Internet site specializing in information, awareness and promotion of North American Native Music through the World Wide Web. Arlie built his own website from scratch and now has visitors from throughout the globe. Writes articles on history, traditions, and spirituality of Native Music. Provides technical assistance, soundtracks, and scores for recording, video, theatre and film projects. Identifies and locates Native Music talent for the same.

Composer/Musician 1990 Ė present

  • July 2004, Arlie Neskahi Ensemble performed closing concert for the LaConner Summer Water Music Festival in LaConner, WA. Featuring native traditional to funky native fusion as well as an arrangement of Kinji's Suite.
  • November 2003, Eagle's Jump in concert, University of Washington Native American Week, Seattle, WA.
  • February 2003, Eagle's Jump in concert, American Bar Assocation, Spirit of Excellence Awards, Seattle, WA.
  • February 2003, Vocalist on Showtime Movie “Shiprock”, directed by Chris Eyre, music by B.C. Smith.
  • July 2002, Commissioned by United Indians of All Tribes Foundation of Seattle, WA to compose a song for the office of the mayor of Seattle, WA. Mayor Song was presented July 2002 and a video documentary aired on local TV.
  • August 2001, Composed and performed with Oregon Symphony Cellist, Steve Price, original traditional songs.
  • November 1999; wrote original music for and performed with Third Angle of the Oregon Symphony, Kinji's Suite..
  • October 1999, composer/musician, Spirit Mountain Casino, Coastal Cleanup Ad.
  • March 1999; composer/musician, Spirit Mountain Casino, Steelhead Ad.
  • Summer 1998; Musical Director; Oregon Trail Pageantís new production.  Responsible for composition and arrangement of music for theatrical production.  Advising producers on proper cultural protocol and traditions to enhance the collaborative process.  Oregon City, OR.
  • May 1998, Composer, musician for the play, Celilo!  Involving history and music of the fishing people of the Columbia River.  Produced by Ross Productions; owner, Marvin Ross of Quarterflash fame.
  • On the concert front he is co-producing the Native Music concert stage of the Painted Sky Music and Arts Festival, set for Summer, 1999 in Portland, OR.
  • November 1997; Composer, musician, Oregon Native American Business Entrepreneurial Network Video.
  • August 1997; Composer, musician, consultant for Tears of Joy Puppet Theatre production of Bridge of the Gods.
  • June 1997; Composer, musician, University of Oklahoma Native American Health Promotion Aerobics Fitness Music.
  • February, 1997, composed and recorded music for Grande Ronde Tribe's Spirit Mountain Casino TV advertisement which aired on major local networks.
  • 1997 Arlie appeared in and Rainbow Walker music site was featured on a national TV ad for AT&T Worldnet, both a 60 second spot and 30 minute infomercial.
  • 1991 Back to the Blanket by Gary Hill. Directed by Roberta Levitow, Denver Center Theatre Company, Denver, CO.
  • 1990 Independence of Eddie Rose by Bill Yellow Robe. Directed by Tim Bond, Group Theatre Company, Seattle WA.
  • 1987-89 Musical Director, American Indian Dance Theatre Company, New York City. Responsible for direction and performance of traditional music for dance production. Also was company lead singer and soloist. Toured Japan, Europe, Middle East, North Africa, and 2 US tours of the West and East Coasts.

Artist and Teacher, 1995-present

Arlie has been sharing his music and cultural knowledge with the local community and schools through performances, workshops and assemblies. Some of his latest projects include;

  • 2003 & 2004, Host for national NPR radio show, Wisdom of the elders.
  • Jingle Dress Healing Class singer and teacher, 2004 United Indians of All Tribes Foundation.
  • Lake WA School District, 2002-2004, Kirkland WA, youth powwow singing and cultural history of song.
  • Everett Community College, Spring 2003 & 2004, Shoreline WA, music and culture of the powwow tradition.
  • EMP Summer Music Camp; Summer 2002, native fusion trio, Seattle, WA.
  • Eagleís Jump; Native Acoustic ensemble, featuring Native American voice, flute and contemporary jazz, rock/fusion.
  • Native Traditional Flute Class, October 199-99, Vancouver, WA School District
  • Lena Taku Washte Native Art Opening; Portland Art Museum; July 1997
  • Fabric of Life Aids Annual Benefit; Portland Art Museum; July 1997
  • Raven Wind Singers; multicultural singing group, Portland, OR, Winter 1996-97
  • Powwow Singing and Drum Traditions Class, Vancouver, WA School District, Winter 1996-97
  • Affiliated Tribes of NW Indians Annual Art Auction; Winter 1996
Lead Singer 1974-presentWhite Eagle Drumskin

White Eagle Singers, powwow singers for life. International native powwow singing champions, awards too numerous to list. Their music is heard all over North America, and they remain a strong influence in the creation and development of the Music of the Native People.

  • September 1999, Head Singing Judge, Northern Original Style, 1999 Schemitzun Day World Singing Championships.
  • September 1999, Host Drum, 1999 Schemitzun Day World Singing Championships.
  • September 1998, Top Ten finishers in the Northern Original singing contest at the 1998 Schemitzun Day World Singing Championships.
  • September 1997; Top Ten finishers in both the Northern Original and Hand-Drum singing contest at the 1997 Schemitzun Days World Class Singing Championships.
The Songcatchers...cutting edge

Music Projects 1994 - present

  • 1998-present, Eagle’s Jump, Arlie’s newest musical project collaborating with keyboardist Marc Cardenas, combining native song, flute and melody with contemporary rock, jazz, and classical accompaniment; duet or quartet.
  • 1994 to present, Songcatchers, a pop/rock and traditional band. A musical collaboration between Arlie Neskahi, Lara Lavi, Mark Cardenas and Charles Neville. Their debut album "Dreaming in Color" released summer of 1994 on A&M Records, has won numerous awards including the First American in the Arts; Outstanding Musical Achievement Award, 1994.  It is recognized as a landmark Native contemporary recording, and has inspired many Native musicians towards contemporary musical collaboration.

Recording Artist 1987 - present

  • 1999, Rain or Shine, CD of flute, guitar and voice, Rainbow Walker Productions.
  • 1999, Two Rivers, flute/electric guitar duo, single released on Sounds of Portland, produced by KXL FM 95.5, and the Portland Visitorís Association.  Featuring some of the finest of Portlandís musicians.  Funds benefit OMSI.  Arlie Neskahi and Eagleís Jump guitarist, Leroy Critcher.
  • 1987-1991, Canyon Records, Phoenix, AZ. Six albums of intertribal pow-wow music recorded.
  • 1994, A&M Records, The Songcatchers, Dreaming in Color.
  • 1994, Round Dance, was featured on the Paul Winter & The Earth Band's, Prayer for the Wild Things.
  • 1987, White Eagle Singers, Vol III chosen for the Library of Congress Preferred Listening List, 1988.

Musical Director 1987-89

Arlie on tour in BahrainAmerican Indian Dance Theatre Company, New York City. Responsible for direction and performance of traditional music for dance production. Also was company lead singer and soloist. Toured Japan, Europe, Middle East, North Africa, and 2 US tours of the West and East Coasts.

Educator/Presenter 1980 - present

Universities and Colleges; Elementary and Secondary Schools; Teacher of traditional style, vocal coach, musical traditions; Conference and Banquet presentations; Multicultural educator and trainer


Available on request

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