Join the Mitchell Museum of the American Indian on Wednesday, May 28 for an Indigenous flute lecture and demonstration led by Richard Graef of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Graef, along with his wife Emily (Anishinabe/Choctaw), will discuss and perform indigenous flute music, as well as share their global collection of indigenous flutes of Asian, African, South American, and German origin.

“The flute is one of the few instruments in the modern symphony orchestra which had its origins in nearly every early culture in the world, encompassing all continents,” said Mr. Graef. “In our presentation, we will explore the language of flute playing and expression as one of the earliest and most interesting means of emotional and artistic communications of mankind. The Native American flute was and is still an important part of that tradition.”

The event will include performances of several newly composed pieces based on traditional melodies of the American Indian, including a special composition based on a traditional Menominee song. It will also include flute music from many eras and sources.

Following the presentation, the Mitchell Museum will hold an hour long flute jam. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own flutes and participate in the jam alongside our presenters.

“We are thrilled to bring Flute Fest to the Mitchell Museum under the direction of someone as renowned as Richard Graef,” said Kathleen McDonald, Executive Director of The Mitchell Museum of the American Indian. “Indigenous Flute Music is rich in tradition and culture, and this evening provides a great opportunity to not only learn more about it, but actually participate in making music as well.”

The event will be held from 6:30 to 8:30 pm in the Mitchell Museum library. The cost is $10 for Mitchell Museum members and $12 for non-members. For more information, or to join our weekly flute group, contact visitor services at or call (847)475-1030.

The Mitchell Museum is one of only a handful of museums in the country that focuses exclusively on the art, history and culture of American Indian and First Nation peoples throughout the United States and Canada. In 2012, The Mitchell Museum was named “Best Museum of The North Shore: Up and Comer” by Make it Better magazine, won the Superior award by the Illinois Association of Museums and was named a national finalist by the American Association of State and Local History award program.

For more information about The Mitchell Museum of The American Indian, visit or call 847-475-1030. The museum is open Tuesday-Wednesday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday- Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday noon to 4 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for seniors, students and children and Free for Mitchell Museum members and Tribal members.