Award Winning Musician to Pay Tribute to Sevierville’s Regen Morris with His New Release “Regen’s Song” this Weekend in Townsend

Gareth Laffely

Gareth Laffely

Gareth Laffely, 17-year-old NAMMY Rising Star Award recipient and NAMMY and ISMA multi-award nominated Native American flutist, multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, songwriter, and producer, returns to the Great Smoky Mountain Heritage Center for the Mountain Magic Native American Music Festival on Friday August 28th at 8:30 pm and Saturday August 29th at 4:00 pm.

Gareth will be celebrating the national release of his new single “Regen’s Song”, which features GRAMMY winner Laura Sullivan on piano, and will be performing the song live in concert.  The song was written by Gareth to honor the memory of 12 year old Regen Morris of Sevierville, TN, who lost his battle with brain cancer on December 25th 2013. A portion of proceeds from the CD sales will be donated to St.Jude’s Hospital in Regen’s name.  To find out more – visit Gareth’s web site: www.GarethMusic.com, also the Morris family is raising money for the post production and editing of a movie about Regen’s story – people can find out more at www.regenfilm.com/#!associate-producer/c654.

Gareth has a revolutionary style that combines rock, pop, and world music and is completely self taught on the Native American flute. He is of Mi’kmaq/Cree descent and from Gallatin, Tennessee near Nashville. Gareth uses his music as a vehicle to bring attention to important social issues. The title track of his debut album, “The Journey”, was written by Gareth to honor those who lost their lives on the Trail of Tears. He was invited to perform at the Tennessee House of Representatives for the history making, Resolution of Regret, issued by the State of Tennessee in 2014 to all Native Americans for the states involvement with the Indian Removal Act of 1830 and the subsequent forced removal known as the Trail of Tears. “This Time” promotes an anti-bully message which he takes into schools; performing and teaching what bullying is and its prevention.  Gareth also uses his music working with Hospice patients.

~ “He’s a rare talent, and he’s still just a kid. Compared to a lot of what’s going on in Nashville these days, he puts the ‘music’ in ‘Music City’. Check him out.” – Rick Moore, Writer – Music News Nashville ~

~ “Mention flute music in any combination with rock or pop and you naturally think of Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull. And, it’s apparent Gareth’s musical vision combines the spiritual and healing influences of the Native American flute with the edge of Ian Anderson. Gareth has an exceptional command of the Native American Flute as an instrument…” – William Kelly Milionis, Chicago Live Music Examiner – Examiner.com ~

~ “… Young, smart, innovative artists are making strong bold statements on the environment and social justice issues every day. The challenges of our youth are particularly troubling and having them addressed by young artists/activists like Gareth is exactly what Native people need.” – John Kane (Mohawk), national commentator on Native issues and host of “Let’s Talk Native…with John Kane” (WWKB/ESPN 1520 AM, Buffalo, N.Y. and “First Voices Indigenous Radio,” WBAI-FM, New York City).

The first Mountain Magic: Native American Music and Cultural Festival will take place on Friday August 28, and Saturday August 29, 2015 on the grounds of the Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center in Townsend, TN. Enjoy the sounds of Native American flute music, demonstrations, and art!  Young participants can make their own flutes, learn to use the atlatl and blow-darts, read with Native American storyteller Kay Littlejohn, or join a pottery class!  Nationally acclaimed award winning Native American musicians will be performing both days; vendors will include Native American jewelry, music, art and hand-crafted Native American flutes.

Vendors will be on site Friday 2-8pm and Saturday 10am-8pm; activities Saturday 10am-10pm; Concerts Friday and Saturday in the covered amphitheater featuring the music of Gareth Laffely, Steve Rushingwind, Geri Littlejohn, Daniel Bigay, Paula Nelson, Randy McGinnis and the Smoky Mountain Flute Circle.

Tickets are available at the door, and are: $5 (evening concert only); $10/1 day pass (includes concert); $15/ 2 day pass (including concerts).

For additional information, contact Cristy Richards, GSMHC Director of Special Events at 865-448-0044 or via email at gsmhcevents@yahoo.com.

Sky Before a Storm Ablum Cover 08252015