Some years ago, Bill Buchholtz got a call from a Lakota Sioux elder in his hometown of Chicago. She invited him to come over, saying she had something to give him. When he got there, she gave him a buckskin bag. Bill opened it and took out a Native flute.

"I don't know how to play this," he told her.

She grew very serious and said to him, "It's in your blood."

For a few months Bill forgot about the flute. One day he picked it up and spontaneously began to play. The flute and its music spoke to him in a way no other instrument ever had.

Bill began to play for friends and acquaintances. Over the next year he was gifted 6 more flutes. The music Bill found in these flutes strengthened his spiritual connection to his indigenous roots. And at the end of that year, Bill looked up and said, "I hear you, Creator."

Bill's music can be heard on Yo Yo Ma's Silk Roads-Crossroads Chicago CD, and at many community and inter-faith events throughout the Midwest. He has performed at Chicago's Field Museum of Natural History and the Chicago Children's Museum. Bill has performed as a guest artist with many musicians across genres and has contributed to their CDs.

Bill's priority is to educate people about the history, spiritual significance, culture, and traditions of the Native flute. He is widely known and respected in the inter-faith community in Chicago and works closely with the United Methodist Church's Native American Ministry of Presence and the Anawim Center. He frequently performs at community events.

He enjoys playing Native flute for both Native and non-Native children and has had many opportunities to teach Native youth about the culture and heritage of the instrument. Bill has been asked to work with Dr. Jane Goodall's Roots & Shoots program, a worldwide ecology movement for youth, and has played Native flute at events honoring Dr. Goodall. Bill also performed for the Archbishop Desmond Tutu's visit during Tutu's visit to Chicago.

The piano and organ were Bill's first instruments. He continues to play keyboards and writes and records music for both piano and Native flute. The instruments complement one another and add depth to his music. Bill is also able to improvise music, whether playing solo or accompanying other musicians.

"Music is in my blood and being a musician is who I am. Since I have Native blood, being able to play Native music honors the gift the Creator has given me. A Native elder up north told me that if you don't use your gifts you will lose them, so I will continue to share music in a good way for the right reasons. All I ask is for the Creator's continued guidance and blessings."

Playing from Spirit
Copyright 2023, Bill Buchholtz All Rights Reserved.