Alex Maldonado is a tribal member of the Pascua Yaqui Nation, now living in Mesa, Arizona. He is a prestigious Native American Flute Player whose performances have captivated audiences throughout the country. He has received nominations in the Native American Music Awards for two of his three recordings. Alex is also an award winning Native American flute maker and has been making and playing the flute since 1991. In addition to the flutes, he also makes native drums, rattles and masks.
Alex balances his time between his artwork, demonstrations and performing his music. He has three recordings to his name, Messages From The Past, Desert Breeze and Maso (which is a collaboration with his daughter Melissa). He has performed all throughout the country solo as well as with Melissa and son Nicholas.
Alex is a family man and has been married to his wife Patty since 1979. He has two daughters and a son as well as three granddaughters and two grandsons. Although Alex’s grandfather died before he could know him, his mother told him many stories, and Alex says he often feels his grandfather’s presence guiding his art. His Yaqui heritage is a big influence in his life, Alex says.
“While researching my Yaqui heritage, I sensed a loss of identity, because my ancestors would sometimes disguise their identity in order to survive. Many traditions were lost because of this. In playing the flute, I feel a connection in finding out more about my people and myself. One of the many victories in life is knowing who you are and being proud of it.”
Alex is a three-time nominee in the Native American Music Awards in 1997 and 2003. He has received First, Second and Third place ribbons for the flutes, drums and masks at the following Art Shows – Heard Museum Indian Market, Santa Fe Indian Market, Eiteljorge Museum, Navajo Nation Fair, Red Earth, Jackson Hole and Totah Festival.
The Home Exhibit at the Heard Museum in Phoenix, Arizona has the following art pieces made by Alex on display: Yaqui Harp, Pascola Dancer carving, Pascola Mask and Gourd Rattles.
The Yaqui Exhibit at the Heard Museum in Surprise, Arizona has on display a Pascola Mask, Pascola Dancer carving, and Gourd Rattles all made by Alex.
Alex has a Flute on permanent display at the Phoenix City Hall in Arizona.
Previous exhibitions of Alex’s art include Music to My Eyes 2007 – 2008 at Tohono Chul Park in Tucson, Arizona and Winter Camp 2002 at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, OK.
Many of his art pieces have been purchased by the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian in Washington DC.
To learn more about Alex, please visit his website at www.alexnativeart.com.