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When I contacted Robert earlier this week regarding this profile piece on him, I asked if he had anything specific he’d like me to mention. He emailed me back right away. His text was short and to the point.
“Born a Pueblo farmer, raised a Pueblo farmer, will die a Pueblo farmer. Nothing more, nothing less.”The humility inherent in those words is astounding for a man of Mirabal’s worldly stature and many accomplishments. He’s won two Grammy’s, been honored with multiple accolades, appeared in motion pictures, shared the stage with a myriad of famous names, has had books published and this year, received the Governors Award For Excellence In The Arts in New Mexico. His flutes have been displayed in the Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian, the New York Times has paid him homage and yet Robert remains intrinsically who he is; one link in a long unbroken chain of souls who have lived at the base of Taos Mountain for longer than the White Man’s historical reckoning.
I first met Robert in 1991. We both were part of a writers group that met every Thursday evening. He made a strong impression on me back then in regards to how gifted he was at telling a story. His use of language and turn of phrase was deceptively simple but spoke to many levels of awareness.
He would probably say it’s nothing, this gift he has, just another part of that long tribal thread connecting him to all his relations. But in fact his incredible talent on all fronts is a gift and such a great blessing that he has been able to share it with so many. When I witness Robert perform in front of a huge crowd as I did when he joined Mumford and Sons on stage here in Taos a couple of years ago, I am so grateful for this time we live in, for the chance to cross cultural lines and boundaries, to finally be able to celebrate our differences yet see the oneness in our humanity.
Robert Mirabal speaks to all that. Be sure to check out his site linked below, where he blogs frequently.
We are giving away another signed Iron Horse CD and poster next weekend so stay tuned!
Iron Horse will perform Tonight, Friday Dec 19th at the TCA in Taos and my understanding is that the concert will prove to be a very powerful and intimate evening with Robert, Robby Romero and friends.
Photographs of Robert Mirabal by Bill Curry
Top photo: © Lightninghorse