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Tony Redhouse, Nominee NAMMY Artist of the Year, Brings 'Soul Blessings'

  • Thursday, 05 September 2013 00:00
  • Published in Native American
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Trials and tribulations can either break a person into becoming a desperate disheartened soul or forge a person into a positive healing light for others.  Tony Redhouse is the latter, he rose not only to embrace his mixed heritage, but also to overcome his addiction to drugs and alcohol and now uses those positive changes in his life to help others who are challenged with their own life trials.

Tony is of Navajo and Filipino origin and feels that being born of a Navajo Indian father and Filipino mother has given him an advantage in life; both bloodlines come from strength and endurance.  

“The Navajo are an enduring people who survived great hardships,” he says. “They formed an ability to adapt to challenges presented to them, whether from disputes with other tribes or war with the invading white man, and use them to better themselves.”

And although the Filipino side of his family suffered greatly during WWII, they endured becoming creatively resourceful in order to survive all the while still maintaining their dignity.

Tony says: “My mother knew great hardships and learned to improvise to survive under difficult conditions. My own life is only a reflection of what happened to my ancestors. I couldn’t have asked for better genes.”

Tony was raised in the Catholic faith and although as a teen he rebelled against his strict upbringing, he remembers with fondness how he felt hearing the sound of the brass bells during church service.

“...I was an altar boy. Part of my job was to ring the brass bells during the church service when the priest performed certain rituals. I have never forgotten how they sounded, so clear, and with such perfect tones. My love of percussion began back then, and to this day I still collect bells. One name of endearment my mother would call me as a toddler was Tone-Tone.”

Tony's parents met in Manila during WWII when Rex, Tony's father, was stationed in the U.S. Army.  The couple fell in love, and both having been raised very traditionally, had to gain acceptance and permission from both families in order to marry.

Mary, Tony's mother, said, "[Rex] had to learn my language and become a Catholic to marry me; but I spent the next fifty six years learning how to become a Navajo.”

Rex returned from serving overseas and settled in Seaside, California, near Monterey.  Mary followed shortly after her paperwork cleared immigration.  The couple soon started a family and had two girls - Mary and Charlotte - followed by three boys - Tony, Lenny, and Larry.

Tony's father was an active organizer in the Monterey Bay, California area of Native American culture shows for parades, schools, and community organizations to raise awareness of Native American traditions.

“He became a trend-setter,” says Redhouse. “He started a Native American club, too, to unite people from different tribes in the urban area.”

Tony's love of the drum really began at the age of five, when his parents entered him in an international children's pageant representing the Native American race.  He was dressed in full Native regalia all made by his parents carrying a little drum.

Today, Tony Redhouse is using his gifts as a Native American sound healer, a motivational speaker, a Native American consultant, and a recording artist to help people to heal.

 “I hope that this eclectic blending of diverse musical expressions from around the world will inspire people to appreciate their own unique and valuable place in this Universe,” says Tony. “Regardless of the challenges we are facing, or the hardships we have survived, we each have a beauty within us that contributes to the harmony of this ‘Song and Dance’ called Life!”

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  • Last modified on Thursday, 05 September 2013 04:14
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Life is full of wonderment and surprises, all of which can be observed as a living form of art, a giant colorful canvas full of complex identities and cultures. For me, the combination of Journalism and Anthropology, best describe my personality.

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