The music of the wooden, two-chamber flute is also used to help people relax, and it can be heard in spas and meditation centers.
Park City's Nancy Haga says the flute is her way to "self-meditate and self-medicate."
"The thing I like about the instrument is that it allows my soul to sing," Haga said during an interview with The Park Record. "You don't have to read music. You don't have to play someone else's music. All the music you play comes from inside and allows you to express how you want to. You can play every single emotion and transcend to another level of spirit."
Haga is one of the Utah performers who will appear at the Solstice Flute School's Flute Festival this weekend at Newpark Plaza at Kimball Junction.
The festival will run from Friday, June 21, through Sunday, June 23. Friday's and Saturday's events will run from 10 a.m. until 10 p.m. and Sunday's events will run from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m.
Admission is free.
Brent Haines, director of the Solstice Flute School, which holds classes in the Swaner EcoCenter, said the goal of the festival is to bring the Native American flute to the people.
"One of the things we strive to do at the school is to broaden the awareness of people who want to learn the flute," Haines said. "The festival is to take the flute and the music and propagate these things to the community.
Haines, a flute maker who owns Woodsounds Flutes (www.woodsounds.com), said the instrument has a lot of offer.
"We would love everyone in Park City, Summit County and the Greater Salt Lake area to have the opportunity to experience the healing quality of these flutes," he said. "That's why we brought in some of the best artists coming to perform at the festival."
The headliners include world-renowned musicians such as double Grammy Award-winner Mary Youngblood, Grammy nominee Joseph Firecrow, world-music pioneer Suzanne Teng, and up-and-coming world musician Joe Young.
"We are also bringing in national artists Rona Yellow Robe and Mark Thunder Wolf," Haines said. "And as for our Utah talent, we will present Wounded Healer, Jonny Lipford, Wayne Gardner, and of course, Nancy Haga."
Haga, who cited Grammy winner R. Carlos Nakai as one of her flute-playing influences, has always appreciated Native American flute music.
"I heard the Native American flute at the Park City Kimball Arts Festival about six years ago and it drew me like a magnet, because of its hauntingly beautiful meditative quality," she said. "I played one of them with the flute maker and immediately bought it and wanted to go into the mountains to play."
In addition to the performances, the festival will feature an array of international artisans in the vendor area.
"This is really the place to be if you have any interest in Native flute," said Haines, who made his first flute while he was in college.
The festival will also feature a silent auction that will raise funds for the Solstice Flute School.
Items will include flutes made by Haines, Raven Wing Flutes' Frank Harter, and by John Gardner of Spirit Wind the Wood Whisperer.
"We're trying to educate the public about the culture of the native people and give back to the community," Haga said. "This is a huge celebration and we want people to come."
Summer Solstice Flute School Festival will be held at Newpark Plaza at Kimball Junction from Friday, June 21, until Sunday, June 23. Friday's and Saturday's events will begin at 10 a.m. and run until 10 p.m. Sunday's events will begin at 10 a.m. and run until 6 p.m. Admission is free. For more information, visit www.solsticeflutefest.com.