Acclaimed Native American flute player, hoop dancer has died

Oct 3, 2022, 10:24 AM | Updated: Oct 4, 2022, 7:25 am
This photo provided by Ohiyesa Locke shows Kevin Locke, performing in the Badlands, S.D., in 2002. ...

This photo provided by Ohiyesa Locke shows Kevin Locke, performing in the Badlands, S.D., in 2002. An acclaimed Native American flute player, hoop dancer, cultural ambassador and educator, Locke died in South Dakota at age 68 on Friday, Sept. 30, 2022, according to his family. (Ohiyesa Locke via AP)

(Ohiyesa Locke via AP)

Kevin Locke, an acclaimed Native American flute player, hoop dancer, cultural ambassador and educator, has died in South Dakota at age 68, according to his family.

A member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and from the ancestral line of Lakota and Anishinabe, Locke died Friday night after returning to his hotel room in Hill City, his son Ohiyesá Locke said Monday.

The younger Locke said his father, who had been performing at the Crazy Horse Memorial in the Black Hills, suffered an asthma attack and died while he was being taken to the hospital.

Ohiyesá Locke said he had been video chatting with his father several hours before he died.

“He was walking through the Black Hills and telling me how beautiful they were, and he talked about some of the history of the Lakota people,” he said.

According to his website, Locke performed for nearly 40 years to hundreds of thousands of people in more than 90 countries at performing art centers, festivals, schools, universities, conferences, state and national parks, monuments and powwows.

As a folk artist, Locke used his talents to teach others about Native American history and especially enjoyed working with children on the reservations to ensure the survival and growth of indigenous culture, the website said.

“He had an amazing gift to touch people’s hearts and was very generous with his time,” said Ohiyesá Locke, who lives in Killeen, Texas.

“Through my music and dance, I want to create a positive awareness of the Oneness of humanity,” Kevin Locke once wrote on his website.

The Native American Music Awards issued a statement Saturday after learning of Locke’s death.

“Kevin Locke was undoubtedly one of the greatest flutists, hoop dancers and teachers the world had ever seen. He will be greatly missed. The Native American Music Awards would like to extend their deepest condolences and sorrow to his family,” the statement read.

Locke attended high school at the Institute of American Indian Arts in New Mexico. He also earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of South Dakota and a master’s degree in educational administration from the University of North Dakota, his son said.

Locke was a fluent Lakota speaker and served as a board member for the Lakota Language Consortium, a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving the language.

Since 1982, Locke, who played the Northern Plains flute, has recorded twelve albums of music and stories, most recently “The First Flute,” “Open Circle,” “Keepers of the Dream,” and “Dream Catcher,” according to his website.

“I have always been in admiration of him, and he wanted me to follow in his footsteps. But his shoes were too big to fill,” his son said.


Ehlke reported from suburban Milwaukee. AP researcher Rhonda Shafner contributed to this report.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Associated Press

State news: Iran executed 4 people it says spied for Israel

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iranian authorities executed four people Sunday accused of working for Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency, the state-run IRNA news agency said. Three others received lengthy prison sentences. IRNA said the country’s powerful Revolutionary Guard announced the arrests of a network of people linked to the Israeli agency. It said the members had […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Today in History: December 4, the “Million Dollar Quartet”

Today in History Today is Sunday, Dec. 4, the 338th day of 2022. There are 27 days left in the year. Today’s Highlights in History: On Dec. 4, 1956, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins gathered for the first and only time for a jam session at Sun Records in Memphis. […]
1 day ago
A Palestinian flag and a poster showing Ammar Adili, 22, who was shot and killed by an Israeli bord...
Associated Press

Palestinians say killing caught on video was unjustified

HAWARA, West Bank (AP) — A makeshift sidewalk memorial with a Palestinian flag and a mourning notice paid tribute Saturday to a 22-year-old Palestinian whose death at the hands of an Israeli border police officer — four pistol shots from close range — was captured on widely shared amateur video. A day after the shooting […]
1 day ago
FILE - A flu vaccine is readied at the L.A. Care and Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plans...
Associated Press

Flu season worsens as 44 states report high activity

NEW YORK (AP) — The U.S. flu season keeps getting worse. Health officials said Friday that 7.5% of outpatient medical visits last week were due to flu-like illnesses. That’s as high as the peak of the 2017-18 flu season and higher than any season since. The annual winter flu season usually doesn’t get going until […]
1 day ago
Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin introduces the B-21 Raider stealth at Northrop Grumman Friday, De...
Associated Press

Keep COVID military vaccine mandate, defense chief says

ABOARD A U.S. MILITARY AIRCRAFT (AP) — Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said he wants to keep the military’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate in place to protect the health of the troops, as Republican governors and lawmakers press to rescind it. This past week more than 20 Republican governors sent a letter to President Joe Biden asking […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Family says coyote attacked toddler outside LA home

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A coyote ambushed and injured a 2-year old girl outside her Los Angeles home in a daytime attack before her father chased the animal off, her family said. Home security video obtained by KTLA-TV shows the animal grab and drag the toddler across her lawn and sidewalk, just seconds after her […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet edges out cable for everyday use

In a world where technology drives so much of our daily lives, a lack of high-speed internet can be a major issue.
Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet can improve everyday life

Quantum Fiber supplies unlimited data with speeds up to 940 mbps, enough to share 4K videos with coworkers 20 times faster than a cable.
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Here are 4 signs the HVAC unit needs to be replaced

Pool renovations and kitchen upgrades may seem enticing, but at the forefront of these investments arguably should be what residents use the most. In a state where summertime is sweltering, access to a functioning HVAC unit can be critical.
Acclaimed Native American flute player, hoop dancer has died