Down the Road on the Blue Ridge Music Trails of NC: Matthew Tooni - Keeping Cherokee Heritage Alive

Mar 6, 2020

From the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area Website:

In this episode we share the music of Matthew Tooni who grew up on the Qualla Boundary, the tribal lands of the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians, and continues to live there in the Painttown community. His brother John Tooni, and their parents Carolyn and Larch Tooni, share Matthew’s interest in and appreciation for Cherokee traditional culture. The brothers became cast members of Unto These Hills, the famous outdoor historical drama performed for generations on the Qualla Boundary. He played traditional Cherokee flute in the play, and delivered his lines in the Cherokee language. Here's more about the talented Mr. Tooni:

More info on Matthew Tooni:

Speaking in 2017 to the Cherokee One Feather, Matthew Tooni described the role of music in his life. “My music is something that has become very important to me. I know that sounds cliché, but it’s true. I have found an exceedingly great amount of inspiration from my culture. I believe that it helps me to express what I feel about that particular subject. Everything that comes from our hearts is genuine inspiration. That’s what my music is to me.”

This podcast highlights bluegrass and old-time music stories, performers, and traditions across the mountain and foothills counties of Western North Carolina. These traditions and stories are the soul and spirit of the Blue Ridge Music Trails of NC. Down the Road on the Blue Ridge Music Trails is hosted by Laura Boosinger - celebrated musician, folklorist, and storyteller; scripted by folklorist Sarah Bryan , some episodes scripted by Elizabeth Sims; and produced by Kim Clark of WNCW-FM.