Isaac Trimble is one of the most well-known and respected flute Artists of the northwest community. From a young age, his family and countless members of his native community acknowledge and supported his natural gift in the art of flute playing and performing arts. As a young actor he joined Raven Wind Players under the guidance of stage master and playwright Maury Evans in 1993-1996. With guidance from Evans, Trimble took to the stage like a fish to water. He loved the art of stage performance and was featured in the July-August 1995 issue of Portland Indian News for young artists.
Along with his talent in stage performance, Isaac was also gifted in music and rhythm and found his way to the Native flute through world renowned flautist Ward J. Stroud, his mentor, tribal relative, friend, and who also gave him his first flute. Trimble says, “I have always felt that a part of myself had been missing. When I was given my first flute, I felt a piece of me had found its way back. When I play the flute, I feel like I did on that day I received it.” Stroud took Isaac as an apprentice flute maker at age 9, teaching him the the craft of flute making and to respect that every flute is made in a good way, until Stroud's retirement from Native flute making in summer 2008. Ward Stroud passed on the flute shop to Trimble. Trimble is honored to carry on this long family tradition of making flutes.
Trimble's love for music and performing arts presence caught the eye of Chisao Hata; Master of Interpretive Dance at Interstate Firehouse Cultural Center (IFCC). His experiences on stage and in flute performance lead him to be in a run of a Drum Souls Youth Project, showcasing the diverse talents of many young, local artists, production titled “We Are You” on January 22-31, 1999.
On June 8th, 2001, Trimble graduated from Vocational Village High School with honors and a certificate of Manufacturing Technologies. Later that year on September 24th, he performed a musical tribute and spoken word for the National Day of Remembrance and Prayer at the Convention Center in Portland. Trimble was also interviewed by Spencer Heinz for the Oregonian article “Song of the Survivors Sounds Over Empty Chairs.” Then, on a proud day in November, Trimble was asked to bless and witness the signing of the proclamation for Native American Heritage Month in Washington,DC..
During 2000-2001, Trimble's flute art and music was frequently on display at Jackson Art Gallery in Northeast Portland. While playing at Jackson Art Gallery, Trimble heard word of an open mic event at Niko Winds Karaoke Pony. His performances drew in a huge audience and eventually the attention of young, independent filmmaker, Brandon Carmondy. Trimble was approached by Carmondy to be a featured musician in his independent film Emptyland 2002. Trimble's work for Emptyland inspired him to work on his first album titled “Dedication.” During the time of writing music, spoken word, and poetry for his album, he continued to perform in various community events and film projects.
In January 2002, at “Keep Living the Dream,” a World Arts Foundation Inc. event, Trimble performed a musical tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and received a standing ovation. Isaac Trimble was also nominated for the Lifetime Award for his work in musical performance.
Later that year, Trimble was asked to do a musical performance for a silent procession to the Japanese American Historical Plaza for “Coming to Voice, Then and Now: Understanding Our Community's History”, a community interfaith event in observance of the 60th anniversary of the internment of Japanese Americans in Portland February 2002.
Trimble also had the honor of giving the blessing and a healing flute song over the Lummi Indian Nation totem pole to honor the fallen of September 11th on September 2002 with pastor Ramona Soto-Rank; Klamath. The honoring totem pole rests in memory at the National Congressional Cemetery in Washington DC.
While volunteering his time to a youth group, Trimble was asked to play some impromptu music to accompany legendary storyteller, Ed Edmo, for a puppet show produced for a local Boys and Girls Club. He was asked to be the live actor to help the puppets on their journey to help coyote clean the river, and play music to follow the different puppets and actions as the stories were told by Ed Edmo. On Tuesday, June 4, 2002, the small show turned into a three month traveling performance to the different creeks, water sheds, and school assemblies. Their close working relationship allowed Trimble to learn more live performance techniques and sharpen his improvisational skills with music. Edmo was eventually featured on Trimble's album.
Trimble's ambition for music and performance would never allow him to forget the community that has nurtured his artistic talents. He frequently volunteers his time to community events in Portland and nationwide, giving back to the youth by mentoring, motivational speaking, flute playing classes and other cultural events. Trimble joined Painted Sky's Northstar Dance Company and Moveo Dance Company in the fall of 2003. At this time, Mary Hagar was the director of Painted Sky and Damon Keller was the director of Moveo Dance Company. Trimble was the co-director for the production of Native Music performance for the Northstar Dance Company, was a Men's fancy dancer, and also attended dance, choreography, expression and movement classes. During his active involvement with Northstar Dance Company, he collaborated with Mel Kubik, of Quarterflash (once known as Seafood Mama), and Demetrius Keller. Trimble still acts a production consultant for Northstar as his travels allow and his services requested, and he maintains his close ties with the organizations and continues to participate in occasional productions.
The following year on January 20, 2003, Trimble was invited to play another musical tribute to Dr. King for “Keep Living the Dream,” and was the youngest recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award for music. His diligent work and dedication to music and the performing arts lead him to receive this award, which he considers as his most cherished achievement. The televised tribute and awards ceremony generated great exposure for Trimble's performance and community work, propelling his artistry to greater heights.
Through Trimble's musical talents with the Native flute, he was approached by various artists to collaborate and be featured on their albums: Bruthaz Grimm “Method of Attack” 2001, rap artist Silas Clark Aka Brutha War Bebe “Art of War “ 2003, Freddie Trujillo “Hawks and Highways” 2003, Karen Therese“Worrier of the heart” 2006. Being in the presence of other great musical talents of many different genres propelled Trimble to complete his album in 2004. He released his album, Dedication in winter January 22, 2005. Dedication is a collection of spoken word and songs he composed for his friends who have lost their lives to drug and alcohol-related accidents. With this, he hopes to bring awareness to the youth drug prevention programs, Isaac was also seeking endorsement through MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving). Later that year, on June 8th, Trimble graduated from Portland Community College with an Associates Degree of Applied Science in Manufacturing Welding Technologies. Trimble's brother and best friend Alvin Little-Head got leukemia and died march 2006. with the death of his brother and close friend Trimble pushed to make every note count.
Trimble continued to perform and was sought after by many artist, educators, traveling internationally to play his flute for Native and non-Native people and organizations, including Native Peoples Circle of Hope (cancer awareness organization), Karin Therese, the committee for the National Day of Remembrance and Prayer (Twin Towers 2001).
Isaac Trimble also continues to collaborate with various artists around the United States: Ward Stroud, Daniel Gray, Nick B and many more in addition to those already mentioned. His music has been featured on many PSAs, industrial, educational and independent films and shows on air, such as Emptyland (Brandon Carmondy production), Native American Rehabilitation Association; PSA, Indian World with John Tally (KBOO 90.7fm radio), and Cable Access: Native Nations with Jim Lockheart (Mt. Hood Community Television). Most recently, Trimble composed the music for Honoring The Salmon (a Columbia River Intertribal Fish Commission film). On May 20, 2009, at Portland State University, he played the flute fotr an educational speech given by Chief Leonard Crow Dog to support the liberation of Leonard Peltier.
Trimble is not one for turning down his community non-profits to perform at auctions, fundraisers, manning phone banks, or just lifting the hearts and spirits of his Elders in nursing homes, gatherings, or ceremonies as invited. Trimbles most resent performance that he will cherrish in his memory for all time, was he most honored opportunity to play his flute for the most Honorable
Bishop Desmond Tutu.
Currently, Trimble is working on musical compositions for Intertribal Rhythms (CRITFC film) in addition to his new ground breaking album titled, Intertribal, a collaboration of world music, jazz, instrumental, modern mix set to release 2010 – no other information about the album is available at this time. He continues to manifest his passion for healing by creating, playing and performing Native American flutes.
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