JJ Kent (his Lakota name, Wicasa Ho’ Waste’, meaning “Good Voice Man”) is known throughout the world as a player of the indigenous Northern Plains flute, and as a traditional storyteller, cultural educator, speaker, dancer and recording artist. From his early Lakota influences and from his extended family in the world, he shares his beautiful and spiritually healing music to create a resonant chord of celebration for All Our Relations.
He began learning the Native American Courting Flute from some of his uncles and other elders beginning around the age of ten (10).
JJ also had a country music recording career spanning nearly 30 years which included a stint with Brykas Records in Nashville, and later with Prestige Records in London, England. His song "Pathway of a Fool" from his debut country album "Free Spirit" made it to #11 in Cashbox's Top 100 in 1990 and earned him "Male Vocalist of the Year" honors from the Wyoming Country Music Association. He composed all of the songs on his album, and played guitar and keyboards on the tracks. Some of his influences in country music were Charlie Pride and George Strait.
JJ has had the privilege of receiving many years of good teaching from traditional elders living on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, and the Wind River Indian Reservation in Wyoming. He is an avid outdoorsman, having been taught from boyhood the skills of hunting, fishing, and camping from his grandfathers. He worked for several years as a guide for hunters and fisherman venturing into the Wind River Mountains of Wyoming. The spirituality JJ often experienced on those forays into the Rocky Mountain High Country is often reflected in his music.
He also spent a lot of his life as a working cowboy in Wyoming and Colorado, having worked on several ranches with cattle and horses.
JJ loves his home life, having strong family values and resides with his family in Tennessee, still going West to South Dakota and Wyoming several times per year to visit with relatives at both reservations. Being able to spend time in these special places of home help maintain ties with his culture.
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J J Kent