Home | Search | The Artists | Teaching | Hiring | About This Site | Contact Us

Artist's Main Page

Frank Montano’s
Main Page

Artist's Art Form

Frank Montano’s
Art Form

Traditions in the Artist's Work

Traditions In
His Art


Frank Montano

Woodland Flutes
Bayfield, WI

Frank Montano. Photo by Andy Kraushaar.Frank grew up on the shores of Lake Superior, exploring the woods, rocks and beaches around him. He loved being in Red Cliff. His family moved to Milwaukee when he was still young. He became a skilled electrician, and worked around Milwaukee on high-tech projects to develop modern tools like laser technology. But part of him wanted to get back to his roots.

Frank wanted to move back to the Red Cliff Reservation for many reasons. He wanted to learn more about the traditions of his Ojibwe people. Frank grew up in the 1940s. That was a time when the outside world didn’t appreciate Ojibwe language and culture very much. Ojibwe people got the message that it wasn’t good to speak their native language. They were urged to assimilate, to take on the cultural ways of European-Americans. So when Frank was growing up, he didn’t learn very much about Ojibwe language and traditions.

After Frank moved back to Red Cliff, he learned much about Ojibwe culture including the spiritual aspects. He fasted and had a vision that showed him the way-of-life he should follow. He stopped drinking alcohol and smoking tobacco for pleasure (although he still uses tobacco for ceremonial purposes).

Frank always had enjoyed music, playing mostly country, folk music and blues, composing some of his own songs and often playing in taverns. After his vision, he composed songs like “My Spirit Friend” that expressed his beliefs. But he still felt there was something missing in his musical life.

One day a friend gave him a cedar flute, the type that is a tradition of the Ojibwe and other Woodland Indians. The tones of the flute awakened in him a memory of hearing such sounds in the forest as a boy. This was the music he had been missing! He Talk icon worked hard to learn to play the flute and to make such flutes himself. Then Frank gave the one he was given to another person.  Hear Frank tell the story about his gift. You can read along by clicking here.

Frank Montano playing in Washington D.C. Photo by Bob Rashid.Frank’s flute playing has taken him around the world, to play in Europe and Japan. He has made several recordings that have sold widely. But his favorite place to play is in the forest or on the shore of Lake Superior near his Red Cliff home.

Learn More!

Frank loves performing and would like very much for you to see him play his woodland flutes in person. If you can't make one of his performances, you might like hearing one of his CDs. Frank has his own website. You'll find the link for it on Resources for Students. While you're there, check out the other web links, from the anatomy of Woodland Indian flutes to a site about the culture and history of the Ojibwe people. 

What Do You Know?

What Do You Know?

Parts of the Whole

Choose another Artist


Wisconsin Folks

For Educators:

To Hire
Frank Montano



“It was a gift that was given to me.”

– Frank Montano

Home | Search | The Artists | Teaching | Hiring | About This Site | Contact Us