World Flute Society


Marlon Magdalena

Marlon Magdalena, aka Ælu'æki, his Jemez name ("Young Elk"), was born in 1985 and grew up in the Pueblo of Jemez, a federally-recognized tribe in New Mexico. He is an artist, educator, and performer of Native American flutes. Flute- and song-making is his art, and he shares his art through the flutes that he makes and through his performances. Art has been a large part of his life. Marlon draws and paints, but he currently specializes in making several types of flutes found in North America. Marlon is also the instructional coordinator at the Jemez historic site. He educates the public about his Jemez culture through numerous presentations that he gives throughout the year.

Marlon’s life is centered around his family and the community of Jemez Pueblo, where he has aqcuired a lot of knowledge. And, it also is where he continues to learn new aspects of who he is. He proudly participates in all aspects of Jemez life: speaking the Jemez Language, planting Jemez corn, singing Jemez songs, and dancing Jemez dances.

Marlon bought his first flute in 2007 at a local powwow and fell in love with the sound, the construction, and the ease of play. After that moment, he became curious about this wonderful instrument. He researched and learned about Native flutes on the Internet, and his eyes were opened up to a whole new world of instruments about which never before knew. Through his research, Marlon has been able to learn more about his own cultural heritage and he continues to learn more about flutes from Jemez and from other countries around the world.

Marlon explains: “When I perform, I try to present myself in the most respectful way that I can. I dress how a traditional Jemez man would for any of our special occasions, because that is who I am representing. I also represent the flute spirit. In Jemez, we say that if you are performing in the plaza, or at other places, you are performing not only as yourself, but as the spirits for which you are dancing, drumming, or singing. I sing through the flute. I give the flute spirit a voice with my breath, my heart, and my mind.”