Listening to his CD, one would think he has had decades of
practice as a seasoned musician. But the fact that his birthday
hasn’t even hit the decade mark makes the level of his musical talent
Nine-year-old Evren Ozan, of Laguna Beach, has been described as a
flute prodigy and has become well known for his talent.
It began simply enough on a family vacation in 1999. On a cross country trip to the Grand Canyon, he was able to buy a souvenir with
his allowance. Evren said that he picked up a wooden Native American
flute and started playing it.
“I didn’t know I knew how to play,” Evren said. “I just started
Since then his musical achievements and the number of venues he
has played include the Getty Museum, the Southwest Museum, pow-wows,
schools, art festivals and community events and fund-raisers. His
music also can be heard on the airwaves through local radio stations
and native radio stations across the country.
“There’s no explanation where, how or why it came to be,” his
mother Faith said.
Evren has a collection of more than 40 flutes and his two favorite
flutes were made by his mentor and teacher Guillermo Martinez -- to
whom he is very close. He’s also been given gifts by flute makers all
over the country.
He has donated his time playing music for many charities. He
recently performed in Laguna Beach at a benefit for fellow local
youth Joey Masella.
“In Native culture you’re mentored strongly by the native
community and you are obliged to share,” Faith said. “He plays for
education programs and charitable and environmental fund-raisers.”
Last year was a significant year for Evren, who was honored at the
Native American Music Awards with a Rising Star honor as the “future
of Native American music.”
Evren also released his first CD, “Images of Winter” with Fifth
Sun providing background on the seven-song disc.
The studio where he recorded the CD was in an orchard in a sleepy
New Hampshire town. Evren used to live in Massachusetts.
Most of the songs were spontaneous and Evren played what came to
“A lot of it is how Evren responds, he has his own ideas and
sounds,” Faith said.
Evren’s favorite song to play from his CD is “Soaring,” which is
also a highly requested song that receives the most radio play.
“It’s lively and fun to play, and the perfect length to perform,”
Evren played the song last Sunday in a performance for the Little
Eagle Scholarship at Knott’s Berry farm.
This weekend he’ll be playing at an event in Marin County with
Martinez, and on Sept. 21 he will play at the Clean Water Now beach
cleanup on Main Beach.
“It’s helping the environment so that’s fun and important to play
locally,” Faith said. “We’re hoping it becomes a tradition so he can
become affiliated with a local environmental group.”
His most cherished performance thus far was when he played during
a Native American honoring of a “code talker.”
“In the Native community it’s the highest honor to receive a Eagle
Feather,” Faith said.
Evren was thrilled to be a part of the ceremony.
“I can’t really describe it -- it was really intense,” Evren said.
Evren has really found his home in Laguna Beach and finds the
community very supportive and friendly.
“I have a lot of friends here, it’s close to the beach,” Evren
said. “The beach is a powerful place.”
In mid-October he’ll play in Joshua Tree at the Didge Festival and
he said he is looking forward to playing at the Laguna Art Museum
Evren will be releasing his second CD in November. Information:
* SUZIE HARRISON is a reporter for the Laguna Beach Coastline
Pilot. She may be reached at 494-4321.