GCNP — It was only four years ago when Milton Tso's sister brought home a broken flute. Tso took a look at the instrument and asked if he could try to fix it.
Although he had no musical background, Tso ended up teaching himself to play the flute. He bought other flutes and only a couple of years later he was performing in front of live audiences at schools on the reservation and in Phoenix. Now, Tso has a compact disc out and hopes to find more success ahead in the entertainment industry.
Milton Tso hopes to establish a career in the entertainment industry.
Grand Canyon-area residents may remember Tso as the flutist who performed at the Canyon View Information Plaza grand opening in October. Tso, who works for National Park Service maintenance, also caught the attention of many while performing on the South Rim during Hillary Rodham Clinton's visit in 1999.
Tso caught a big break last April while performing at the "Stars in the Desert" benefit show in Tuba City. Recording artist and producer Charles Button was in the crowd that day and he obviously enjoyed what he heard.
"He asked me if I'm ever in the Los Angeles area, to come over because he had a studio in his basement," Tso said. "While I was in Los Angeles auditioning for a movie, I gave him a call. It sounded good so we decided to make an album."
In about a week's time, the album, called “In the Spirit: Great Mystery” was finished on the newly-created Sacred Mountain Records label.
Besides Tso (flutes, drums, vocals) and Button (electric keyboard, guitar, bass, drums), others contributing to the album included Paul Cassarino (drums, percussion), Michael Edmonds (drums, percussion, vocals) and Maelene Bedoni (vocals).
"We're trying to start up a second one, maybe this spring," said Tso, who is half Navajo and half Irish. "As soon as I can get time, I'll be going out to California again."
Tso said the CD has received good reviews in California and is selling there consistently. Locally, it's available at the Grand Canyon Best Western Squire Inn and the Grand Hotel in Tusayan. Or, those interested can log onto the Website: sacredmountainrecords.com.
Tso, who grew up in Cameron and has called Grand Canyon home all his life, has other interests in the entertainment industry. He's auditioned for several films and although he hasn't landed a role yet, he remains optimistic. He's also done some modeling for a blanket manufacturer.
Tso's 8-year-old son Randolph may have him beat in the modeling arena. While scheduled to do a shoot in Utah for the rug company, Tso couldn't find a babysitter so he had to bring his son along. Randolph ended up having his picture taken for the catalogue as well.
The third track on the CD, entitled "Desert's Son," is one of Tso's favorites. "It was inspired by my son, for helping out and being there," he said.
Another favorite on the CD for Tso is "Native Rhythm." Tso enjoys the percussion aspect of that track. In all, there are 17 tracks on the album.
Tso said the group hopes to do live performances in the future once CD sales take off.
For more information about the CD, see the already-mentioned Website or call Tso at 638-4081.