OSU Native American Flute Instructor Wins Global Music Award

Oregon State University instructor and musician Jan Michael Looking Wolf Reibach won a Global Music Awards Odyssey Award for Lifetime Achievement in Music. Reibach was recognized for his contributions in Native American flute playing.  

“You may be wondering why we chose to honor Jan Michael Looking Wolf with Global Music Awards’ most important award of the year,” announced the Global Music Awards. “Jan’s talent, creativity, quality of his work and generous contributions to other musicians are unique in the field of music. We appreciate his insistence on using and supporting the many skilled crafters of Native American Style Flutes.  

“Jan has been a pivotal force in promoting and sharing both traditional and new Native American music in America and around the world. We are thrilled and honored to award him our highest award, our Odyssey Award for Lifetime Achievement in Music.”   

Reibach is an enrolled Kalapuya tribal member of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde. He resides within his indigenous homelands in Western Oregon. He roots his music in the indigenous “One Heart” tradition.   

He said in an announcement: “”For me, music without purpose is like paint without a canvas. As an indigenous person I always feel close with my ancestors. However, as a human being I feel connected to Mother Earth, Father Sky, and everyone in between. The purpose of my music is to help inspire healing, peace, and harmony for all people of the world. After all, regardless of our ethnicity we are all indigenous to the earth, and in that way, we belong to one Tribe together.”  

In addition to traditional Native American music styles, Reibach also crosses over and fuses within other musical genres including jazz, blues, country, rock, new age, and even hip hop. He feels that fusion is in his DNA due to his mixed heritage – his mother is from Northern Ireland.  

“My heart is full of gratitude for this incredible award. It is very humbling,” said Reibach. “I have been very fortunate to have a global artistry with music.”   

In addition to performing and recording music, Reibach teaches Native American flute techniques at Oregon State University. Based on extensive research, he developed a course focusing on promoting “cultural diversity and musical self-expression” with the Native American flute.   

“The greatest honor of my life is to be able to teach here at Oregon State University,” said Reibach. “I am surrounded by amazing colleagues, staff, and students who inspire me every day. This award belongs to them too!”  

By Samantha Sied