Clarence Clearwater, Singer/Guitarist

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Performance photos:  Kat Seekatz Studio photos:  James Harris







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Artist's Statement...


My music is a development of traditional themes within a contemporary format. I do not write songs. They are given to me as a gift from the Great Spirit, a Higher Power, The Universe. Music is a means for me to convey ideas of my spirituality, which has its basis in both traditional and Christian ideologies.

My songs have been created in so many different ways. At times it just takes a moment. At other times it has taken years to develop a theme. My songs are usually written around certain aspects of Navajo spirituality such as the Four Sacred Mountains, The Wind Spirit and the elements that create our environment. Some of my songs also address the repression and oppression of Native Peoples.

Music started for me very early in life. The technical aspects of the music came through learning at school. I played the trumpet at the age of eight and then progressed to other wind instruments and percussive instruments. By the time I had completed my secondary education I was fairly well versed in reading, writing and transposing music as well.

There are healing aspects in my music. The universe, as I understand it, is balanced and this balance strives to exist in each one of us. Often times the upsetting of this balance creates conflict internally and is reflected externally through our actions. It is my hope that my music will soothe the confused soul and create new enlightenment for those who seek it.

Now Performing...


Williams & Grand Canyon, Arizona

Clarence is one of the musicians performing on the Grand Canyon Railway entertaining the passengers as they travel between Williams and the Grand Canyon.  You can watch Clarence in a couple of YouTube videos right here on his website (News & Links page).  He also performs at various locations in the Flagstaff area, Northern Arizona and all over the country.  Send us an email and we can let you know of other upcoming performances.



Private grant money has been awarded for Clarence to participate in the Seri Arts & Conservation project headed by Dr. Laura Monti of Northern Arizona University's Center for Sustainable Environments. The Seri tribe resides in Sonora, Mexico near Hermasillo along the Sea of Cortez. These indigenous peoples have many oral traditions including ocean navigation songs, sea, boat, and fishing songs and stories that would soon be lost if not captured and recorded before the elders who remember these traditions are gone. In 2002 Clarence went to visit the Seri people with Laura Monti and others and assisted in producing and recording a traditional cave meditation song with modern instrumentation, released on Clarence's CD, "Indio's Song." This ensuing grant project will now have Clarence making 2 more trips to Seri, the first in June of 2005 and the second in Oct. 2005. Clarence's participation will result in a professional quality recording of a number of these traditional Seri songs with modern instrumentation, and will be accompanied by a model for completing future recording projects of the same nature. This is a very important cultural endeavor and one to which Clarence is particularly well suited as his own music is  traditional Navajo ceremonial songs presented in a modern rhythmic and instrumental format.


To find out about Clarence's upcoming appearances, be sure to visit the Calendar page!


All of the Clarence Clearwater CD's now available on-line!

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Clarence Toledo, Jr.     DBA Clarence Clearwater


Born on August 15, 1949 in Rehoboth, New Mexico, the middle of three children born to Nina Pinto Toledo and Clarence Toledo, Sr. Clarence enjoyed a happy, family oriented childhood. His eldest sister, Kathryn Manuelito, resides in Tempe, Arizona. His younger sister, Eulynda Toledo-Benallie, lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Both sisters have doctorate degrees in education.

Clarence at age 18 near Gallup NM
At the age of six, Clarence was enrolled in a Christian Reformed Protestant Mission School in Rehoboth where he spent eleven years. He graduated from Photo: Martin Link

 Gallup High School in Gallup, New Mexico. While there he had the distinctions of being the Boys State Representative and Rockefeller Foundation Scholar. He was active in chorus and band activities including All State Band and Chorus throughout his high school years.

Toledo attended Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, University of New Mexico at Albuquerque and the University of Oklahoma at Norman. After visiting New York City Clarence relocated there and joined a funk band called Angelique and the Third World. He then moved on to New Jersey and played bass guitar with a rock and roll band called Ruby and the Dykes. He then became acquainted with the "Native American Theater Ensemble" in New York City and filled the roles of singer/songwriter and musician.

Eventually all of this led Toledo back to his origins. In 1981 he moved back to the Navajo Land in order to gain a better understanding of his people and their traditions. It was only then that he learned to speak his native tongue and to truly understand certain elements of his heritage.

Clarence Toledo is the father of four children. His eldest son is Adakai, his daughters are Summer and Fashawna, and his youngest son is Dylan. He also has nine grandchildren. He resides with his partner, Kat in Williams, Arizona.



Contact Information


US Mail:     Clarence Clearwater     PO Box 831     Williams  AZ   86046-0831


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