Grayhawk Perkins

Grayhawk may be best described as a “21st Century Renaissance Man.” His talents and professional accomplishments are almost too numerous to list, having been recognized by agencies such as the Smithsonian Institution, Walt Disney World, and the Louisiana Governor’s Office for artistic endeavors over the past 25 years.  Many define him as a living treasure of Louisiana. 

Born in New Orleans to parents from the Choctaw and United Houma Native Nations, Grayhawk had the unique experience of growing up surrounded by an extended family that included naturalists, storytellers, and visual artists.  Grayhawk grew up to become an internationally recognized authority on Southeastern Native American and Colonial cultural history.  He was elected to a seat on the Tribal Council of the United Houma Nation when he was just 18 years old.  

Many people recognize Grayhawk for his accomplishments in the field of music.  He has written and performed popular music in New Orleans for many years, and regularly appears at local festivals such as Jazz Fest, VooDoo Fest, the Cutting Edge Music Conference, and Bayou Boogaloo. He has served as the Master of Ceremonies at the annual Moundville Native American Festival for 30 years. The Parish of St. Tammany honored Grayhawk as Cultural Artist of the Year in 2010 in Music.  More recently, Grayhawk branched out into Jazz Composition, and tours with the Mezcal Jazz Unit of Montpelier, France, in the States and in Europe. 

Grayhawk is also in demand as an instructor in Visual and Performing Arts.  He teaches as an artist in residence at several schools a year, working with students as young as 6, and as advanced as high school.   A master storyteller, he provides an interdisciplinary approach to writing, drawing & painting, acting, and music.  Under his tutelage, students write narratives, design sets, compose songs and act in true “performance art” style.   Grayhawk also provides instruction in mural art, assisting students with design and decoration for the interior walls of their school buildings. 

Grayhawk is an artist who exemplifies a true “life of the mind,” and is known for his creative, positive outlook.  His art reflects a unique viewpoint, a blending of the familiar and the imaginative.  He carves wood, shapes stone, and paints in a style that students can relate to and emulate.  He says his students inspire him to new heights of creativity. Grayhawk loves whimsy, loves to laugh, and envisions a world where stories can come to life.  

In the Fall of 2020, Grayhawk received the title of Cultural Standard Bearer for Louisiana from the Lieutenant Governor’s Office.  Due to Covid19 restrictions, the annual Native American Festival at Moundville took place virtually in October 2020. Performances streamed through the Internet to fans worldwide with Grayhawk faithfully at the helm, telling stories, interviewing performers, and of course, playing music.  Most recently, Grayhawk hosted a virtual cooking program from the University of Alabama, demonstrating the Native American signature dish Maque Choux for his fans.