Joanne Shenandoah and Bill Miller to Receive Lifetime Achievement Awards at 9th Native American Music Awards

Joanne Shenandoah
Joanne Shenandoah
New York (NY), USA – Two of the biggest names in the Native American music industry, Joanne Shenandoah and Bill Miller, will be presented with Lifetime Achievement Awards on Saturday, October 6, 2007, at the Seneca Niagara Casino & Hotel in Niagara Falls, New York.
 As the Native American Music Awards (N.A.M.A) leading award recipient with nine awards, Joanne Shenandoah is also a Grammy Award-winning artist with 14 albums to her credit. A Wolf Clan member of the Iroquois Confederacy (Oneida Nation) who currently resides in Syracuse, New York, Joanne began her recording career in the late 1980’s. She has forged forward to become one of the top-selling and most widely recognized Native recording artists today.Her legacy has been highlighted by collaborations with Bruce Cockburn and Neil Young and performances with; Willie Nelson, Buffy Sainte-Marie (Cree), Kris Kristofferson, Floyd Westerman (Dakota), and Robbie Robertson (Mohawk) who has stated, “She wraps her voice around a warm blanket on a cold winters night".

Shenandoah’s repertoire has spanned the realms of country, rock, techno, gospel, children’s songs and folk as well as her best-known traditional Iroquois social songs. Since emerging as an artist in 1989, she has performed at such high-profile shows at Carnegie Hall, the White House, Kennedy Center, Earth Day on the Mall, Woodstock ’94, the Parliament of the World’s Religions in South Africa and the famous Sagrada Familia, in Barcelona, Spain. Her music has been used in many soundtracks to include HBO, PBS, Northern Exposure, Bose Systems, and The Discovery Channel. She has just been featured in the newly released film "The Last Winter" starring Ron Perlman and has a principal role in the Discovery Channel/Think Film release of “First Nations – Hiawatha’s Story” (Ayenwentha).

Bill Miller has long been one of the most admired figures in the Native American music arena and beyond. A Grammy award-winning recording artist, and six-time N.A.M.A. award winner, Bill hails from northern Wisconsin (his tribe is called Mahicanuk which means People From Where The Waters Are Never Still).

His Indian name, Fush-Ya Heay Ka, means "bird song". He learned traditional songs at an early age and later began to play folk music and bluegrass as well as the Native American flute, which he came to master.

Miller has written songs with the likes of Nancy Griffith, Peter Rowan and Kim Carnes, and shared the stage with national recording artists such as; Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder, the BoDeans, Richie Havens, Arlo Guthrie and Tori Amos who he was the opening act for her “Under The Pink” U.S. and Canadian 200 date tour. Guthrie states of Miller, “he has always reminded me of what our singers and writers are all about, singing what cannot be spoken, echoing what cannot be heard, in ways that ring true and honest.”

Miller’s long recording career includes such landmark albums as; Loon, Mountain and Moon, The Red Road, Reservation Road Live, Raven in the Snow, Ghostdance and The Art of Survival. Over the past three years, Bill has produced two projects, Spirit Rain and Cedar Dream Songs that blend Native American and western folk/blues traditions in something wholly new. Spirit Rain and Cedar Dream Songs bought Bill great recognition and earned him a Grammy Award for Best Native American Recording. He has an equally active career as a painter and his work has been shown and sold in prestigious galleries around the country. He is currently working with John Carter Cash for his next recording.

The Native American Music Awards’ Lifetime Achievement Award is a highly prestigious award presented to an individual whose life has been dedicated to music and who has made outstanding artistic contributions in the music recording field. Recipients of this award will be honored at the Awards ceremony on October 6th. Recipients were nominated and elected by the N.A.M.A. Advisory Board.

Hosted by actor, Steve Reevis, this year’s Awards program will feature a night of musical excellence with over 30 awards presentations and a more than fifteen live music performances including; special performances by Bill Miller, Joanne Shenandoah, and Jan Michael Looking Wolf with George Noriega whose other collaborations include: Phil Ramone, Timbaland, Scott Storch, Robi “Draco” Rosa, Desmond Child, Ricky Martin, Emilio Estefan, Jennifer López, Shakira, Jon Secada, and many more.

Nominees were selected by the Awards’ Advisory membership committee and winners are determined through a national voting campaign open to the general public. The Native American Music Awards’ Advisory Board is the United States’ largest membership of music professionals directly involved in recording, manufacturing, distributing and promoting Native American music.

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