Tag Archives: Navajo music

Artist Profiles: Kevin Yazzie

Kevin Yazzie

Kevin Yazzie is a Diné (Navajo) musician born in Teesto, Arizona. Kevin now resides in Mesa, Arizona with his wife, Alberta, and children Shailen, Natashbah, and Jamon Noah. Kevin started singing at the age of six at Pow Wows and the Native American Church. At the age of thirteen Kevin grew closer to the Native American Church and it’s songs of prayer and started composing songs soon after.

The Peyote medicine and prayer songs have provided him with comfort throughout his life. Many of his songs come from his inspirations, his friends, family and those who are in need of comfort, healing and spiritual uplifting. In 2009, Kevin’s solo harmonized Peyote recording Faith (Canyon Records) was a finalist for the 2009 Grammy in the Native American Music category.

Kevin Yazzie’s albums include the Peyote song recordings First Light (Canyon Records) and Awakening of Life (Canyon Records) he made with Navajo (Diné) musician Cheevers Toppah and the solo album Faith (Canyon Records), where Yazzie uses lush multi-part vocal harmonies, soothing melodies, accompanied by gourd and water drum, to perform songs of healing and prayer in an inspirational expression of faith in the Native American Church.

Discography

* First Light (Canyon Records CR-6436)
* Awakening of Life (Canyon Records CR-6458, 2009)
* Faith (Canyon Records CR-6444, 2008)
* Hope: Harmonized Peyote Songs of the Native American Church (Canyon Records, 2010)
* Love: Songs of the Native American Church (Canyon Records, 2011)
* Charity: Songs of the Native American Church (Canyon Records, 2013)

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Artist Profiles: Jay Begaye

Jay Begaye

Jay Begaye is a Dine (Navajo) singer, songwriter, painter, sculptor and a former rodeo contestant. He was born and raised on the Navajo Reservation in the small town of Steamboat Canyon, Arizona.

Jay attended his first pow-wow in Salt Lake City, Utah and that is where he heard the Snake River Singers. This experience left him with an irresistible urge to compose and sing his own songs.

From 1982 to 1986, Jay began singing with a noted drum group, the White Eagle Singers and later moved to Canada in 1987. There he formed his own group, the Cathedral Lake Singers. He lived in Keremeos on the Chopaka reserve in British Columbia, Canada for the next 16 years. Today Jay makes his home in Ganado, Arizona with his wife Loretta and young son, Sonsiila.

Several of his recordings have earned both critical and popular acclaim. His recording Round Dance In Beauty was a 2001 AFIM India Awards finalist and it earned him Best Male Artist and Best Traditional Recording nominations at the 2001 Native American Music Awards. His album, Song of Colors also earned a nomination at the 2004 Indian Summer Music Awards.

When not touring and making public appearances, Jay donates a great deal of his time to helping today’s youth on the Navajo Reservation.

Discography

* Honoring Our Ways (Soar, 1995)

* The Beauty Way (Canyon Records CR-6282)

* The Long Walk, with Everitt White (Canyon Records CR-6288)

* Live at Window Rock, with Cathedral Lakes Singers (Canyon Records CR-6296)

* Round Dance In Beauty (Canyon Records CR-6328)

* Song of Colors (Canyon Records CR-6356)

* The Colorful World (Canyon Records CR-6403)

* Night of the Northern Lights, with Tiinesha Begaye (Canyon Records CR-6440)

* Horses Are Our Journey, with Tiinesha Begaye (Canyon Records CR-6467, 2010)

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Enduring Kinship and Hope Navajo Songs

Radmilla Cody – K’é Hasin

Radmilla Cody – K’é Hasin (Canyon Records CR-6542, 2016)

Diné (Navajo) singer, songwriter and community activist Radmilla Cody presents a collection of mostly a cappella songs dedicated to an important Diné teaching known as K’é Hasin.

K’é means kinship and it is the basis for Navajo identity and existence as a people. K’é goes beyond immediate family and encompasses relationships stretching across Navajo society.

K’é Hasin translates as Enduring Kinship and Hope. It includes new songs by Herman Cody and Radmilla Cody. The songs allude to the Circle of Life; the new born; kinship honor; the four essential elements: fire, water, air and Holy Earth; mother’s love; leadership values; disposing of trash; happy morning songs; Diné Way of life teachings; clan songs; compassion and good thoughts; mother’s advice; and also a humorous song about a PT Cruiser (car).

The CD booklet contains Navajo and English-language lyrics.

Buy K’é Hasin

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Contemporary Navajo Songs by Radmilla Cody

Radmilla Cody – Spirit of a Woman

Phoenix (Arizona), USA – From the heart of Navajoland comes Radmilla Cody’s Spirit of a Woman. Radmilla, a former Miss Navajo, expresses the recent personal struggles other life in her second album for Canyon Records which is a mixture of songs in the traditional Navajo style plus original contemporary songs.

Of note is a version of “My Country ’tis of Thee” sung from the Navajo perspective. Special guest artists include Radmilla’s uncle Herman Cody, Klee Benally of Blackfire, and Miguel Batista. Batista, who pitches professionally for the Toronto Blue Jays, makes his musical debut playing the Native American flute on three songs.

Radmilla’s first recording with Canyon Records, Seed of Life, was a 2002 AFIM Indie Awards winner for Best Native American Music Album. Cody also received the Best Female Artist Award at the 2002 Native American Music Awards.

Buy Spirit of a Woman

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