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)

Author: Angel Romero

Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music and progressive music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel produced several specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for TelevisiĆ³n EspaƱola (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music and electronic music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World, Lektronic Soundscapes, and Mindchild Records. Angel is currently based in Durham, North Carolina.

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