Tag Archives: American Indian music

Artist Profiles: Robert Tree Cody

Robert Cody

Robert “Tree” Cody (also known in the Maricopa language as Oou-Kas Mah Quet or “Thunder Bear”) was born April 20, 1951 in Los Angeles, California. He is a Native American flutist, dancer, artist, educator and actor who has performed throughout the United States, continental Europe, Canada, Scandinavia, the United Kingdom, East Asia, Central & South America and Mexico

As an enrolled member of the Salt River Pima Maricopa Community and of Dakota heritage, Cody shares his knowledge of Native American culture, song, dance and music as a performer and invited lecturer at concert halls, universities, museums, schools, and colleges throughout the world.

A versatile flute player and a gifted singer, Cody has eight albums on the Canyon Records label. His most recent album, Crossroads, brings together for the first time, the music of the native people of the Great Plains and Mexico. This recording teams him with Mayan flutist Xavier Quijas Yxayotl (Huichol). Native Flamenco, fuses the Native American cedar flute with flamenco guitar and ethnic percussion into a hot lively sound. Guitarist, Ruben Romero, and percussionist, Tony Redhouse, perform with him on this groundbreaking recording.

Maze, travels a musical journey through the Southwest. Set prior to European arrival to Turtle Island, a wanderer of the North travels and meets the nations of the Southwest. Maze was a Native American Music Awards winner as Best New Age Album of 1999, and it’s track “The Bird Song” was a finalist as Best Song of the Year.

In 1999, Cody appeared as a featured guest artist on a Windham Hill modern jazz release by Russ Freeman and the Rippingtons.

Cody has a remarkable ability to communicate with people of all cultures. His knowledge of six Native American languages, in addition to English, Spanish and a bit of French and Japanese is useful when he travels abroad. Cody holds a special place in his heart for young people of all cultures, and generously gives with his time and many talents for people in need.

Discography:

Traditional Flute Music Of The Native American ‎(Canyon Records, 1988)
Young Eagle’s Flight (Canyon Records, 1991)
White Buffalo (Canyon Records, 1996)
Dreams From The Grandfather (Canyon Records, 1996)
Native Brotherhood, with Ruben Romero ‎(New Earth Records, 2001)
Maze (Canyon Records, 2002)
Reflections ‎(Canyon Records, 2003)
Heart of the Wind – Music for Native American Flute and Drums, with Will Clipman (Canyon Records, 2006)

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Winners of the 2018 Native American Music Awards Announced

The winners of the 2018 Native American Music Awards were announced on Friday, October 12th, 2918. The 18th Annual Native American Music Awards (NAMA) was held in the Events Center at the Seneca Niagara Resort and Casino in Niagara Falls, New York.

Event highlights included elder, actor Saginaw Grant, winner of Record of the Year for his spoken word contribution to “Don’t Let The Drums Go Silent;” Annie Humphrey who paid tribute to her late brother; and John Trudell, winner of the highly-coveted Artist of the Year; and pianist Connor Chee who performed with his 95 year-old grandfather Keith Chee and won Best New Age Instrumental Song their song, “Beginnings.”

One of the evening’s more touching moments was when The Pine Ridge Flute Society, a ten member group of High School students from the Oglala Lakota Pine Ridge Reservation, won for Flutist of the Year. Jaydin Peters, grandson of the group’s teacher Will Peters, gave one of the evening’s more emotional acceptances saying, “Where we come from, a lot of people are struggling, and when we created the Flute Society, we were dealing with suicide ideations in our schools across the reservation. So playing the flute brought us all together as a community and an extended family to create this music so that people can have something to escape to and our homeland can be proud.”

The Native American Music Awards was originally formed in 1998 to provide greater inspiration to Native Youth living on reservations and to offer a national platform to showcase American Indian talent.

Among the evenings performers were Seneca Nation’s traditional female vocal group, Newtown Women Singers Society who appeared with red ribbons on their shirts in honor of #MMIW (Missing Murdered Indigenous Women). Many other artists also wore red ribbons as provided by performer Tracy Lee Nelson and his wife, along with spoken word artist Thana Redhawk. Lee, dedicated one of his songs to raise awareness on the issue with “Every Lady Has A Right”.

Hall of Famer, Mickie James presented this year’s Hall of Fame induction for the late Jesse Ed Davis. Jesse was one of the most highly regarded guitarists and session guitarists of the 1960s and 1970s. He appeared on over 100 albums and recordings and recorded and toured with Jackson Browne, Bob Dylan, Leon Russell, Eric Clapton and Rod Stewart and the Faces. He also played country with Willie Nelson, soul with Marvin Gaye, blues with B.B. King, pop with Neil Diamond, and folk with Arlo Guthrie. Jesse’s first cousins Richenda Davis Bates and Constance Davis Carter accepted the induction.

Over 16,500 individual voters participated in the Award’s national voting campaign.

2018 Winners:

Artist Of The Year
Annie Humphrey
The Beast and The Garden

Annie Humphrey

 

Debut Artist Of The Year
Calvin Standing Bear
Fly Eagle Fly

Calvin Standing Bear – Fly Eagle Fly

 

Debut Group Of The Year
Dreamwalker Suite
People of the Star Orchestra

People of the Star Orchestra

 

Best Female Artist
Kelly Derrickson
I Am

Kelly Derrickson

 

Kelly Derrickson – I Am

 

Flutist Of The Year
Pine Ridge Flute Society
Waziahanhan Siyotanka Okolakiciye

 

Pine Ridge Flute Society

 

Pine Ridge Flute Society – Waziahanhan Siyotanka Okolakiciye

 

Group Of The Year
Twin Flames
Signal Fire

 

Twin Flames

 

Twin Flames – Signal Fire

 

Best Male Artist
Randy Wood
Family

Randy Wood – Family

 

Best Americana Recording
Cluster Stars
Sandra Sutter

Sandra Sutter – Cluster Stars

 

Best Blues Recording
Blues Loving Man
Tracy Lee Nelson

Tracy Lee Nelson

 

Tracy Lee Nelson – Blues Loving Man

 

Best Country Recording
Never Let Me Go
Desja Eagle Tail

Desja Eagle Tail

 

Best Folk Recording
Signal Fire
Twin Flames

Best Native American Church Recording
Songs of the Native American Church from Oklahoma Vol 5
Oliver Littlecook, O.J. Littlecook, Kyle Robedeaux

Best Historical Linguistic Recording
Wolastoqiyik Lintuwakonawa
Jeremy Dutcher

Best Spoken Word Recording
Fires of Thunder
Thana Redhawk

Thana Redhawk

 

Best Instrumental Recording
Rushingwind
Steven Rushingwind

Steven Rushingwind

 

Best Pop Recording
Safe in the Arms of Time
Rita Coolidge

Best Pow Wow Recording
The Journey
Stoney Park

Best Rap Hip Hop Recording
Brave Star
Artson

Artson

 

Best Rock Recording
Something Inside Is Broken
Native American Rock Opera by Various Artists

Native American Rock Opera

 

Best Traditional Recording
Sweat Lodge Songs
Craig Elkshoulder

Best Waila Recording
All For You
O’odham Nights

Record Of The Year
Don’t Let The Drums Go Silent
Saginaw Grant

Saginaw Grant

 

Song Of The Year
Women and Water
Paco Fralick and Michael Bucher

Paco Fralick & Michael Bucher – Song of the Year

 

Best Single Recording
Left Right Left
Mickie James

Mickie James

 

Best Dance Song
Going Back To My Roots
Felipe Rose

Felipe Rose

 

Best New Age Instrumental Song
Beginnings
Connor Chee

Connor Chee

 

Best Music Video Concept
Sky World
Supaman, Bear Fox, Teio Swathe

Supaman, Bear Fox, Teio Swathe

 

Best Music Video Narrative
Lakota Will Live
Terrance. Jade

 

Best Music Video Performance
Through the Flood
Indian City

Indian City – Best Music Video Performance

 

Native Heart
Alexander Van Bubenheim
Don’t Let The Drums Go Silent

Best National Radio Program
Pow Wow Radio
Pow Wows.com

Best Indie Artist
P.J. Vegas
Tears

Patrick Vegas

 

Comedian Of The Year
Tonia Jo Hall

Hall Of Fame
Jesse Ed Davis

Richenda Davis Bates and Constance Davis Carter

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Artist Profiles: Will Clipman

Will Clipman

Will Clipman began playing his father’s drums and his mother’s piano at the age ofthree and since then has mastered a pan-global palette of percussion in addition to the drumset. Clipman has performed on over fifty recordings (twenty-one for Canyon Records) with various artists, including three solo projects on his own Bone Fire Music label.

In addition to a diverse selection of drums, Clipman plays a variety of instruments, including bowls, chimes, udu, bellstick, jembe, corn goddess whistle, , cymbal bodhran, and gong just to name a few. These instruments breathe life into this brilliant ‘recording that is sure to transport listeners along Clipman’s-musical path.

Clipman has performed and recorded for Canyon Records with the R. Carlos Nakai, the William Eaton Ensemble, Robert Tree Cody, Randy Wood and Sharon Burch.

His solo CD Pathfinder (2007) finds Clipman blending exotic wind instruments melodic percussion and vocal chants with a transglobal set of drums within thirteen tales spoken in the universal language of rhythm.

Partial Discography:

Red Wind (Canyon Records, 1998)

Quiet Fire: Zen Moods for the Spa Exerience (White Swan Records, 2004)

My Heart and Soul (Canyon Records, 2006)

Heart of the Wind: Music for Native American Flute & Drums Heart (Canyon Records, 2006)

Pathfinder (Canyon Records, 2007)

Dancing Into Silence (Canyon Records, 2010)

Awakening the Fire (Canyon Records, 2013)

Passion, Fire and Grace (Canyon Records, 2016)

Trialogue (Heart Dance Records, 2016)

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Artist Profiles: Robert Mirabal

Robert Mirabal

Robert Mirabal was born on October 6, 1966 in Taos Pueblo, New Mexico, USA.

There’s always a flute player in every tribe. I never would have guessed it at the time but I’ve become that flute player,” says Robert Mirabal.

The tribe is the Taos Pueblo. The time was when Robert was 18 and he encountered for the first time the Native American flute. Now his handcrafted flutes are in the Smithsonian National Museum.
From the pow-wow auction where he saw that first flute to Japan, the UK and all the world, Robert plays with the noble purpose of honoring the land his family his ancestors and his tribe, who have occupied the same area of Northern New Mexico for over a thousand years.

While deeply aware of his heritage Robert looks at the responsibility universally: “I offer my work as a healing for the human spirit and a remembrance of why we are all here together.”

Robert Mirabal

In addition to the music and instruments he creates, Robert is also a celebrated painter, poet and playwright. He is the author of A Skeleton of a Bridge, a book of poetry prose and short stories. He has lent his words and insights to several educational and documentary films, including two narrated by Robert Redford “Silent Witness” and “Sacred Sites.” He is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts award and the New York Dance and Performer’s “Bessie” Award for composition.

Robert’s 2001 live album Music from a Painted Cave is also the title of a TV special of the same name that was broadcast by PBS.

Mirabal formed a band called Rare Tribal Mob that featured Robert Mirabal on vocals, flute, ocarina, percussion, didjeridu; Reynaldo Luján on tribal rhythms, vocals; Michael Kott on cello; Stev Castillo on guitars; Kenny Aronoff on drums, percussion; Star Nayea on vocals, percussion; Robin Peffer on bass; and Patrick Mirabal on vocals, flutes, percussion.

Discography:

Nomad, with Nomad and Mor Thiam (1994)
Song Carrier (1995)
Land (1995)
Warrior Magician (Silver Wave Records, 1996)
Native Suite, with Bill Miller (1996)
Mirabal (1997)
Native American Lullabies: Under The Green Corn Moon (1998)
Taos Tales (Silver Wave Records, 1999)
Music from a Painted Cave (Silver Wave Records, 2001)
Indians, Indians (2003)
Sacred Ground: A Tribute to Mother Earth (2005)
Johnny Whitehorse (Silver Wave Records, 2005)
Pueblo Christmas, with Patrick Mirabal (Silver Wave Records, 2007)
In the Blood (2007)
Johnny Whitehorse: Totemic Flute Chants (Silver Wave Records, 2007)
Johnny Whitehorse: Riders of the Healing Road (Silver Wave Records, 2007)
The River (Innova, 2016)

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Winners of The 17th Annual Native American Music Awards Announced

Newtown Singers

 

The 17th Annual Native American Music Awards were held on Saturday, October 14th at the Events Center at Seneca Niagara Resort and Casino in Niagara Falls, New York. The Seneca Nation’s traditional female vocal group, Newtown Singers opened the award ceremony.

Next came the award-winning powwow drum group, Northern Cree, who delivered a vibrant vocal and hand drum performance.

 

Northern Cree

 

Northern Cree was later joined by DJ Shub and his dubstep-influenced dance and electronica which took the entire segment from traditional into the future. Northern Cree won for Best Powwow Recording and shared their second win with DJ Shub for Best Music Video for the song, “Indomitable’ which was presented remotely by MTV’s Downtown Julie Brown.

 

 

Mickie James was inducted into the Native American Music Hall of Fame by actor Arthur Redcloud who appeared in the movie, The Revenant, with Leonardo DiCaprio. She also won for Single of the Year for “Shooting Blanks” and performed live three songs including her hit “Somebody’s Gonna Pay.”

Native American Music Awards 2017 Winners

Artist of the Year

Josh Halverson – “Year of the Thunderbird”

Debut Artist of the Year

Lucas Ciliberti – “Rainmaker”

Debut Group of the Year

Black Bear Brothers – “Songs from Cheyenne Creek”

Best Female Artist

Kelly Derrickson – “I Am”

Flutist of the Year

Randy McGinnis – “The Journey – hi a vi si i”

Group of the Year

The Cody Blackbird Band – “Live From Chicago”

Best Male Artist

Conrad Benally – “Always And Forever”

Record of the Year

Hoka” – Nahko and Medicine For The People

Nahko and Medicine For The People – Hoka

 

Song of the Year

“Shooting Blanks” – Mickie James

Best Music Video

“Indomitable” – DJ Shub & Northern Cree Singers

Best Music Video For A Performance

“Ascension” – Jan Michael Looking Wolf Band

 

Best Music Video For A Narrative

“Never Give Up” – Artson, Supaman & Quese Imc

Native Heart

Bearheart Kokopelli – “Native Heart”

Best Country Recording

“You’ve Got to Go Back the Way That You Came” – Danielle Egnew

Best Folk Recording

“Year of the Thunderbird” – Josh Halverson

Best Gospel/Inspirational

“Awake, Arise and Shine” – Callie Bennett

Best Instrumental Recording

Songs of the Earth” – Vince Redhouse

Vince Redhouse – Songs of the Earth

 

Best Native American Church Recording

“Simplicity” – Cheevers Toppah

Best Pop Recording

“Celebration” – Cherokee National Youth Choir

Best Pow Wow Recording

It’s A Cree Thing” – Northern Cree

Northern Cree – It’s A Cree Thing

 

Best Rap/Hip Hop/R&B Recording

“The 7th Generation Prophecy” – Sten Joddi

Best Rock / Best Blues Recording

“Take Me Back” – Levi Platero

Best Traditional Recording

“Before America” – James Edmund Greeley

Best Waila Recording

“Creed and Culture” – Native Creed

Lifetime Achievement Award

Gary Farmer

Honorary Award of Excellence

Arthur Redcloud

Hall of Fame

Mickie James

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The Serene Gift of the Flute

Tony Duncan – Purify

Tony Duncan – Purify (Canyon Records CR-7209, 2017)

Purify is the new album by American Indian musician Tony Duncan. He plays peaceful, meditative music on cedar and cane flutes. The Apache River cane flute comes from his father’s side of the family, the San Carlos Apache in Arizona. The cedar flute tradition was transmitted through Tony’s mother. She’s from North Dakota, part of the Mandan Hidatsa Arikara tribes.

Although Purify features exclusively solo flute, Tony Duncan adds exquisite overdubs, adding mesmerizing echoing flutes, as a form of distant call and response.

The titles of the musical pieces give you an accurate sense of the album’s atmosphere: Purify, Meditation, Restoring Balance, Emergence, Healing Prayer, Reflection, Restore, Buffalo Sage, Medicine Dream, Creation, Our Hidden Journey, and Luminaria.

Buy Purify

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Artist Profiles: Mary Youngblood

Mary Youngblood

Native American flute player Mary Youngblood was born on June 24, 1958 in Kirkland, Washington. Mary has Aleut and Seminole ancestry. She is one of the first Native women to record this sacred instrument, a role that has traditionally limited to men. Classically trained on several instruments Mary Youngblood has been playing the flute for over two decades.

Youngblood has a lifetime of musicianship behind her, starting with piano lessons at age six and guitar at ten; she is also a renowned classically trained flutist.

As an adult, when Youngblood received her first wooden Native flute she was compelled to pursue this ancient instrument traditionally played only by men. She has been honored with numerous awards and furthers her craft and knowledge of music and her Native traditions through teaching.

Her 5th album Dance with the Wind came out on May 23 2006 on Silver Wave Records. Inspired by the wisdom of nature Mary writes: “The trees have given a voice to me the voice that sings to you now.” Her eclectic musical style evokes feelings of freedom and gratitude for the blessings of life.

I am simply a vessel between Creator and this sacred instrument the Native American Flute. Listen with an open heart and you will hear the whispers of the Ancient Ones. May their timeless voices soothe your soul.”

Discography:

The Offering (Silver Wave Records, 1998)
Heart of the World (Silver Wave Records, 1999)
Beneath the Raven Moon (Silver Wave Records, 2002)
Feed the Fire (Silver Wave Records, 2004)
Dance with the Wind (Silver Wave Records, 2006)
Sacred Place: A Mary Youngblood Collection (Silver Wave Records, 2008)

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Renowned Native American Flute Player and Composer Joseph FireCrow Dies at 58

Joseph Firecrow

The Native American Music Awards & Association (NAMA) announced late last night that Award-winning Cheyenne musician and composer Joseph FireCrow died on Tuesday, July 11th, at his home in Winsted, Connecticut.

Jan Michael Looking Wolf (Kalapuya/Grande Ronde) remembers Joseph as a “beautiful human being filled with love and light” who enjoyed “coming together with other artists and giving thanks.”

Gary Small (Northern Cheyenne) states, “It’s a sad day to learn that my brother in arms has passed. Maheo’ bless Joe. I will miss you forever.”

Flutist Rona YellowRobe (Cree) called Joseph “gracious and wonderful…His smile was BIG and Beautiful and could light up your day.”

Cody Thomas Blackbird (Cherokee/Dakota) posted, “The world lost an amazing being, the music industry lost the greatest Native flutist and traditional musician to ever grace a stage, and I lost one of my best friends.”

Spencer Battiest (Seminole) shared, “My heart is heavy today to hear about the passing of my dear friend. Joseph’s gentle spirit and authentic approach taught me so much. I will forever be grateful for the times we’ve shared over the years, and I will keep you in my heart and on stage with me for life!

Native American Music Awards President, Ellen Bello stated, “Joseph was one of the most humble and genuine artists from the Native music community. His big, beautiful smile, sincere kindness and undeniable talent touched and influenced everyone in his path. I am heartbroken to learn of the passing of our friend, Joseph from his wife Joann. Not only was he one of our leading Award winners, but even more than that, he was an incredible human being who was truly loved by all.”

At the 16th Annual Native American Music Awards last September 17, 2016 at Seneca Allegany Casino, Joseph FireCrow received a Lifetime Achievement Award honoring him as a leading American Indian singer-songwriter, flute player, vocalist and musician.

Calling/Viewing hours will be from 2 – 6 on Saturday, July 15, 2017 at Maloney Funeral Home. Address: 55 Walnut St, Winsted, CT 06098. Phone: (860) 379-3794. Services will began immediately thereafter. A private burial is at the convenience of the family.

Cards and memorial gifts can be sent directly to Joann at: PO Box 173, Winsted, CT 06098. In Lieu of flowers please send contributions and donations to: Northern Cheyenne Girls and Boys Club, P.O. Box 309, Lame Deer, MT 59043-0309.

To leave your online condolences, visit www.maloneyfuneral.com/notices/Joseph-FirecrowJr/guest-book

Joseph FireCrow is survived by his wife, Joann Moore, children Brandon, Karrie, Joseph III, Damian and Jared, his five siblings and three grandchildren.

For more information about Joseph FireCrow and his discography, read Artist Profiles: Joseph FireCrow

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Contemporary Songs Inspired by Pow-Wow Chants

Wayne Silas, Jr. – Infinite Passion (Canyon Records CR-6512, 2017)

Wayne Silas, Jr., an American Indian singer with Menominee and Oneida background, has recorded an original album where he mixes Native American pow-wow chants and round dance influences with contemporary forms. While traditional pow-wow albums stick to a specific format, Wayne Silas, Jr. uses chants in a fascinating fashion, adding choruses, a really cool vocoder-style voice modulator effect that works really well and some other enhancements.

Guests on Infinite Passion include Randall Paskemin, Leroy Whitstone, Marlon Deschamps, Dan Isaac, Conan Yellowbird, Jacob Faithful, Candace Gadwa and Veronica Keeswood.

On Infinite Passion, Wayne Silas, Jr. wonderfully bridges Native American tradition and modernity.

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Artist Profiles: Kevin Locke

Kevin Locke

It is incredible to see the beauty of the people on this earth the vast richness of humankind. All people have the same impulses spirits and goals.”- Kevin Locke

Considered the world’s pre-eminent Lakota traditional-style flute player and hoop dancer Tokeya Inajin (Kevin Locke) was awarded a National Heritage Fellowship by the National Endowment for the Arts in 199. His life’s work is both a bridge and a balance of the traditional and the modern. He is a recognized authority on his native culture tradition and language and has a Master’s of Arts degree from the University of South Dakota in Educational Administration.

A popular lecturer and storyteller working to ensure his cultural heritage survives and prospers. Locke has traveled to 45 countries from Canada to China from Australia to Africa to Europe sharing his vision of balance joy and diversity through music and dance. As he explains “through my music and dance I wish to give voice to the beauty of the land and to help define the role of the human sprit in relationship to the immensity of this infinite hoop of life.” His belief in the unity of humankind is reflected in his dancing. Kevin uses 28 hoops to tell a story depicting such things as flowers butterflies stars the sun and an eagle. The hoops represent unity while the colors of the hoops -black red yellow and white – represent the four directions four seasons four winds and the four races of humankind. Towards the end of the dance all 28 hoops are interlocked in a spherical shape as fragile as the balance he works for in human affairs.

Locke is both an artist and educator. As a world citizen striving to forge bonds of harmony his contributions to both professions are unique.

Kevin Locke is a member of the Standing Rock Reservation in South Dakota.

Discography:

Flash of the Mirror

Dream Catcher (Earthbeat 1993)

Keepers of the Dream (Earthbeat 1995)

Love Songs of the Lakota (1995)

Open Circle (Makoche Records 1996)

First Flute (Makoche Records 1999)

Midnight Strong Heart (Red Feather 2003)

Earth Gift (2008)

Wind of the North (Red Feather 2008)

Preserving the Heritage Insights & Songs (2011)

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