By Brenda Norrell
TUCSON -- Congratulations to the thirty winners of Native American Music Awards at the 10th annual celebration on the Seneca Nation in New York Saturday night. The sounds and performances revealed the pursuit of excellence from traditional sounds to rock, reggae, folk and hip hop. The award ceremony was broadcast live on the web, with a rapid fire chat room.
Two of the top winners, each capturing double awards, Blackfire and Native Roots, also deserve an award in the "keeping it real" category for their enduring efforts for international human rights, Indigenous sovereignty and the preservation of Native culture.
Blackfire's Klee, Clayson and Jeneda Benally, with their father Jones Benally, have upheld the standard of no compromise in the fight for dignity and human rights for Indigenous Peoples around the world. From their home in Flagstaff, Arizona, with the foundation of their father's homeland in Big Mountain on the Navajo Nation, Blackfire has established a new standard for Native American youths and resistance to colonization.
Blackfire's "(Silence) is a Weapon" captured the Best Record Award for 2008 and the Native Heart Award, with recognition for producer Ed Stasium.
Native Roots, awarded Group of the Year and Best World Recording, is based in Albuquerque. Native Roots has carried this unique reggae, traditional and folk mix of sounds from the Pueblos to the Maori in New Zealand, always inspiring hope and celebrating the beauty of Indigenous cultures.
Both Native Roots and Blackfire have always put others needs above their own, sealing their place in history not only as Native musicians, but music makers who have fine-tooled sound and lyrics as a vehicle for social change and building a better world.
Jim Boyd's selection as Artist of the Year will be celebrated by all those who remember his sound with the empowering XIT, among the best Native American bands of all time, which fueled the birth of the Red Power movement in the 70s. Boyd's 11th release, "Blues to Bluegrass," on Thunderwolf Records, includes rock, bluegrass, blues and folk, with reflections on Coyote the trickster.
It was also good to see Chucki Begay, Navajo, from here in Tucson, on stage with the all star line up of presenters.
Congratulations to 10th Annual NAMMY Award Winners!
Lifetime Achievement Award: Johnny Curtis
Best World Music: Native Roots
Best Blues Recording: "Deep Downtown" Jimmy Wolf
Best Compilation Recording Old Style Round Dance: Various Artists
Best Country Recording: "No Lies" Tracy Bone
Debut Artist of the Year: Cheryl Bear
Debut Group of the Year: Injunuity
Best Female Artist: Nicole
Best Folk Recording: "Where the Green Grass Grows," The Crow Girls
Flutist of the Year: Jan Michael Looking Wolf
Best Gospel Inspirational: "Precious Memories," Cherokee National Youth Choir
Group of the Year: Native Roots
Best Historical Recording: "Chief Seattle Speaks 1854," Red Hawk
Best Instrumental Recording: "Mirror Lake," Golana
Best Male Artist: Edmund Bull
Best Native American Church Recording: "New Beginning," Janelle Turtle
Best New Age Recording "Homeland Security," Medicine Crow
Best Pop Recording: "Phoenix," Fara Palmer
Best Pow Wow Recording: "Hear the Beat," Blackfoot Confederacy
Best Producer: Adrian Brown, Tim Sampson, Jonathan Joss, "Still No Good"
Best Rap Hip Hop Recording: "Native American Hustle," Dago Braves
Record of the Year: "(Silence) is a Weapon," Blackfire
Best Rock Recording: "The Sun & the Earth," Stevie Salas
Song Single of the Year: "Broken Dreams," Nightshield
Songwriter of the Year: Star Nayea
Best Spoken Recording: "The Story Tellers," Ken Quiet
Best Traditional Recording: "Traditional Navajo Shoe Songs," Gilbert Begay, Sr.
Best Short Form Music Video: "The Enlightened Time," JANA
Best Long Form Video: "Live at Mount Rushmore: Concert for Reconciliation of Cultures," Brule & Airo
Best World Music Recording: "Celebrate" Native Roots
Native Heart: Ed Stasium producer for "(Silence) is a Weapon"
The Native American Music Awards 10th anniversary celebration, at the Seneca Niagara Hotel & Casino. Along with the winners, those inducted into the NAMMY Hall of Fame were: Rickey Medlocke of Blackfoot, selling over 5 million records with his hits “Train Train” and “Highway Song;" Pat Vegas of Redbone which reached the Top 5 of the Billboard Hot 100 charts in 1974 with the song, "Come and Get Your Love;" Janice-Marie Johnson of A Taste of Honey, with multi-platinum smash hit "Boogie Oogie Oogie;" and Felipe Rose of the Village People.
NAMMY presenters included Joanne Shenandoah and Robert Tree Cody, Chucki Begay, Navajo, from Tucson, Blues recording artist CornBred, Canada’s Edmund Bull, New Mexico’s Native Roots, South Dakota’s Rap Hip/Hop artists Nightshield and Maniac The Siouxpernatural, female power vocalists Star Nayea & Pura Fe’, The Cherokee National Youth Choir, Iroquois Dancers, Trevor Jones & Young Gunz plus Indian Country’s preeminent comedian and ventriloquist, Buddy Big Mountain, and more.
The Great grandson of Geronimo, Houston Geronimo and Lance White Magpie, a direct descendant of Crazy Horse served as special guest presenters.
Listen to those award winning sounds at: http://www.votenative.com/
Listen to the Choctaw and Chickasaw band, Injunuity: http://www.injunuity.net/
Special thanks to Single Feather Media for the live web broadcast, making it possible for people around the world to watch the show live and talk it over in the chat room:
Single Feather Media
Cherokee Nation language links: http://www.cherokee.org/Culture/Downloads/Default.aspx