Joanne Shenandoah's American-Indian name is Tekaliwah-kwa, which translates to 'she sings.' - Photo courtesy of Joanne Shenand

Eclectic music and more

Grammy Award-winning singer and songwriter Joanne Shenandoah ushers in the 2011-2012 St. Clair Productions concert season. At the forefront of contemporary American-Indian music, Shenandoah is a member of the Wolf Clan of the Oneida Nation of the Haudenosaunee Six Nations Iroquois Confederacy. The Associated Press acknowledges her as "the most critically acclaimed Native American singer of her time."

Shenandoah will perform traditional songs and melodies to traditional and contemporary instruments at 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 30, at the Unitarian Center, 87 Fourth St., Ashland. The concert will open the Eclectic Music and More Concert Series, which runs through May and features a variety of entertainment ranging from blues and Celtic to comedy and classical.

Shenandoah has appeared on more than 40 music compilations and has 15 recordings to her credit. Her most recent album, "Bitter Tears: Sacred Ground," released in 2008 in collaboration with Cherokee Nation singer Michael Bucher, is a tribute to Johnny Cash, Peter La Farge and Floyd Red Crow Westerman. The album contains renditions of six songs from Cash's 1964 release, "Bitter Tears," as well as seven ballads by Shenandoah and Bucher.

Since emerging as an artist in 1990, Shenandoah has received three Grammy nominations, one Grammy for her 2006 release, "Sacred Ground," and 13 Native American Music Awards. Her music has taken her to prestigious venues all over the globe from New York's Carnegie Hall and the White House to the Parliament of the World's Religions in South Africa and the Hwaeomsa Temple in South Korea.

She also has contributed music to soundtracks of the CBS television series "Northern Exposure," the Discovery Channel miniseries "How the West Was Lost," the 1995 film "Indian in the Cupboard" and the documentary "American Outrage." She also played a major role in the 2006 thriller "The Last Winter," starring Ron Perlman.

In 1997, Shenandoah co-wrote the book "Skywoman: Legends of the Iroquois" with John Kahionhes-Fadden and Douglas M. George-Kanentiio. And in 2002, the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra premiered the symphony "Skywoman," composed by Shenandoah, Gerhard Rebmann and Harmut Seidler.

Shenandoah will offer a songwriting workshop with information about the music business (copyright, publishing, royalties, distribution, promotion, etc.) from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, Oct. 1, at the Unitarian Center. The workshop also will cover the basics of songwriting and voice care.

Tickets to the concert cost $22 in advance, $25 at the door, $10 for ages 12 to 17 and free for children younger than 12. Tickets to the workshop cost $30. Tickets are available at www.stclairevents.com, the Music Coop in Ashland or by calling 541-535-3562. A portion of the proceeds benefit Red Earth Descendants.

Share This Story