Leading Native American Musician Joanne Shenandoah dies at 64

He has performed with Willie Nelson and Neil Young for the Dalai Lama and Nelson Mandela.

“Joanne is to contemporary Native American music what Aretha Franklin, Etta James or Billie Holiday are to their genre,” said Ed Koban, a Native American Music Award nominee and Mohawk tribesman. told Native News Online. “A timeless and elegant voice that doesn’t need vocal numbers or gymnastics, but is instead gentle, soft and pure.”

Miss Shenandoah recorded a track for Robbie Robertson’s 1998 album “Contact From the Underworld of Redboy”. “She puts you in a trance with her beautiful Iroquois chants,” said Mr. Robertson of her singing, “she wraps her voice like a warm blanket on a cool winter night.”

Through his music, along with the content of his lyrics, he sought to counter centuries of abuse and marginalization of Indians; he also pleaded with his listeners to protect the world and hoped to offer solace to the spirit.

Inside “prophetic song“We are now reminded to be aware of our place in this world and to fulfill our responsibilities to ourselves, our families, nations, the natural world, and the Creator,” she says. ”

Joanne Lynn Shenandoah was born on June 23, 1957 in Syracuse, NY. Her mother, Maisie (Winder) Shenandoah, was an artist and her father, Clifford Shenandoah, was an ironworker raising the family on the Oneida Reservation just east. Syracuse His ancestors included Chief Skenandoa (spelling varies), who was an ally of George Washington during the American Revolution.

Joanne may have been written to be a born singer; The Oneida Wolf Clan name Tekaliwakwha means “singing”. But when she reached adulthood, she planned to become a business woman. For a while she sang only informally at weddings and funerals.

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