Friday, December 6, 2013
8 p.m./ $18
Member price: $15
May Memorial Unitarian Universalist Society
3800 East Genesee St, Syracuse, N.Y.
Joanne Shenandoah, Iroquois, is a member of the Wolf Clan in the Oneida nation. She is one of America's most celebrated and critically acclaimed musicians. She She mixes an interesting combination of modes in her music to convey a passionate, resonate feeling to anyone who will open their hearts to listen. She has captured the hearts of audiences all over the world.
Joanne has written and performed a multitude of works with a grand amount of amazing other artists, such as Neil Young, Johnny Cash, Bruce Cockburn and Robbie Robertson to name a few. Shenandoah's first big concert happened in 1990 for an event called the Pahasapa Festival. She was invited to perform alongside Floyd "Red Crow" Westerman and Buddy Big Mountain on a bill that featured such artists as
Neil Young, Jackson Brown, John Denver and JohnTrudell. Some of her works include "Skywoman," a symphony she wrote that premiered
in 2002 at the Syracuse Symphony, staned in the film "The Last Winter" (released in 2007). She is a Grammy award winner, with over 40 music awards (including a record 13 Native American Music Awards).
"Joanne Shenandoah is one of the finest tributes to Native American Culture" -- Neil Young She has always sung -- her native name is Tekaliwa khwa, which means "she sings." By the time she was five years old,Shenandoah was on stage singing for cultural presentations and dances. Both of her parents had tremendous musical talent- her dad, a jazz guitarist, bad played with Duke Ellington-and music was her family's form of entertainment as she was growing up. Shenandoah attended boarding school in her teens wheresbe was immersed in classicaloriented music. She learned to play several instruments, including clarinet, flute, cello and piano. Though engrossed in classical music at the time, she did enjoy other musical influences as varied as Billie Holiday and Jimi Hendrix.
Shenandoah began writing her own songs, leaving behind a lucrative career as an architectural systems engineer. She returned to Oneida territory determined to forge a career as a musician. One of the first songs she wrote was sent out before she had obtained the necessary copyrights and ended up on Kenny Rogers and Barbara Streisand albums. Her song "Bitter Tears - Sacred Ground" was recorded by Johnny Cash for his own 1960s-era album, "Bitter Tears". Shenandoah follows a ritual with each album she records, thinking the project through in terms of theme and breathing into it its own life. ''Every song is part of who I am and each album is like a chapter in someone's life. I believe they're ancestrally inspired and my guardians are there with me as I create them."
"She weaves you into a trance with her beautiful Iroquois chants and wraps her voice around you like a warm blanket on a cool winter's night"
-- Robbie Robertson