Joanne Shenandoah

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Joanne Shenandoah
Born 1958
New York, United States
Genres world
Occupations Singer, guitarist, author
Instruments Vocals, acoustic guitar

Joanne Shenandoah (born 1958, Oneida) is a singer, composer and acoustic guitarist based in the United States. She is a member of the Wolf Clan; the Oneida Nation is part of the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois Confederacy). Her music is a combination of traditional songs and melodies with a blend of instrumentation.

She has recorded more than 15 albums and won numerous awards, including an Honorary Doctorate of Music by Syracuse University.[1][2] She received a Grammy Award for her part in the album Sacred Ground: A Tribute to Mother Earth (2005), which had tracks by numerous artists.[3]

Early life and education[edit]

Shenandoah is the daughter of Maisie Shenandoah, Wolf Clanmother of the Oneida Nation of New York, and the late Clifford Shenandoah, an Onondaga Nation chief. She has two sisters, Diane and Danielle. As the Oneida have a matrilineal kinship system, the sisters were all considered to be born into their mother's Wolf Clan. Descent and inheritance passes through the maternal line.

Through her father's line, she is a direct descendant of Oskanondonha also known as John Skenando (Skenandoa, Shenandoah), an Oneida "pine tree chief".

Joanne Shenandoah grew up on the Oneida Reservation near Lewiston, New York. She learned many traditional songs and music styles, and also added playing the guitar. She has written music and developed her own style, blending traditional and contemporary techniques and instrumentation.

Works[edit]

Joanne Shenandoah started performing in the Syracuse area. She has 16 recordings, and her first solo CD was recorded in 1989. In addition to her solo works, she has performed tracks with other musicians, or contributed tracks to group albums.

Although based in the Syracuse area, she travels frequently for her mostly solo performances in the United States and internationally. In 2011, Shenandoah and her daughter Leah recorded on the title track Path to Zero with Jim Morrison. The album also included artists, Sting/Bono, Sinéad O'Connor, Robert Downey Jr. and others.

Shenandoah was invited to Rome, Italy to participate in the October 2012 celebration of the canonization of Kateri Tekakwitha, the first Native American saint. She performed an original composition for this occasion. She has performed in major venues and at major public events, including at The White House, Carnegie Hall, three Presidential Inaugurations, Madison Square Garden, Crystal Bridges Museum, National Museum of the American Indian, The Ordway Theater, Hummingbird Centre, Toronto Skydome, Parliament of the World's Religions, (Africa, Spain and Australia) and Woodstock '94.

Recognition[edit]

Shenandoah is a Grammy Award winner. She has received more Native American Music Awards (13 to date) than any other Native Artist, and a total of more than 40 music awards.[4] She has also received numerous Indie Awards and Syracuse Area Music Awards (SAMMYS).[5] She was presented with the Rigoberta Menchu - Highest award by the Native Film Festival in Montreal, Canada for her soundtrack in the documentary, Our Land Our Life.

Shenandoah was recently honored with the Atlas Award for her work with the climate change movement, both in the US and around the world.[6]

Personal[edit]

Shenandoah hails from a traditional family. She is married to Doug George-Kanentiio (Akwesasne Mohawk), a co-founder of the Native American Journalists Association and published author. Her sister Diane is the Faithkeeper for the Wolf Clan. Her sister Danielle Shenandoah Patterson was instrumental in staging protests related to the 32-acre parcel of Oneida Sovereign Land.

Shenandoah is one of the original board members of the Hiawatha Institute for Indigenous Knowledge, which operates in partnership with Syracuse University.[7]

Discography[edit]

As contributor[edit]

External links[edit]

Discography

References[edit]

  1. ^ Homan Rodoski, Kelly. "Syracuse University Trustee Wendy Cohen and Native American recording artist Joanne Shenandoah-Tekalihwakhwa to receive honorary degrees at 2002 SU/ESF Commencement". News Archive. Syracuse University. Retrieved 11 May 2014. 
  2. ^ Eisenstadt, Peter; Moss, Laura-Eve (2005). The Encyclopedia of New York State (1st ed.). Syracuse, N.Y.: Syracuse University Press. p. 1409. ISBN 9780815608080. 
  3. ^ "Grammy-Winning Musician Joanne Shenandoah to Perform at STLCC-Meramec". St. Louis Community College. Retrieved 11 May 2014. 
  4. ^ "Hall of Fame". Native American Music Awards. Retrieved 11 May 2014. 
  5. ^ "SAMMYS Hall of Fame". Syracuse Area Music Awards. Retrieved 11 May 2014. 
  6. ^ "INAUGURAL ATLAS AWARDS CEREMONY". University of New South Wales Institute of Environmental Studies. Retrieved 11 May 2014. 
  7. ^ "HIAWATHA Institute for Indigenous Knowledge". Syracuse University. Retrieved 11 May 2014.