NEFC Press Release
last updated:

Tuesday, September 06, 2016

 

NATIVE AMERICAN MUSIC AWARDS
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

TABOO OF BLACK EYED PEAS
ACTOR SAGINAW GRANT
WILLIAMS AND REE & JOSEPH FIRECROW
TO RECEIVE SPECIAL HONORS AT THE
SIXTEENTH ANNUAL AWARDS

Farewell Tribute Performance In Honor of the Late Jim Boyd
Special Tribute to John Trudell 

September 1, 2016 – New York, NY. Hosted by comedian Paul Rodriguez,  the 16th Annual Native American Music Awards (NAMA) will be packed with an A List of entertainers and musicians on Saturday, September 17th at Seneca Allegany Casino with special honors to being given to; Taboo of the Black Eyed Peas, actor Saginaw Grant, comedians Williams and Ree, and musician Joseph FireCrow. Special tribute performances will also be held in honor of the late actor and poet, John Trudell and singer/songwriter Jim Boyd.

The Native American Music Awards is very proud to honor and induct Taboo into the NAMA Hall of Fame. Taboo’s Shoshone ancestry on his maternal side is something he has always remained proud of. In his autobiographical book, Fallin Up, he wrote about how his Native American grandmother would encourage him to embrace the "warrior spirit" that was forever in his blood. Growing up in the mean streets of East LA surrounded by poverty, gangs and drugs, Taboo’s rise is one of inspiration and admiration. Today, Taboo, or Jimmy Gomez, is an internationally recognized American hip hop recording artist, actor, and DJ best known for his work with the super group, The Black Eyed  Peas.

A Living Legend Award will be presented to actor Saginaw Grant who has appeared in numerous films and TV shows including the more recent; The Lone Ranger and Breaking Bad.  Saginaw is the Hereditary Chief and respected member of the Sac and Fox, Iowa and Otoe-Missouria Nations. Today, Saginaw is called upon for counseling, lectures, and events, while continuing his acting career and honoring his traditions.

A Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to Joseph FireCrow who is one of the top Native American flute players and flute makers in the world. Since 1992, Joseph has released eight solo albums to date, with six of them released internationally. His accomplishments include; a GRAMMY nomination in the Best Native American Music Album category, Seven Native American Music Awards, a Telly Award, and a GRAMMY as a guest artist on David Darling’s Prayer for Compassion.

Bruce Williams and Terry Ree, often billed as The Indian and the White Guy, will be awarded Entertainers of the Year. Williams and Ree began as a band who filled time between songs with their comedy sketches. Much of the duo's banter plays upon the stereotypes held of Native Americans. Williams and Ree have released three comedy albums, performed with the likes of Garth Brooks, The Oak Ridge Boys and Tim McGraw, and appeared at the inaugural Native American Music Awards in 1998.

A special tribute will be made to the late poet, recording artist, actor and speaker, John Trudell. John, who led a life dedicated to indigenous human rights, land and language issues, passed away last December. Poet, spoken word artist and music producer, Thana Redhawk will be giving a performance in his honor. John was given NAMA's Living Legend award at the inaugural awards ceremony and also won two awards for his recording, Blue Indians, which was produced by Jackson Browne.

A musical tribute will be held for the late Jim Boyd who passed away in June. It was just at the last Awards show that Jim was honored and presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award. His music career spanned over four decades with 16 recordings to his credit, and  four songs featured on the Miramax motion picture Smoke Signals. Jim's longtime friend, collaborator and drummer, Alfonzo "Fonz" Kolb along with multiple award winner and Native music icon, Keith Secola, will be giving a special tribute performance in honor of their friend.

"Devoted to bringing Indigenous music to the world's consciousness" as credited by the New York Times, and cited as being "The Awards Show For Native American Entertainment" by Jeopardy TV, the Native American Music Awards is an ultimate celebration of music. It was founded as the world's first and largest national professional membership-based organization for the advancement & recognition of Native American music expressions.

The 16th Annual Native American Music Awards will be held at the Seneca Allegany Events Center at the Seneca Allegany Casino and Hotel in Salamanca, New York. Salamanca is a city in Cattaraugus County, New York, located inside the Allegany Indian Reservation, a reservation of the Seneca Nation of Indians in New York (one of the six tribes of the Iroquois Confederacy).

Showtime is 7:00PM EST, doors open at 6:00PM EST. Limited tickets are available for the 16th Annual Native American Music Awards at $15.00 through Ticketmaster outlets or by calling the Seneca Allegany Casino at (716) 945-9300. Voting is open to the general public. Music tracks from all the nominees  are featured on the audio players on www.NAMALIVE.com. Anyone can vote by visiting the Awards website VOTING page, or by clicking here.

ABOUT THE HONOREES

TABOO, Hall Of Fame

Taboo’s Shoshone ancestry on his maternal side is something he has always remained proud of. When he was young, his Nanny Aurora, who was also proud of her Native American heritage, hung a dream catcher above his bed. In his autobiographical book, Fallin Up, he wrote about how she would encourage him to embrace the warrior spirit that was forever in his blood. Growing up in the mean streets of East LA surrounded by poverty, gangs and drugs, Taboo’s rise is one of inspiration. Today, Taboo, or Jimmy Gomez, is an internationally recognized American hip hop recording artist, actor, and DJ best known for his work with the super group, The Black Eyed Peas. Along with members;  will.i.am, apl.de.ap, and  Fergie, the Black Eyed Peas earned critical acclaim and international fame, while their music evolved from Rap to Hip Hop, Pop to  dance Pop. Thegroup has won six Grammy Awards and sold an estimated 76 million records worldwide. 
 They have become one of only 12 artists to have simultaneously held the No. 1 and No. 2 spots on the Billboard Hot 100, with their singles Boom Boom Pow and I Gotta Feeling. To date, the group has released six studio albums, two compilation albums, one extended play, twenty-one singles and two video albums. Since July 2011, when the group announced that they were taking a break, Taboo has remained busy. His song 'One Heart, One Beat' which featured contributions by;  Eva Longoria, Oscar De La Hoya, and Shakira, embraced his Mexican American heritage and opposed Arizona's Bill 1070 against illegal immigration. He has co-written and performed on numerous movie soundtracks including; Coach Carter, Legally Blonde, and Barbershop 2. Taboo has had several acting roles as well including the independent film Cosmic Radio, which also starred; Michael Madsen, Daryl Hannah, and Native American actors Wes Studi, and Irene Bedard. His solo single "Zumbao," features shout outs to his cultural icons. He continues to work new singles and collaborations as he’s done throughout his career. With Rap and Hip Hop being the most popular music genre among young Native Americans, Taboo undoubtedly serves as a role model. He has set the bar high and has told our youth, that they can do it too. The Native American Music Awards is very proud to honor and induct Taboo into the NAMA Hall of Fame.

 

 

SAGINAW GRANT, Living Legend
Saginaw Grant has appeared in numerous films and television shows. He played Chief Big Bear in the 2013 film The Lone Ranger and that same year, he appeared as a man who sells his truck to Walter White in Breaking Bad . His other film apearances include; The World's Fastest Indian, Wind Walkers, The Ridiculous 6, and Workaholics. Saginaw is the Hereditary Chief and a respected member of the Sac and Fox, Iowa and Otoe-Missouria Nations. He was born in 1936 at Pawnee, Oklahoma and raised on a farm. Saginaw was especially influenced by his grandfather Kirvin, who was a strong medicine man and his other grandfather Saginaw, who was also a very spiritual man. They both taught Saginaw their customs, culture, and traditions and the importance of their way of life. As a young adult, Saginaw experienced all situations, both good and bad, which every young person faces in today's society. Today, he resides in the Southern California area where he is called upon for counseling, lectures, and family events, while also continuing his acting career.
WILLIAMS AND REE, Entertainers of the Year
Bruce Williams and Terry Ree, often billed as "The Indian and the White Guy", are a pair of American comedians. Williams and Ree first began in 1968 at the Black Hills State University in Spearfish, South Dakota, as members of a band who filled time between songs with comedy sketches. Their humor soon became more popular than their music. Much of the duo's banter plays upon the stereotypes held of Native Americans. Williams and Ree have performed with the likes of Garth Brooks, The Oak Ridge Boys and Tim McGraw, and have appeared on television including on The Nashville Network. Their comedy albums include; The Best of Williams and Ree, Taking Reservations and Way Up Norsk. Williams and Ree currently perform throughout the United States and Canada at Indian casinos and fairs. They appeared at the inaugural Native American Music Awards in 1998 and will be receiving the Entertainers of the Year award.

 

JOSEPH FIRECROW, Lifetime Achievement
Joseph FireCrow is one of the top Native American flute players and flute makers in the world. He is described as a “national treasure” and his premier flute playing “evokes very powerful emotions in mind and spirit." Joseph has been recording albums since 1992 and has released eight solo albums to date, with six of them also released internationally. His accomplishments include; a GRAMMY nomination in the Best Native American Music Album category, Seven time Native American Music Award winner for; Songwriter of the Year, Best Instrumental Recording, a three-time Flutist of the Year, Artist of the Year, and Song/Single of the Year, a Telly Award, and a GRAMMY as a guest artist on David Darling’s “Prayer for Compassion. FireCrow’s humility, has kept him well grounded and guided in his life’s pursuits since the very first time he heard the flute as a young boy. Living on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation located in southeastern Montana, Joseph said the sound of the flute immediately touched his heart. Although there was much pain and uncertainty, he says, “Through all of the hardships of reservation life, the beauty and wonder of our homeland beckoned to me.” The Native American Music Awards will proudly honor Joseph FireCrow with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

 

MASTER OF CEREMONIES

PAUL RODRIGUEZ, Host
Longtime comedian Paul Rodriguez has been making audiences laugh all over the world for nearly three decades with his unique brand of humor that is a perfect blend of his Latin heritage, the American dream and his undeniable universal appeal. As an actor and comedian, Paul Rodriguez’s multi-faceted career includes starring roles and featured appearances in over 45 films and countless television series and comedy specials.  His film credits include Without Men with Eva Longoria and Christian Slater; Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore; The Deported, Disney’s blockbuster hit Beverly Hills Chihuahua, The World’s Fastest Indian, A Cinderella Story, Crocodile Dundee in LA, Chasing Papi and D.C. Cab. As an accomplished writer, director and producer Rodriguez also has several hit projects to his credit including the comedy concert film The Original Latin Kings of Comedy.

 

ABOUT THE PERFORMERS


 

A Final Farewell Tribute To Jim Boyd
It was just at the last Awards show, that Jim Boyd was honored and presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award for his outstanding contributions in the field of music and performed live on stage. But on June 21st, 2016, the Native American Music Awards shared the sorrowful announcement on the passing of Jim Boyd originally made by The Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation. Jim’s music career spanned over four decades with multiple nominations and awards for his work. He released 16 recordings, had four songs featured on the Miramax motion picture Smoke Signals, toured throughout the United States and Europe. He left behind six children and his wife, Shelly as well as thousands of music fans around the world. In a final farewell, Jim's longtime friend, collaborator and drummer, Alfonzo "Fonz" Kolb who appeared on many of Jim’s recordings including; Live @ Two Rivers, Jim Boyd & Kyo-t Live, and Live At The Met; along with multiple award winner and Native music icon, Keith Secola,  will be giving a special tribute performance in honor of their friend, and ours, Jim Boyd.

 

Shelly Morningsong & Fabian Fontenelle
Shelley Morningsong (N. Cheyenne) has recorded four contemporary albums and has emerged as one of New Mexico’s finest performers. She has previously received two Native American Music Awards, including Record of the Year in 2011. With an alto voice that pulls from the depths of her cowboy boots, and songs with lyrics that cut to the heart, Shelley Morningsong appeals to both fans of Buffy Sainte-Marie and Bonnie Raitt. Shelley plays guitar, classical flute and has mastered the Native flute. She also writes theme songs for national organizations including;  Futures For Children, an organization that supports Native children to finish high school and go to college. She tours nationally and internationally and is joined by her husband and musical partner, Fabian Fontenelle (Zuni/Omaha). Fabian adds a breathtaking and beautiful element to their performance with his traditional northern plains style dancing, storytelling and drumming. He is an original member of the American Indian Dance Theater.

 

Spencer Battiest is a Seminole Indian from Florida who grew up singing gospel music and hymns in Miccosukee, Creek, and Choctaw. At age 11, Spencer became the youngest singer to ever perform the National Anthem on live television for an ESPN NHL hockey game. He has also sang the National Anthem on Showtime, HBO, and ESPN2. He has since turned his sights on Pop/R&B and opened for Aerosmith, Sting and The Police. Spencer is the first American Indian artist to sign with Hard Rock Records. Since moving to LA in 2012 Spencer has engaged in acting. He recently appeared in an independent Native American musical entitled, Distant Thunder with Joseph FireCrow and actress Marisa Quinn among others. Spencer has also just collaborated with award winning filmmaker Steven Paul Judd (Kiowa/Choctaw), in his latest project "Love Of My Life". As a multiple Native American Music Awards nominee, Spencer is making his debut performance at this year’s Awards ceremony.

 


A Tribute To John Trudell
Thana Redhawk is a published poet, spoken word artist and music producer. Thana creates inspiration through frequencies of sound and spoken word. She also hosts Native Voices Radio show on KPFN in Mendocino County, CA and Native Nations Radio on Apache Radio. As the youngest Grandmother on the Grandmother’s Circle the Earth Council, she feels we are here not to impress others, but to leave an inspired impression by keeping prayer strong, remembering everything is sacred and everything is related. Thana will be performing a special tribute to the late John Trudell, who passed away last December. John Trudell was a poet, recording artist, actor and speaker with a global following who led a life dedicated to indigenous human rights, land and language issues. He helped spark a spoken word movement that is a continuation of Native American oral traditions.. He was awarded NAMA's Living Legend award at the inaugural awards show and also won two NAMA awards for his work with Jackson Browne who produced John’s recording Blue Indians.

 

 

Theresa Bear Fox
Singer and Songwriter, Theresa Bear Fox always loved music, and began writing songs that were in Mohawk for her Traditional Women’s singing group called, ‘Kontiwennenhawi’, (Carriers of the Words). Her group, The Akwesasne Women Singers were formed in 1999 by four women: Bear Fox, Katsitsionni Fox, Elizabeth Nanitcoke and Lawentas Nanticoke. The women were driven by the need to protect and preserve the Kanienkeha (Mohawk Language), traditional  Kanienkeha:ka (Mohawk People) customs and stories, as well as the oral traditions that are passed down from grandmother to granddaughter. The group was founded on the principle that songs are the easiest way to pass on the language and culture to future generations. Winner of NAMA’s Debut Artist of the Year and last year’s Songwriter of the Year, Theresa Bear Fox is equally as committed to continuing the traditions of her ancestors and preserving her language and culture through her beautiful songs.

 

The Coyote Band has been playing Country Classics and Rock ‘n Roll music in the southern tier of New York State and northeast Pennsylvania for over thirty years. The band started out as a Country Band in 1985 and evolved into an Oldies Band to provide a song list that appeals to a large audience. From Willie Nelson’s Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain to Chuck Berry’s Johnny B. Goode the band creates music to dance to. “The Coyote Band is finally slowing down; we no longer travel out; only playing the Seneca Allegany Resort & Casino now. And what a fun time it’s been.” The Coyote Band  features local musicians: Steve Gordon, on Rhythm Guitar and Lead Vocals, from Seneca Nation Territory; Donnie LaDulce on Lead Guitar, from Stockton, New York; Steve ‘Duds’ Dudley, on Bass and Vocals, from Hornell, New York; Rick ‘The Spider’ Dranger, on Drums, from North Collins. 

 

The Ed Koban House Band
Ed Koban is a multi-instrumentalist from Niagara Falls, NY playing mostly guitar and Native American Flute. He has shared the bill with groups like; Foghat, Three dog Night, Blackfoot, Molly Hatchet, Indigenous, Rusted Root, and has performed at such nationally renowned venues like the Kennedy Center and at the 2002 Winter Olympics. Since 2011, Ed Koban has led the House band with his group, the Ed Koban Band for the Native American Music Awards and has become what Paul Shaffer was to Late Night with David Letterman. On the NAMA stage, Ed has performed with artist such as:  Nelly Furtado,, Rickey Medlocke of Lynyrd Skynyrd & Blackfoot, Joanne Shenandoah ; A Taste of Honey’s Janice Marie Johnson, Rock And Roll Hall of Fame Inductee Nokie Edwards and many more. Like the waters that roar over the edge in his hometown, Ed Koban's own music can be beautiful and evocative, or raging and powerful.

 

Native American Music Awards
ph: 212.228.8300 fax: 646.688.6883
email: NAMAlive@aol.com

www.NAMALIVE.com

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