2009 Native American Music Award Winners

Niagara Falls, New York  (NAMA) 

ELEVENTH ANNUAL WINNERS ANNOUNCED

Jan Michael Looking Wolf for Artist of the Year, Joanne Shenandoah & Michael Bucher's Bitter Tears Sacred Ground for Best Compilation, Jana's rendition of A Change Is Gonna Come for Song/Single of the Year,  Kevin Locke's Earth Gift for Record of the Year, and American Idol Semi-finalist Charly Lowry for Best Video Among Those Honored.

On Saturday October 3, 2009 the Eleventh Annual Native American Music Awards (N.A.M.A.) was held at the Seneca Niagara Hotel & Casino in Niagara Falls infront of a packed house that featured consistently outstanding live music performances along with an emotionally charged  Hall of Fame induction in honor of the late Ritchie Valenz.

Taking this year's top honors are;  Joanne Shenandoah & Michael Bucher's Bitter Tears Sacred Ground for Best Compilation, Jana Mashonee's rendition of Sam Cooke's, A Change Is Gonna Come with Derek Miller for Song/Single of the Year, Jan Michael Looking Wolf for Artist of the Year,  Skylar Wolf for Debut Artist of the Year, Will and Lil Jess for Debut Duo/Group of the Year, Kevin Locke's Earth Gift for Record of the Year, and American Idol Semi-finalist Charly Lowry for Best Video for her long form video featuring her song, Movin On.

Hosted with grace, class, style, humor and even professional music talent by actor Gil Birmingham, others on hand at the Awards ceremeony  included: Shane Yellowbird who won for Best Country Recording, Atsiaktonkie who won for Best Folk Recording, Flutist of the Year JJ Kent, Wind Spirit Drum whose recording Amazing Grace took Best Gospel Inspirational Recording, Thunder Hawk Singers for Best Historical Recording, Gabriel Ayala for Best Instrumental Recording, Bryan Akipa For Best Male Artist, Eagle & Hawk for Best Rock Recording, Rezhogs for Best Rap Hip Hop Recording, Oshkii Giizhik Singers for Best Traditional Recording, Michael Searching Bear for Best World Music Recording, and Michael Brant DeMaria for the Native Heart Award.
Other nominees in attendance included; Benjamin Grimes, Kelly Montijo Fink, Jackie Tice, Mike Serna, Pappy Johns Band, Jimmy Shendo, Augusta Cecconi Bates, Douglas Blue Feather, Yvonne St Germaine and Donna Kay who all participated in the program.
Capping the evening’s ceremonies were consistently transcendant and flawless performances beginning with drum group Young Gunz, Dallas Washkahat and Fawn Wood, classical guitarist Gabriel Ayala, Eagle & Hawk, soprano opera singer Jennifer M Stevens accompanied by composer Augusta Cecconi-Bates, Joanne Shenandoah and Michael Bucher who performed material from their award-winning recording,  Lifetime Achievement Recipient Stevie Salas pumped it up with original Pearl Jam drummer Dave Abbruzesse and bass player TM Stevens of Shocka Zooloo and the late James Brown, and a spectacular rendition of Stevie Ray Vaughn's Pride & Joy by the show's host Gil Birmingham and nominee Jimmy WolfDarryl Tonemah gave a rising performance in his trademarked barefeet, Jana's riveting vocals were unmatched, Shane Yellowbird showcased material for his upcoming Grand Ole Opry appearance, and new artist Jace Martin captured the audience with his Ritchie Valens tribute song, We Belong Together.

Tommy Allsup, original guitarist of the Buddy Holly band who flipped a coin with Ritchie Valens for the last seat on their ill-fated plane, bought the audience to tears as Allsup, who became emotional and choked up as he recapped and retold the story of his tour mate Ritchie Valens and his tragic end.  

Following the Hall of Fame induction and Ritchie's sister, Irma's acceptance speech, Tommy Allsup, who is an enrolled member of the Cherokee Nation, joined Ritchie's little brother, Mario, and his group, The Backyard Blues Band, who rocked the house and performed a special extended rendition of “La Bamba”.

N.A.M.A. and its Advisory Board contingency would like to congratulate all the winners and nominees and proudly honors these legendary performers and songwriters who have been leading forces in the Native American music community.

The Native American Music Awards & Association, founded in 1998, is the world’s leading membership-based association consisting of music industry professionals directly involved in the recording and distribution of traditional and contemporary Native American Music initiatives. The growing success of the Awards show now features over one hundred and fifty nominees annually, with at least one third of those nominees being new artists. For the past eleven years the Awards has set industry standards for professional Native American musicians who are gaining greater acceptance and exposure from both national and international audiences.

 


ARTIST OF THE YEAR

Jan Michael Looking Wolf
The Looking Wolf Project


BEST BLUES RECORDING
Dancing In The  Rain
Graywolf Blues Band


BEST COMPILATION RECORDING
Bitter Tears Sacred Ground
Joanne Shenandoah & Michael Bucher


BEST COUNTRY RECORDING
Life Is Calling My Name 
Shane Yellowbird


DEBUT ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Skylar Wolf 
Devil’s Son


DEBUT DUO / GROUP OF THE YEAR
Will & Lil Jess
Reservation Nights


BEST FEMALE ARTIST
Joy Harjo
Winding Through The Milky Way


BEST FOLK RECORDING
Four Wolves Prophecy
Atsiaktonkie


FLUTIST OF THE YEAR
JJ Kent
Ta Te’ Topa Win


BEST GOSPEL/INSPIRATIONAL RECORDING

Amazing Grace
Lenape Spirits
Wind Spirit Drum


GROUP OF THE YEAR
Brule’  
Lakota Piano II


BEST HISTORICAL RECORDING
Native Pride
Thunder Hawk Singers


BEST INSTRUMENTAL RECORDING
Tango!
Gabriel Ayala


BEST MALE ARTIST
Bryan Akipa
Songs From The Black Hills 


BEST NATIVE AMERICAN CHURCH RECORDING
Peyote Ways
Primeaux & Mike


BEST NEW AGE RECORDING
Deep Within
Tony Redhouse


BEST POP RECORDING
Na Unu Nahai (Shape Shifter)
Apryl Allen


BEST POW WOW RECORDING

Band of Brothers
Midnite Express


BEST PRODUCER
Kelly Parker
Out Of The Blue


BEST RAP / HIP HOP RECORDING
All Day All Night
Rezhogs


RECORD OF THE YEAR
Earth Gift
Kevin Locke


BEST ROCK RECORDING
Sirensong
Eagle & Hawk


SONG/SINGLE OF THE YEAR
A Change Is Gonna Come
Jana Mashonee


SONGWRITER OF THE YEAR
Samantha Crain
The Confiscation:  A Musical Novella


BEST SPOKEN WORD RECORDING
The Great Story From The Sacred Book
Rain Song/Terry & Darlene Wildman


BEST TRADITIONAL RECORDING
It Is A New Day
Oshkii Giizhik Singers


BEST VIDEO
Movin On
Charly Lowry & Aaron Locklear


BEST WORLD MUSIC RECORDING
Ceremony
Michael Searching Bear


NATIVE HEART
Michael Brant DeMaria
Siyotanka


LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT
Stevie Salas
 
LIVING LEGEND
Tommy Allsup

HALL OF FAME
Ritchie Valens
 
Related Nammy Story


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