Joanne Shenandoah
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Joanne Shenandoah

Oneida, New York, United States | INDIE

Oneida, New York, United States | INDIE
Band World Singer/Songwriter


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--John Diliberto
CD Review

Sung in her native Iroquois tongue, Joanne Shenandoah's music is like a lullaby with a touch of pain and longing lingering beneath the surface.

Sometimes called the Native American Enya, Shenandoah actually has a deeper, more powerful voice than the Irish thrush. Her songs are like Native haiku, short fragments that build in their own poetic arc, sharing an innate musicality not unlike Irish Gaelic.

Although Shenandoah has several recordings in a more conventional folk-singer vein, Peace & Power draws from her four most evocative, atmospheric albums: Matriarch, Orenda, Peacemaker's Journey and Lifeblood. Both pianist Peter Kater, who produced Lifeblood, and Tom Wasinger, producer of the other three, successfully frame Shenandoah's simple songs in detailed arrangements. Wasinger, in particular, creates an ethereal chamber music ensemble, with guitars, Middle Eastern zithers, Armenian duduks, citterns, and African kalimbas.

The CD comes with an extensive autobiographical booklet detailing Shenandoah's life journey and her pride in her Native heritage, though there's not much information about the music itself. And it would be interesting, in this retrospective context, to hear how she has taken her tradition and extended it into new musical terrain. But at least the aural evidence is on the CD.

- Peace & Power: Best of Joanne Shenandoah

"USA Today"

". . . the Native American music scene is brimming with skilled, adventurous artists, such as Robbie Robertson, Bill Miller, Rita Coolidge . . . and, arguably the best of all, the remarkable Joanne Shenandoah." - None

"Associated Press"

"The most critically acclaimed native American singer of her time."

Robbie Robertson: "She weaves you into a trance...and wraps her voice around you like a warm blanket on a cold winter’s night." - None


-- Skywoman. Silver Wave Records. 2005
-- Covenant. Silver Wave Records. 2003
-- Peace and Power : The Best of Joanne Shenandoah. Silver Wave Records. 2002
-- Peacemaker's Journey. Silver Wave Records. 2000
-- Matriarch : Iroquois Women's Songs. Silver Wave Records. 1996
-- Life Blood. Silver Wave Records. 1995
-- Once in a Red Moon. Canyon Records. 1994
-- Joanne Shenandoah. Canyon Records. 1989

-- Many Blessings. Silver Wave Records. 2004
-- Sacred Ground: A Tribute To Mother Earth. Silver Wave Records. 2000
-- Under The Green Corn Moon : Native American Lullabies. Silver Wave Records. 1998
-- Heartbeat: Voices of First Nations Women. Smithsonian Folkways. 1995



GRAMMY AWARD WINNING Singer/ Performer/ Composer/ Actress/ Lecturer, Joanne Shenandoah has drawn upon her rich heritage in establishing a reputation as one of America's foremost Native recording artists.

In addition, Joanne has given hundreds of lecturers and workshops throughout the world, from the Parliament of the Worlds Religions, to Commencement speeches and multicultural affairs. Joanne appears in "The Last Winter," which stars Ron Perlman (Hellboy-Beauty and the Beast) and premiered at the Toronto Film Festival on Sept 11, 2006. She has been featured in many PBS, video and television documentaries.

Joanne has 14 recordings and her music is on 40 plus compilations. Her original compositions combined with a striking voice enable her to embellish the ancient songs of the Iroquois using a blend of traditional and contemporary instrumentation. Joanne's music reflects the indigenous philosophy and culture which continues to have a profound effect on the world today. From traditional chants to contemporary ballads about Native ways, her music has been described as an emotional experience, a Native American Trance.

Joanne appeared on stage at Carnegie Hall, the White House, Kennedy Center, Woodstock 94, Earth Day on the Mall, and the Special Olympics performances nationally and internationally.

". . . the Native American music scene is brimming with skilled, adventurous artists, such as Robbie Robertson, Bill Miller, Rita Coolidge, . . . and, arguably the best of all, the remarkable Joanne Shenandoah."
-- USA Today

-- 2006 GRAMMY AWARD WINNER - "Sacred Ground"

-- 2005 CANAB Best International Recording - "Skywoman"

-- 2004 GRAMMY AWARD Nomination - "Covenant"

-- 2004 Indian Summer Music Award, Best Religious Recording - "Sisters"

-- 2004 Sammy Award, Best Folk Recording - "Eagle Cries"

-- 2003 GRAMMY AWARD Nomination - "Peacemakers Journey"



"Shenandoah has become the most critically acclaimed Native American Singers of her time."
-- Associated Press

"Shenandoah is a Wolf Clan member of the Iroquois Confederacy."
-- Oneida Nation