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Published on October 24th, 2019 | by Landon Buford


Wes Studi and Mickie James to Host 2019 Native American Music Awards on November 2, 2019

Courtesy of the Native American Music Awards

New York, NY.  The Native American Music Awards is proud to announce an A-List of entertainers, special guests, and performers for Native America’s biggest night of entertainment taking place on Saturday, November 2, 2019, at the Seneca Niagara Hotel & Casino in Niagara Falls, New York.
The Awards, which kicks off the first weekend of National Native American Heritage Month will be hosted by the highly distinguished actor and recent Oscar honoree, Wes Studi (Cherokee) with WWE Superstar and Country Singer, Mickie James (Powhatan).  There will be a Red Carpet event prior to the Awards show, which will also feature a special stage featuring live music performances by local Seneca Nation bands.
Featured Awards performers include multiple nominees; Joanne Shenandoah, The Cody Blackbird Band, Jamie Coon, Ellson and Callie Bennett, Kelly Derrickson, Shelley Monringsong & Fabian Fontenelle, Innastate and special guests Keith Secola, DJ Shub, Seneca Nation’s Newtown Women & Youth Singers, comedian JR Redwater and the Buffalo-based house band the Ed Koban Group.
The Native American Music Awards & Association is very proud to announce that a Legend Award will be presented to; Portugal.The Man’s founding members, John Gourley and Zachary Carothers for their support and dedication to First Peoples through Tribal Land Acknowledgement during their 2018 national tour.
Wes Studi will be inducted into the N.A.M.A. Hall of Fame. Studi is one of the country’s greatest actors, and the first Native American to receive an Oscar.  He is also a musician and made his recording debut with the group, Firecat of Dischord in 1995. Studi will join the ranks of other previous Hall of Fame Inductees including; rock guitarist, Jesse Ed Davis, Link Wray,  Redbone,  and Taboo (Black Eyed Peas) among other greats.
The Newtown Women And Youth Singers are a traditional group from Seneca Territory who have been singing for many years and are now teaching younger Seneca ladies to also sing and preserve their language. Since their inception, Ohwejagehka Hadegaenage has distributed Earth Songs, or Iroquois Social Songs, as an effort to preserve and promote Iroquoian culture.  All the members of the Newtown Singers work hard to continue their traditional ways. In this new era, they believe, they must all continue to work together to carry on their culture for the generations yet to come.
Callie Bennett was adopted at four months old from Seoul, South Korea into the Navajo Nation. Her music is inspired by her family and her inherited Navajo/Diné culture. Callie’s first album, ‘Glorify’ was nominated for Best Female Artist and Best Gospel/Inspirational Recording.  In 2017, Callie’s single ‘Awake Arise and Shine’ won for Best Gospel Inspirational Record. Callie is highly involved with her father’s ministry which is located on the Navajo Nation. She teaches youth groups, has performed on the Trinity Broadcasting Television Network of Arizona, and continuously travels with her Father, Ellson Bennett. Callie’s heart is to reach out to all nations with encouragement, hope, faith, and love through her music.
Ellson Bennett is the Co-Founder of Covenant of Faith, a ministry of many outreaches devoted to meeting the needs of the Indigenous People of America and the world. Well-known for his balanced Biblical teaching, Ellson travels from Indian Reservations to the Metropolitan, teaching the uncompromised ‘Word of God/’  Ellson shares his inspiring messages of victory and faith with vivid illustrations from the Bible.  He and his family were adopted into the Lakota Nation by the Miniconjou Band where he was given the name Wakiyan Ho’ Was’te’ meaning ‘Good Voice Thunder’.
DJ Shub, born Dan General, is a DJ and music producer who has created a sound and experience all of his own. Considered to be the Godfather of PowWowStep, Shub who is Mohawk and a member of the Six Nations of the Grand River, continues to pioneer a growing genre of electronic music. His live show features a non-stop body-moving experience enhanced by traditional dancers in full regalia. He has won numerous awards for his work as a DJ and solo artist and as a former member of the group, A Tribe Called Red. Some of his accomplishments include; a Juno Award and Best Music Video from the Native American Music Awards for “Indomitable Ft. Northern Cree Singers.” The single went on to become the #1 song on Sirius Xm radio’s Indigenous Music Countdown program on NCI-FM..
Innastate is a contemporary reggae band from the high-desert of New Mexico who have shared the stage with greats such as; the Wailers, Native Roots and Nahko. The group has quickly gained acclaim for their unique brand of modern reggae rock that honors their indigenous heritage. The band believes in the power of music to connect people, offering heartfelt songs that reflect on the human experience, spirituality and the environment.  Innastate members are; Adrian Wall of Jemez Pueblo (guitar/vocal), Rylan Kabotie of Santa Clara Pueblo/Jicarilla Apache (bass/vocal), Lawrence Bailon of Santa Clara Pueblo/Kewa Pueblo (drums), and Karlo Johnson of Isleta Pueblo (guitar). Their live lineup expands utilizing the talents of Romeo Alonzo (alto sax), MC T-Bone (trombone) and Mikey Jaramillo (percussionist).
Jamie Coon’s music has been described as “Soul-Pop”. Winner of the Native American Music Awards Best Pop Recording in 2014, Jamie’s timeless quality of her music comes from a simple recipe of well-crafted, melodic songs performed with superb musicianship. The Oklahoma native who is Creek and Seminole grew up listening to Otis Redding, Aretha Franklin, Elton John and the Beatles. The result is an emotional musical ride, sometimes joyful, sometimes bittersweet, but always hopeful. Jamie’s songs have been featured in several films and on television including; Deceit, the indie-comedy Long-Term Relationship and on the Television series Ghost Whisperer with Jennifer Love Hewitt.
Joanne Shenandoah has been hailed by the Associated Press as one of  America’s most celebrated and critically acclaimed Native American musicians of her time”.  Joanne has acquired a total of over 40 music awards; fifteen of which are from the Native American Music Awards including Lifetime Achievement. Joanne’s  traditional and contemporary deliveries have ranged from solos to full symphonies throughout her twenty-two recordings which have mesmerized audiences all over the world. Joanne and her daughter, Leah, are direct descendants of the famed “Chief Shenandoah” who is noted to have been given a “Peace Medal” by George Washington.  Her daughter, Leah has performed with her mother throughout most of her life. In 2014, Leah recorded her debut album and won the Native American Music Awards Debut Artist of the Year. As Oneida Iroquois Wolf Clan members, their art is deeply rooted in their heritage.
Keith Secola is considered a songwriter of the people and is an icon and ambassador of Native music. Of the Anishinabe tribe, Keith is one of the most influential artists today. His most popular song, NDN Kars (Indian cars), is considered a Native American anthem and has been the number one requested song on tribal radio stations for over three decades. Highly skilled with the guitar, flute, mandolin, banjo, harmonica, and piano, he has garnered awards and accolades as a musician, singer, songwriter, composer and producer.  Keith has toured the US and Europe and has played in venues from the halls of the Chicago Urban Indian Centre, to the walls of the Grand Canyon, and at the Olympic Games in Atlanta and Salt Lake City. He has won seven Native American Music Awards for a variety of categories and has been inducted into the Native Music Hall of Fame.
Kelly Derrickson is a First Nation artist from Westbank, British Columbia who is the daughter of Grand Chief Ronald Derrickson. What her father has worked to accomplish through leadership and politics, Kelly has worked to accomplish through music. Kelly, has received multiple awards from various organizations including NAMA’s  Best Female Artist for the past two consecutive years. Her songs are currently in rotation on Sirius XM Radio and on stations in North America. Her concern for young people can be found in Suicide Song, co-written by Kelly and her father. I Am (Mother Nature) celebrates nature while her song,  Idle No More is a statement against the pollution of Canada’s native lands. Recently, her nominated song, “We Are Love” is rallying the hearts of her fans everywhere and her video has reached just over 200,000 views.  
Shelley Morningsong is Northern Cheyenne and Dutch. She has recorded five contemporary albums and has received three Native American music awards including Artist of the Year. With an alto voice that pulls from the depths of her cowboy boots, and songs with lyrics that cut to the heart, Shelley is also a master of the Native flute. Her husband and musical partner, Fabian Fontenelle is Zuni and Omaha. He brings a breathtaking and beautiful element to their performance with his traditional northern plains style dancing, storytelling and drumming. Fabian is an original member of the American Indian Dance Theater and is the great, great Grandson of Chief Big Elk of the Omaha people. He has provided master-work choreography for PBS and has done consulting work and acting for the History Channel and Stephen Spielberg’s Into the West.  
The Cody Blackbird Band features brothers Cody and Caleb Blackbird who are Dakota, Cherokee, and Romani gypsy, The Cody Blackbird Band fuses traditional Native-American flute music with blues and heartland rock. Raw, honest, and organic the brothers honor the sacred music of their ancestors, while infusing the revolution of rock and R&B. Utilizing the haunting sounds of the traditional wooden flute and hide skin drum, Cody has become an influential flutist for a new generation, while his brother Caleb keeps the heartbeat of the pow-wow inside all of their songs.  Cody’s voice ranges from the subtle intimacies of soft heartfelt poetry to the rough-edged sound of an experienced classic blues-rock powerhouse. Awarded Group of the Year in 2017 at the Native American Music Awards, the band has shared the bill with such artists as; The Black Eyed Peas and Michael Franti. Their latest musical offering is produced by industry veteran Kenny Lee Lewis of the Steve Miller Band.
Ed Koban has organized and led the House band for the Native American Music Awards since 2011. His versatile and high energy group is comprised of world-class musicians who can shift between genres and styles to support the wide range of artists at the annual Awards show stage. Ed Koban is a guitarist and Native American Flutist from Niagara Falls, New York. He has shared the bill with groups such as: Foghat, Three Dog Night, Molly Hatchet, Indigenous, Rusted Root, and has performed at prestigious events at the Kennedy Center and the 2002 Winter Olympics. Ed’s music defies categorization. His sound is much like the man himself, unable to be confined by any one style or genre.
JR Redwater is an enrolled member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. They call JR the “Reservation Sensation” for good reason; he is one of the most requested comedians in Indian Country today. “JR’s pain is the audience’s gain” as he spins the bitter hardships of reservation life into huge laughs. This master storyteller delivers wall-to-wall comedy that connects with audiences of all ages and backgrounds. He was featured on Showtime’s “Native American Comedy Jam”, and has released his own solo comedy special, “Full Blooded Hilarious”.  JR performs live across North America at Casinos, Clubs, Universities, Conferences and more.
Mickie James is a WWE® Superstar & Country Recording Artist. While growing up in Virginia, Mickie James, or Mickie Laree James was a tomboy who always loved riding horses and the wrestling business. Mickie’s strong Powhatan ancestry tracing back to the Middle High reservation on her mother’s side, is something she has always embraced throughout her career and still remains very proud of. Today, WWE® Superstar  Mickie James™ is internationally recognized in the world of professional wrestling. She is a six time Women’s champion. She has set a precedent and broken many barriers for women in the WWE. Mickie was inducted into the Native American Music Awards Hall of Fame during the 17th Annual Native American Music Awards ceremony..  As a recording artist, she has also released two albums, six singles, and has performed with Rascal Flats, Gretchen Wilson, Randy Houser, Montgomery Gentry and at the CMAs. Last year, she was awarded Best Signle Recording for her song, “Left, Right, Left”. Mickie continues to serve as an incredible inspiration and role model as a WWE Superstar, professional wrestler, country singer and entertainer.
Wes Studi or Wesley Studi has become and internationally acclaimed actor and the most recognized and distinguished Native American in film and television.  From a small town Oklahoma native who served in Vietnam, to the first Native American Actor to receive an Oscar, Wes Studi has become an internationally acclaimed actor.  Wes first caught the attention of the public in 1990 with Dances with Woves.  By 1992 his powerful performance as “Magua” in The Last of the Mohicans establsihed him as one of the most compelling actors in Hollywood. In 1995, he appeared as a LAPD detective in Heat with Robert De Niro and Al Pacino.  He has since appeared in more than 80 film and television productions including Geronimo: An American Legend, Skinwalkers, Avatar and most recently, Hostiles. Last year he appeared on the 90th Annual Academy Awards and spoke in his native Cherokee language as part of a military tribute. The Academy has bestowed him with an Oscar “to honor extraordinary distinction in lifetime achievement, exceptional contributions to the state of motion picture arts and sciences.”
WHO:   The 19th Annual Native American Music Awards will be a star-studded gala filled with a VIP pre-show Red Carpet reception, incredible performances  and a special Hall of Fame induction along with unforgettable moments as today’s most talented North American indigenous musicians are honored. Experience live music performances from reflecting the impressive and diverse array of talent and soundscapes for all ages and tribal nations. It’s sure to be a night you won’t forget.
WHAT:  The Native American Music Awards is “devoted to bringing Indigenous music to the world’s consciousness” as credited by the New York Times, and was cited as being “The Awards Show For Native American Entertainment” by Jeopardy TV.  The Native American Music Awards is an ultimate celebration of music and entertainment.  Founded in 1998, it is the world’s first and largest national professional membership-based organization for the advancement & recognition of contemporary and traditional music initiatives by artists with Native American heritage.

WHERE: The 19th Annual Native American Music Awards is hosted by the Seneca Nation of Indians (one of the six tribes of the Iroquois Confederacy) and will be held at the Seneca Niagara Resort & Casino in Niagara Falls, New York on November 2nd in the Seneca Events Center.  Doors open at 7:00PM EST. The Awards ceremony will be preceded by a free Pre-Show Red Carpet Event for nominees, and guests..

Tickets for the 19th Annual Native American Music Awards Gala start at $50.00 and are available through Ticketmaster or by visiting the Seneca Niagara Resort & Casino box office which is located at 310 4th St, Niagara Falls, NY 14303  (877) 873-6322.
Voting for the Native American Music Awards is open to the general public. Music tracks from all the nominees are featured on the audio players on Anyone can vote by visiting the Awards website VOTING page, or by clicking here.

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