Published on January 31, 2013 by Amy
Joanne Shenandoah is an Iroquois singer, composer and acoustic guitarist. She is a member of the Wolf Clan of the Oneida Nation, of the Haudenosaunee Six Nations Iroquois Confederacy. Her music is a combination of traditional songs and melodies with a blend of traditional and contemporary instrumentation. She has recorded more than 15 albums and won a multitude of awards, and given an Honorary Doctorate of Music by Syracuse University. She was awarded a Grammy Award for her part in the album “Sacred Ground”.
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Shenandoah is the daughter of the late Maisie Shenandoah, Wolf Clanmother of the Oneida Nation, and the late Clifford Shenandoah, an Onondaga Nation chief. She is the direct descendent of John Skenando (Skenandoa, Shenandoah) after whom the Shenandoah Valley region of Virginia is named. A compatriot of George Washington, Shenandoah played a key role in rallying some Iroquois to support the rebels during the American Revolution. John Shenandoah was the co-founder of the Hamilton-Oneida Academy which later became Hamilton College. Shenandoah is one of the original board members of the Hiawatha Institute in partnership with Syracuse University. www.hiawatha.syr.edu
Joanne Shenandoah, Ph.D, is one of America’s most celebrated and critically acclaimed musicians. She is a Grammy Award winner, with over 40 music awards (including a record 13 Native American Music awards) and 16 recordings. She has captured the hearts of audiences all over the world, from North and South America, South Africa, Europe, Australia and Korea, with praise for her work to promote universal peace. She is a board member of the Hiawatha Institute for Indigenous Knowledge www.hiawatha.syr.edu.
This past year Joanne and her daughter Leah recorded on the title track “Path to Zero” with Jim Morrison which also included artists, Sting/Bono, Sinead O’Conner, Robert Downey Jr., and others.
Shenandoah was been invited to Rome Italy where she performed an original composition for the celebration for the canonization of the first Native American Saint Kateri Tekakwitha in October 2012. Shenandoah has performed at prestigious events such as The White House, Carnegie Hall, 3 Presidential Inaugurations, Madison Square Garden, Crystal Bridges Museum, The NMAI-Smithsonian, The Ordway Theater, Hummingbird Centre, Toronto Skydome, The Parliament of the Worlds Religions, (Africa, Spain and Australia) and Woodstock ‘94.
“Joanne Shenandoah is one of the finest tributes to Native American Music and Culture” – Neil Young
“She weaves you into a trance with her beautiful Iroquois chants and wraps her voice around you like a warm blanket on a cool winter’s night,” – Robbie Robertson
Shenandoah is a Grammy Award Winner with 16 CD’s. She has received more Native American Music Awards (13 to date) than any other Native Artist, with more than 40 music awards. She has also received numerous Indie Awards and Syracuse Area Music Awards (SAMMYS) and was presented with the Rigoberto Menchu – Highest award by the Native Film Festival in Montreal, Canada for her soundtrack in the documentary “Our Land Our Life”. Amongst a list of distinguished recognized individuals, Shenandoah was recently honored with the Atlas Award for the work she does to continue to inspire the growing climate movement, here in the US and around the world.
Dr. Shenandoah hails from an incredibly traditional family. She is married to Doug George-Kanentiio, Akwesasne_Mohawk, a Co-Founder of the Native American Journalists Association and published author. One of her sisters, Diane is the Faithkeeper for the Wolf Clan. Her other sister, Danielle Shenandoah Patterson, was instrumental in staging protests on the 32 Acre reservation.