A Native American music revival has been taking shape, with releases, sales and airplay increasing substantially... and the New York-based Native American Music Association have lobbied the recording academy for a Native American category since the mid-1990s. ”

— Knight Ridder Newspapers




Jesse Ed Davis To Be Inducted Into The N.A.M.A. Hall of Fame
September 27, 2018 – Niagara Falls, NY.  The Native American Music Awards is proud to announce an A List of entertainers, special guests, nominees and performers for Native Music's biggest night on Friday October 12th at the Seneca Niagara Hotel & Casino in Niagara Falls, New York. Featured guests include; singer/songwriter Annie Humphrey, pianist Connor Chee, Buffalo-based house band the Ed Koban Group, Blues Rock guitarist Tracy Lee Nelson, Canadian Folk duo Twin Flames, Seneca Nation's, Newtown Women's Singers, Red Rhythm Band, Faron Johns, plus a special closing performance by NAMA Hall of Famer, Felipe Rose joined by award winners Jan Michael Looking Wolf and Sten Joddi.  Other special guests include;  WWE's Mickie James who was inducted into the NAMA Hall of Fame last year and will be both c*ohosting the event and performing live, NAMA Living Legend Saginaw Grant, actor Rick Morer, musician Jimmy Lee Young who was featured in U2's recent concert video, and comedy duo, Williams and Ree who will be introducing the Awards' new category for Best Comedian. In addition to performing,  Felipe Rose will be hosting the pre-show Red Carpet event.
The Native American Music Awards & Association is very proud to announce that the late influential rock guitarist, Jesse Ed Davis will be inducted into the Native American Music Hall of Fame.  Along with attending family members, Davis's original Graffitiman bandmembers, Mark Shark and Quilt Sahme, will be performing a tribute in his honor. The induction will put Jesse Ed Davis' right up in the ranks of other N.A.M.A. Hall of Famers including; Jimi Hendrix, Link Wray, Hank Williams, Nokie Edwards, Rickey Medlocke, Redbone, Felipe Rose (Village People), Richie Valens, Keith Secola, Taboo (Black Eyed Peas) and other greats.

An Opening Performance of Saginaw Grant's "Don't Let The Drums Go Silent" will feature contemporary dancers from Janet Dunstan's Dance Academy, located in Niagara Falls New York, under the direction of Courtney Glenn.  The dancers are trained in jazz, contemporary, tap, acrobatics and hip hop styles. 

Annie Humphrey was born and raised on an Ojibwe Indian reservation in Minnesota.  She is the daughter of author Anne Dunn, and a father who was a musician. Annie taught herself piano and was playing guitar and writing songs by third grade. After college, she made her first album with guitarist Don Robinson, For the Children. She spent a year in the Marines, played at coffee houses and in bands, graduated from the Police Academy and then enrolled at the University of North Dakota where she studied art. She appeared on three songs from the compilation album The Whispering Tree, released by the Makoché label. Makoche’ also released her stunning debut album, the critically acclaimed, The Heron Smiled, in 2000 which showcased Annie’s soft voice, emotional honesty, and poignant lyrics. In 2004, she released Edge of America, a folk, pop and rock mix of songs that shared her truth about the world as she saw it.  It wasn’t until 2016, that Annie released a more harder rocking release, Uncombed Hair.  This year, Annie released her fourth album entitled The Beast and The Garden which features a tribute song to her brother and the late John Trudell.

Navajo pianist and composer, Connor Chee began playing piano at age 6. By age 12, Chee won a gold medal in the World Piano Competition Young Artist Division, and earned his first performance at New York City’s Carnegie Hall. In the following years, he won multiple awards, earned performances at the United Nations, and an international feature on CNN. Chee has performed with the Cincinnati Pops, the Hamilton-Fairfield Symphony Orchestra, and the Blue Ash Montgomery Symphony Orchestra. Chee received his Bachelor of Music from Eastman School of Music, and went on to earn a master’s degree from the University of Cincinnati’s College Conservatory of Music. Recently, he was awarded a First Prize in the Bradshaw & Bouno International Piano Competition, and performed in the winners' recital at Carnegie Hall. This extraordinarily gifted pianist also plays works by Chopin, Rachmaninoff and Liszt. He was awarded Best Instrumental Recording at the 16th Annual Native American Music Awards for his album, The Navajo Piano, which featured original piano compositions and transcriptions based on traditional Navajo chants sung by his grandfather, Keith Chee. His newest Cd, Emergence, is a portal to another dimension. Chee goes further, creating his own melodies to tell the old stories and captures the essence of his Native Arizona. All of Connor Chee’s melodies reflect a more mature musician and composer, with overtones of joy, power, longing and nostalgia.


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 performed on stage and recorded with many respected artists including, Joanne Shenandoah, and a Taste of Honey’s Janice Marie Johnson, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee: Nokie Edwards, as well as: Gabriel Ayala, Tonemah, Cody Blackbird, Leanne Shenandoah, Jim Boyd, Keith Secola and others. 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 style or genre. Ed Koban's NAMA nominated 2015 release How to Fly blends the gorgeous & haunting Native American flute with guitar playing that ranges from gentle acoustic to blistering electric Rock & Blues, combined with sounds inspired by music from Africa to Chicago, from Folk to Jazz, Reggae to Rock, making for a fresh new sound that is accessible to music fans everywhere.


Felipe Rose was best known as the original "American Indian" singer of Taino and Lakota heritage in the Village People. Together, he and the group scored several popular international dance hits including; "Macho Man, "In the Navy" and "Y.M.C.A.". Felipe has also earned multiple Native American Music Awards for his various solo recordings including for the song, “Trail of Tears”.  Decades later, Felipe Rose is still recognized for his role in the Village People and more recently, as a successful solo artist. Two of Felipe's greatest personal achievements were; receiving a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and only one month later, being inducted into the Native American Music Hall of Fame. In his 40th year in the entertainment industry, Felipe continues to use his influential position to highlight issues that are important to him, encourage other Native artists, and entertain the public at large. Felipe will be giving a special closing performance with award-winning flutist Jan Michael Looking Wolf and hip-hop artist Sten Joddi. He will also be hosting the Red Carpet for a second straight year.


Author, composer, multi-instrumentalist and educator, Mark Shark has spent the last 35 years composing, recording and touring with The Grafittiman Band featuring John Trudell and Jesse Ed Davis.  After Jesse's untimely passing in 1988, Shark continued on as musical director for Trudell's Bad Dog band. Grateful for almost every moment shared, he and the rest of the Bad Dog family are committed to keeping John and Jesse's work alive for future generations. Shark is "Very happy to be here tonight to celebrate our brothers and thankful to Annie Humphrey for creating something beautiful, remembering and reaching out." For more information on Mark Shark please visit:  The Tao of Tunings.com  “Crazy Horse we hear what you say...We are the 7th Generation......”  


Quilt Sahme is a traditional American Indian singer and drummer from Simnasho in Warm Springs, Oregon. Quilt and Mark Shark are both founding members of the legendary Grafittiman Band, and John Trudell’s Bad Dog.  Along with Quilt, Bad Dog features; Mark Shark (guitars), Ricky Eckstein (bass & keyboards), Billy Watts (guitars), Debra Dobkin (percussion), Quiltman and his son Teewhanee Sahme (traditional vocals) along with Joel Rafael (vocals). This past February, singer songwriter Jackson Browne held a benefit concert at Pechanga Resort & Casino honoring Quiltman who lost his family home in the Warm Springs Reservation wildfire.  

Tracy Lee Nelson is a Luiseno/Diegueno Native Californian Indian from the La Jolla Indian Reservation in San Diego. With 38 years of experience as a musician and artist, Tracy has engaged in playing many genres of music from blues to rock. He has emerged with a ground-breaking new perspective of the blues; a Native American’s point of view.  This Southern California premiere Blues artist has traveled across the nation sweeping the country with his hard-hitting perspective of reservation life. From New York City to Seattle, Washington, Tracy’s unique voice, original lyrics and blues guitar work comes straight from the heart, writing and singing songs of issues that should have been spoken of long ago. Tracy Lee Nelson, a former Tribal Chairman of the La Jolla Indian Reservation, has had the honor of being in Native Peoples Magazine as “one of the finest up and coming Native American Artists”.  Tracy and his new recording, Blues Loving Man have been featured in such publications as; Hollywood Reporter, Indian Artist, News from Native California, LA Times, Union Tribune, The Press-Enterprise, ICE Indian Cinema Entertainment, Indian Country Today, and Blues Blast Magazine.  Blues Loving Man has also been nominated for  “Best Blues Recording,” Artist of the Year” and “Best Music Video” with The 18th Annual Native American Music Awards. As an artist, Tracy’s art work is on display at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington D.C. and was recently on display at the San Diego Museum of Man. Currently Tracy has released a total of nine CD’s.


Twin Flames is a captivating duo that combines two accomplished and very unique singer/songwriters who are also husband and wife.  Chelsey June is an Algonquin Cree Métis woman from Ottawa and Jaaji (pronounced Yaah Ye) is an Inuk Mohawk man from Nunavik and Kahnawake. Together, they take the audience on a musical journey across Canada and the Arctic, echoing the voices of their ancestors and depicting life on the land through songs in English, French and Inuktitut. Both fascinating and intriguing, this powerful duo came together on their self-titled debut album, Jaaji & Chelsey JuneTwin Flames,  released in December 2015. The album received rave reviews for their groundbreaking mixture of cultures and heritage including two Native American Music Awards nominations and a 2016 Canadian Folk Music Award for Aboriginal Songwriters of the Year. Their much anticipated second album, Signal Fire has earned them a total of seven nominations in the 18th Annual Native American Music Awards. The album features their hit song, “Porchlight” which was written to raise awareness for missing and murdered Inuit/Indigenous woman and their families. The song took the #1 slot on The National Aboriginal Countdown and is being played across the United States and Canada. In just three short years together, Twin Flames have performed over 700 shows and have uniquely shared their great ability to convey stories and emotions through their voices, lyrics and melodies. Entertaining, yet thought-provoking, their songs also gently educate audiences on Indigenous and Inuit history and current issues.  


All the members of the Newtown Singers work hard to continue their traditional ways. Since their inception, Ohwejagehka Hadegaenage has distributed Earth Songs, or Iroquois Social Songs, as an effort to preserve and promote Iroquoian culture.  The Newtown Womens Singers are a traditional group from Seneca Territory. In this new era, they believe, they must all continue to work together to carry on their culture for the generations yet to come.


Mickie James will be co-hosting and performing at this year's Awards ceremony. Mickie James is a WWE® Superstar & SMG 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. As a SMG Recording Artist, with two full length albums and five singles to her credit, she is also widely known in the country music circuit. Mickie was inducted into the Native American Music Awards Hall of Fame during the 17th Annual Native American Music Awards ceremony.  Her single entitled, "Shooting Blanks" was well received and won for Song of the Year. She has also just released two recordings; Don't Be Afraid, and Left Right Left which are currently impacting radio and can be purchased through iTunes, Amazon and other online digital retailers. Mickie continues to serve as an incredible inspiration and role model for many artists as well as Native youth from across the country. Her world renowned reputation as a WWE Superstar, professional wrestler, country singer and entertainer undoubtedly warrants her a permanent place of prominence


Get ready for comedy gold with Williams and Ree, AKA the Indian and the White Guy. The hilarious comedy duo from the Dakotas will bring their humor to the Native American Music Awards stage. Bruce Williams and Terry Ree have been making crowds crack up for over 30 years with their politically incorrect brand of humor. They’ve entertained audiences across the country at shows, festivals, on Sirius Radio and with their own irreverent podcast, the Red, White and Slightly Blue show. Williams and Ree are a CMA-nominated music group, who won Entertainers of the Year by the Native American Music Awards.  They have also made a name for themselves on television with appearances on Country Kitchen, HeeHaw, Laff TV and Comedy Central. Williams and Ree were featured guests at the inaugural Native American Music Awards show in 1998.



Jesse Ed Davis was one of music’s most distinctive and influential guitarists of the late '60s and early '70s. Whether it was blues, country, or rock, Jesse’s' impressive guitar playing was featured on numerous albums by such artists asEric Clapton,  Bob Dylan, Jackson Browne, Willie Nelson, Steve Miller, Leonard Cohen, Neil Diamond, John Lennon, George Harrison, Taj Mahal, John Lee Hooker and Rod Stewart as well as on his own.

Born in Norman Oklahma, Jesse's father was Comanche and his mother was Kiowa. He began his music career touring with Conway Twitty and was introduced to recording session work by his friend Leon Russell. He became a steady lead guitarist for Taj Mahal on three albums before going on to work with; George Harrison, Ringo Starr, John Lennon, B.B. King, Gene Clark, Bob Dylan, Jackson Browne  and others. From 1971-1973, Jesse recorded and released three of his own albums: Jesse Davis, Ululu, and Keep Me Comin'  which highlighted his own vocal character, and songwriting abilities and featured contributions from Leon Russell and Eric Clapton. Jesse continued to contribute to many other albums

In 1985, he honored his roots and began working with poet/activist John Trudell and formed the Graffiti Band. Along with members Mark Shark and Quilt Sahme (Quilt man), they coupled Jesse's sound with the poetry and imagery of Trudell. Together, the band pioneered a new  indigenous rock sound for a politically charged, critically acclaimed album entitled, AKA Grafitti Man.  Bob Dylan called it "the album of the year." 

Since his death 30 years ago, Jesse Ed Davis has left behind a legacy both as an artist and as a Native American and is revered as one of rock music's finest guitarist. The Native American Music Awards is proud to induct Jesse Ed Davis into the Native American Music Hall of Fame.  Along with attending family members,  Graffitiman bandmembers, Mark Shark and Quilt Sahme will perform a tribute in his honor.The Jesse Ed Davis Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame video will be presented during the induction as created and provided by Dr. Hugh Foley.

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WHO:   The 18th 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 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 18th 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 October 12th 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.. The awards is also presented in part by the Pechanga Indian Reservation and the Pechanga Resort. 

Tickets for the 18th Annual Native American Music Awards Gala start at $45.00 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. Other pre-event  Native American performances leading up to the event at Seneca Niagara Resort & Casino include; A Tribute to Redbone featuring Thunderhand Joe on Wednesday, October 10 and a comedy performance by Williams and Ree, AKA The Indian and The White Guy on Thursday, October 11.

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 www.NAMALIVE.com. Anyone can vote by visiting the Awards website VOTING page, or by clicking here. 

#VOTENATIVE            #NAMA18                 #NATIVEAWARDS
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                      Nokie Performing at the 13th Annual Native American Music Awards Pictured Above


Nokie Edwards (Cherokee), universally recognized as one of the world’s premiere guitarists and member of the internationally acclaimed instrumental group, The Ventures, has died at the age of 82.

Known for his innovative guitar sound, and credited for such hit songs as; Hawaii Five-O, Walk Don't Run, Surf Rider and Wipe Out, Nokie died from complications of a hip surgery he had in December in Yuma, Arizona according to a family source. 

Nokie won Best Instrumental Recording at the 12th Annual Native American Music Awards for his solo instrumental effort, Hitchin' A Ride. He was also honored with a Hall of Fame Induction by the Native American Music Association at the 13th Annual Awards ceremony in 2011 and performed.

Native American Music Association President, Ellen Bello recalls, “One of the first sounds to capture me as a child were the guitar riffs of Nokie Edwards from the song, Wipe Out. I could never hear enough of it. To personally have met Nokie, the Legend behind that hit song, and be able to induct him into our Association’s Hall of Fame, was a tremendous honor that I will always cherish and remember. On behalf of the Native American Music Association & Awards, I extend our heartfelt condolences and prayers to Nokie's wife Judy, and their family and friends. Nokie was an inspiration to so many individuals and bands. He will be greatly missed." states Ellen Bello.

Nokie Edwards was born Nole Floyd “Nokie” Edwards on May 9, 1935 in Lahoma, Oklahoma. He was one of 12 children of Albert Lee Edwards and his Cherokee mother, Nannie Mae Quinton. Nokie first picked up the guitar at age 5. By age 11, he was playing every string instrument but chose the guitar to master. He turned professional at the age of 12 and by age 17, his guitar technique was unprecedented.

Nokie first joined Don Wilson and Bob Bogle to form the Ventures in 1959. These surf-rock icons became the number one instrumental band in the world and were considered a phenomenon in the music business. Nokie and his group were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2008. They were inducted by John Fogerty who hailed their pioneering sound that “empowered guitarists everywhere.” To date, The Ventures recorded over 350 albums and sold over 100 million albums worldwide.

Nokie’s many accomplishments include composing the song, ‘Ginza Lights (Futari No Ginza)’ which was one of the first Ventures’ hits in Japan. The Lively Ones' hit Surf Rider,  which was used in the final sequence of Quentin Tarantino's film, Pulp Fiction. Nokie’s contributions in the Light Crust Doughboys’ albums; 20th Century Gospel and Southern Meets Soul also earned him two GRAMMY nominations.

Nokie played Fender Telecasters before switching to Mosrite guitars until 1967. He designed and sold his own customized guitar called, “The Hitchhiker,” a hybrid of the best elements from the Fender Telecaster and Mosrite guitars.

As a solo artist, Nokie has recorded over two dozen solo albums including the award-winning, Hitchin A Ride. He has been a guest performer on dozen of CD recordings, has received numerous awards along with his inductions into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Native American Music Hall of Fame. Nokie also performed on the soundtrack for the movie, “Pulp Fiction,” and appeared as an actor in the HBO series, “Deadwood.”

Nokie will forever be revered as one of the world’s best and most influential guitarists. Nokie’s unique guitar style and sound will always be remembered as will his endearing sense of humor and his enjoyment for telling jokes. As part of his recipient speech at the 13th Annual Native American Music Awards, where he was inducted into the Music Association’s Hall of Fame, Nokie cracked a couple of jokes. You can view his induction on the following link:


From the era of 45s and LPs, to the age of social media and digital downloads, master musician Nokie Edwards and his unprecedented talent will undoubtedly withstand the test of time.

Nokie leaves behind his wife Judy and their four children from previous marriages. Nokie's leaves his daughter Tina (he tragically lost his other daughter Kim in a car accident in 1988) and Judy's two boys' Patrick and Seth. Together, there are six grandchildren and four great grandchildren. Judy also serves as president of the Nokie Edwards Official USA Fan Club.

Our thoughts and prayers to Nokie’s wife Judy and their family. Nokie will be greatly missed but his music and undeniable guitar style will live on forever.

For more information on Nokie Edwards, visit his official website, http://www.nokieedwards.com/biography.htm 

or visit us at www.NativeAmericanMusicAwards.com


The Native American Music Awards is proud to introduce the newest member of the Native American Music Awards House band from Six Nations, Please welcome.....Dwayne LaForme!!!

Wes Studi Presents Military Tribute at The Oscars

One of the most distinguished American Indian Actors, Wes Studi, recently presented an Oscars Military Movie Tribute at the 90th Academy Awards.

Studi who served as a soldier in the Vietnam War. stated, “I’m proud to have served there for 12 months with Alpha Company of the 39th Infantry... As a veteran, I am always appreciative when filmmakers bring to the screen stories of those who have served. Over 90 years of the Academy Awards, a number of movies with military themes have been honored at the Oscars. Let’s take a moment to pay tribute to these powerful films that shine a great spotlight on those who have fought for freedom around the world.” 

Studi closed his presentation by reintroducing the montage by speaking in his Native Cherokee language.  American SniperThe Hurt LockerSaving Private Ryan, and Zero Dark Thirty were among some of the clips featured in the montage.

Wes Studi has appeared in numerous movies and roles including; Hostiles (2018), Dances with Wolves (1990) and The Last of the Mohicans (1992), and in the Academy Award-nominated films Geronimo: An American Legend (1993) Other films he's appeared in are HeatMystery Men, AvatarA Million Ways to Die in the West, and the television series Penny Dreadful.

Wes Studi was a presenter at the Inaugural Native American Music Awards in 1998 and has was the host of the 12th Annual Native American Music Awards where he also performed.

Watch his Oscar appearance here.

An update at Spotify....

They've  worked to create a search hub for Native American Music!!!

Now, when anyone searches for any of the songs, artists or playlists we provided, they'll surface that hub, which features a collection of playlists that highlights our cobranded lists!  In addition, Spotify is highlighting the playlists on their home page (the landing page of the mobile app) throughout the month!




WWE's Mickie James Inducted Into The Hall of Fame
Josh Halverson and Northern Cree Take Two Awards Each
The Revenant's Arthur Redcloud Receives Honorary Award for Excellence
The 17th Annual Native American Music Awards was an evening filled with love and inspiration from some of the biggest celebrities, musicians and actors in the fields of music and entertainment.
Highly dynamic and energetic music performances along with encouraging words of inspiration  dominated the evening from; WWE Superstar and SMG Recording artist, Mickie James, Multiple Award winner and The Voice finalist, Josh Halverson, to Nahko Bear who is kicking off his international tour this week, among others. The awards were held on Saturday, October 14th at the Events Center at Seneca Niagara Resort and Casino in Niagara Falls, New York.

Opening the show was the Seneca Nation's traditional female vocal group, Newtown Singers followed by the award winning Powwow drum group, Northern Cree, who gave a powerful vocal and hand drum performance. The group was then joined by DJ Shub and his dubstep influenced dance and electronica which took the entire segment from traditional into the future.  Northern Cree won for Best Powwow Recording and shared their second win with DJ Shub for Best Music Video for the song, "Indomitable' which was presented remotely by MTV's Downtown Julie Brown.

Mickie James was inducted into the Native American Music Hall of Fame, by actor Arthur Redcloud who appeared in the movie, The Revenant, with Leonardo DiCaprio. James told the audience, "You don't come with your destiny....You earn it" as she shared her story of success.  She also won for Single of the Year for "Shooting Blanks" and performed live belting out three powerful songs including her hit song, "Somebody's Gonna Pay." James is up for a WWE Women's title this Sunday on Pay Per View and is working on a new album. Redcloud received an Honorary Award for Excellence for his role in The Revenant.
Presenting the Artist of the Year Award was Felipe Rose, original member of the Village People, who was joined by his group from a live remote, and presented Josh Halverson with the award. Halverson, a previous award winner from 2013, acknowledged the awards first supported him before anyone else including The Voice, and encouraged the audience to offer "love first."  Rose hosted the Awards' pre-show Red Carpet event. Halverson also took home Best Folk Recording.
Nahko, who gave a stellar and moving solo acoustic performance received Record of the Year for his recording, Hoka which he released with Medicine for the People.  He is about to release a new recording entitled, Nahko, My Name Is Bear on October 20th. 
Kelly Derrickson, took the evening's Best Female Artist award and performed two songs including the uplifting "Rise Up".
Brothers Lil Mike and Funny Bone who won Group of the Year in 2016 and were contestants on America's Got Talent, gave a special performance which included their hit single, "Do The Rain Dance".  The brothers later joined Lifetime Achievement recipient, Gary Farmer, and the Troublemakers featuring previous award winners, Marc Brown and Derek Miller,  for a closing performance. Former Mrs. Universe, Ashley Callingbull presented Farmer with his award who has over 100 movie and television credits.
A special video tribute was held in honor of the late flutist, Joseph Fire Crow.  House band, The Ed Koban band performed flawlessly and provided backing instrumentation for Josh Halverson with special guest Carsen Gray, Kelly Derrickson, as well as Mickie James.
Awarded for Debut Artist of the Year, was the incredibly talented, 17-year old Lucas Ciliberti. The drum group, Black Bear Brothers accepted Debut Group of the Year along with twelve young children from the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. 
Other award winners in attendance include; Artson for Best Music Video Narrative, Conrad Benally for Best Male Artist, James Edmund Greeley for Best Traditional Recording, Jan Michael Looking Wolf for Best Music Video Performance, Randy McGinnis for Flutist of the Year, Sten Joddi for Best Rap Hip Hop Recording, Bearheart Kokopelli who came in from Austria to receive the Native Heart Recording.
Over 18,500 individual voters participated in the Award's national voting campaign. The awards were emceed by National Indian Gaming Association's Ernie Stevens Jr. and were broadcast live by WGWE radio and streamed live by Singlefeathermedia.com. Plans for rebroadcasts are underway.

The Native American Music Awards proudly congratulates all the Award winners.  Visit www.NAMALIVE.com for a complete list of winners or see below.

Artist of the Year

Josh Halverson

“Year of the Thunderbird”


New Artist or Debut Artist of the Year

Lucas Ciliberti



Debut Duo/Group of the Year

Black Bear Brothers

“Songs from Cheyenne Creek”


Best Female Artist

Kelly Derrickson

“I Am”


Flutist of the Year  

Randy McGinnis

“The Journey  - hi a vi si i”


Duo/Group of the Year

The Cody Blackbird Band

“Live From Chicago”


Best Male Artist

Conrad Benally

“Always And Forever”


Record of the Year


Nahko and Medicine For The People 


Song of the Year

“Shooting Blanks”

Mickie James


Best Music Video -Best Concept


DJ Shub  &  Northern Cree Singers


Best Music Video -Best Performance


Jan Michael Looking Wolf Band  


Best Music Video- Best Narrative

“Never Give Up”

Artson, Supaman & Quese Imc


Native Heart (Non Native)

Bearheart Kokopelli

Bernhard Mikuskovics

“Native Heart”


Best Country Recording

“You’ve Got to Go Back the Way That You Came”

Danielle Egnew


Best Folk Recording

“Year of the Thunderbird”

Josh Halverson


Best Gospel/Inspirational

“Awake, Arise and Shine”

Callie Bennett


Best Instrumental Recording

“Songs of the Earth”

Vince Redhouse


Best Native American Church Recording


Cheevers Toppah


Best Pop Recording


Cherokee National Youth Choir


Best Pow Wow Recording

“It’s A Cree Thing”

Northern Cree


Best Rap/Hip Hop/R&B Recording

“The 7th Generation Prophecy”

Sten Joddi


Best Rock / Best Blues Recording

“Take Me Back”

Levi Platero


Best Traditional Recording

“Before America”

James Edmund Greeley  


Best Waila Recording

“Creed and Culture”

Native Creed


Honorary Award of Excellence

Arthur Redcloud


Lifetime Achievement Award

Gary Farmer


Hall of Fame

Mickie James




In The News



Mickie James To Be Inducted Into The N.A.M.A. Hall of Fame
October 2, 2017 – Niagara Falls, NY.  The Native American Music Awards & Association is very proud to announce that WWE® Superstar & SMG Recording Artist Mickie James™ (Powhatan) will be inducted into the Native American Music Awards Hall of Fame during the 17th Annual Native American Music Awards (NAMA) ceremony on Saturday, October 14th at the Seneca Niagara Resort & Casino in Niagara Falls, New York.
While growing up in Virginia, Mickie James, was a tomboy who always loved riding horses and the wrestling businessMickie's strong Powhatan ancestry tracing back to the Mattaponi reservation, is something she has always embraced throughout her career and still remains very proud of. Today,  WWE® Superstar  Mickie James™ or Mickie Laree James is internationally recognized in the world of professional wrestling. She is a six time Women's champion.  As a recording artist, she has released two full length albums and two singles and is widely known in the country music circuit. Her single entitled, "Shooting Blanks" released last November, has been nominated by the Native American Music Awards for Song of the Year. She has also just released a new single, "Get Down" which is currently impacting country radio and can be purchased through iTunes, Amazon and other online digital retailers.
In addition to her Hall of Fame induction, Mickie will be performing live at the Awards ceremony and will be joined by an A List of entertainers and musicians including;  Josh Halverson (Sioux) from NBC's The Voice, brother rappers Lil Mike & Funny Bone (Pawnee/Choctaw) from Americas Got Talent, Nahko of Nahko & Medicine for the People (Apache/Mohawk), Juno winners and GRAMMY nominees Northern Cree (Cree), the Village People's Felipe Rose (Taino/Lakota), The Revenant actor, Arthur Redcloud (Navajo), actor/musician Gary Farmer (Cayuga) and former Miss Universe Ashley Callingbull (Cree).

"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 and entertainment.  It was founded as 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.

The 17th 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 October 14th 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 on the Mezzanine starting at 6:00PM open to nominees, patrons, and the general public and will feature meet and greets with the evening's featured entertainers & performers and live music performances by Seneca Nation bands; JJ White and Red Rhythm..
Tickets for the 17th Annual Native American Music Awards start at $15.00 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 www.NAMALIVE.com. Anyone can vote by visiting the Awards website VOTING page, or by clicking here.   

A live webcast of the event will be available at http://www.singlefeathermedia.com/live  



WWE® Superstar  MICKIE JAMES™ or Mickie Laree James (Powhatan) is internationally recognized in the world of professional wrestling. As a SMG Recording Artist, with two full length albums and two singles to her credit, she is also widely known in the country music circuit. Mickie, who is of Powhatan heritage from her maternal side, grew up in Virginia as a tomboy who loved riding horses, playing violin and dreamed of being in the wrestling ring performing for fans all over the world. By 2002, Mickie's dream was realized when she debuted on the national stage for Total Nonstop Action (TNA) and signed a developmental deal with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) that following year. She made her on screen debut for WWE in 2005 and would go on to win her first Women's Championship at WrestleMania 22 after a very memorable feud with Trish Stratus. She captured the Women's Title five times and the Divas Title once for a total of six championships in the WWE. Mickie had achieved her goals which were to become the first woman to win WWE's Women's & Divas titles as well as TNA's Knockouts Title. Not only did she do just that but she also went on to win TNA's Knockouts Title three times. She has set a precedent and broken many barriers for women in the WWE.

Mickie has always had a passion for music and singing as well. While on the road with WWE, she would travel to Nashville on her days off to meet with producers, songwriters and vocal coaches to pursue her dream of recording a country music album. By the spring of 2010, Mickie released her first album entitled, Strangers and Angels. The first single released off the album was a fast paced, exciting track called "Are You With Me?" and the album featured Mickie's incredible vocal range in her self-assured powerful manner.  In May 2013, Mickie released her second album entitled, Somebody's Gonna Pay through Entertainment One Music which debuted at #15 on Billboard's Heatseekers charts. The album also featured the bonus track, "Hardcore Country," which became Mickie's TNA entrance song.  Mickie also personally penned three of the songs off the album; “Best Damn Night,” “80 Proof” and the cover track, “Somebody's Gonna Pay” in which the music video co-starred fellow professional wrestlers Trish Stratus and Magnus (Mickie's husband Nick Aldis).  Mickie released a new single in November of last year, "Shooting Blanks" which has been nominated by the Native American Music Awards for Song of the Year. She has also just released her second single, "Get Down" which is impacting country radio now and can be purchased through iTunes, Amazon and other online digital retailers.

Mickie's recordings have been embraced by the Country music community and have received positive reviews from publications such as; Country Weekly and CMA Magazine. She has performed in concerts throughout the world and has shared the stage with other country artists such as; Rascal Flatts, Montgomery Gentry, Gretchen Wilson and Randy Houser. Mickie has served as an incredible inspiration and role model for many artists as well as Native youth from across the country.  Her world renowned reputation as a WWE Superstar, professional wrestler, country singer and entertainer undoubtedly warrants her place of prominence as an outstanding individual and honoree. The Native American Music Awards & Association is proud to honor Mickie James, and induct her into the N.A.M.A. Hall of Fame.  Mickie will also be performing live at the Awards ceremony.       www.MickieJames.com


Special Guests:


Ashley Callingbull, is the 1st First Nations woman to win the Mrs. Universe title. Callingbull is from Alberta's Enoch Cree Nation, west of Edmonton. Callingbull says she was drawn to the Mrs. Universe competition in 2015 because of its domestic violence theme. "I thought, this is a perfect platform for me because I'm relatable to people, I've experienced this myself and I'm able to speak about it," she said. "I'm glad I'm able to use this title as a way to speak for others that can't speak for themselves." Callingbull was chosen as Miss Canada for the Miss Friendship International Pageant held in Hubei, China in September, 2010, and represented Canada at the Queen of the World Final held in Germany 2010. She also represented Canada at Miss Humanity International in Barbados in October 2011. Ashley is also an actress and plays Sheila Delaronde in the series Blackstone.  




Felipe Rose is best known as the "Indian" singer and dancer of Taino and Lakota heritage in the Village People. Originally created by Jacques Morali and Henri Belolo to target disco's gay audience, Felipe was sought as the central member of Village People who quickly became popular and moved into the mainstream. The group scored several disco dance hits internationally, including three hits in the US, "Macho Man, "In the Navy", and their biggest hit, "Y.M.C.A.". Almost five decades later, Felipe and Village People remain a pop culture mainstay in music, sports arenas, commercials and television as they continue to tour the world. “Y.M.C.A” remains the group's biggest hit since it’s release in 1978. The song remains popular and is played throughout the  U.S. and Europe, with crowds using the dance in which the arms are used to spell out the four letters of the song's title. The song is number 7 on VH1's list of The 100 Greatest Dance Songs of the 20th Century. To date, Felipe and the Village People have sold over 100 million records and have won many international music awards and garnered over 30 Platinum and Gold records. Felipe's highest moment of achievement was receiving a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and the being inducted into the NAMA Music Hall of Fame. He has also earned a multiple Native American Music Awards for his various solo recordings. In his 40th year in the entertainment industry, Felipe continues to use his influential position to highlight issues that are important to him and maintain his personal objective of helping and connecting with people throughout the world.




AS SEEN ON NBC'S THE VOICE, JOSH HALVERSON  grew up in Texas as the son of a cattle rancher and a Dakota Sioux Indian. He has played piano since the age of five and has grown into an adept songwriter, approaching time-honored topics like heartbreak and devotion with a sense of hard-won innocence. Josh’s  first album, One Shot, earned him the Songwriter of the Year Award at the Native American Music Awards in 2013., Josh has since become a nationally recognized singer and songwriter after appearing on  NBC’s The Voice 2016 Blind Auditions where he performed Bob Dylan’s “Forever Young” in front of superstars Miley Cyrus, Alicia Keys, Adam Levine, Blake Shelton and host Carson Daly. Once Miley, Alicia, and Blake hit their buttons, they all turned around to fight for Halverson. Although Blake brought out his best cattle talk, Halverson chose to join Team Alicia who called Josh’s voice “striking”. Later in the season, Josh was chosen to be on the team of Miley Cyrus. Josh has just released his second recording, Thunder Bird Sky which has earned him four Native American Music Awards nominations. Josh and his wife Rexana are currently expecting their second child.



Kelly first became interested in music during her childhood, which led her to the very prestigious Victoria Conservatory of Music in British Columbia and the Berklee College of Music. Despite her lifelong musical training and deep love for every genre, country music has always held a soft-spot in her heart. Tracing her lineage back to the famous Indian leader Chief Joseph (Nez Perce), it’s no wonder how Kelly can embody everything you’d expect to find in a country artist — she’s strong, intuitive, spiritual, and impassioned. After six terms and 12 years as Chief, Kelly listened and witnessed first hand to her father’s rise from being a poor kid born on the reservation, to a leader who always fought hard for his people’s rights.There is an impassioned fight that is in their blood and in her music. With the release of “Warriors Of Love”, Kelly unleashes her strong vocal prowess and songwriting skills on an album that leaves the listener craving and chanting for more.



AS SEEN ON NBC'S AMERICA'S GOT TALENT, AKA MIKE BONE made their world debut with an unforgettable performance on NBC’s America's Got Talent program. Members of the Pawnee Tribe, these brothers, though they may look like twins, are not, nor are they midgets at 4 feet 8 inches tall. Mike and Bone have appeared on live television, DJ'd Night Clubs, played gigs throughout the US & Canada and opened for big-name acts such as Billy Ray Cyrus and T-Bone. Like their most popular single, Rain Dance, which wowed the judges of America’s Got Talent, their songs have found radio play on radio stations worldwide. Their full length recording Rain Dance The Album, earned them Group of the Year at last year’s Native American Music Awards. From homelessness to gang violence and discrimination, these two brothers have hustled and flowed their way from nothing to something through their extreme faith in GOD and have credited Christian Music for changing their life.



Also known as the Northern Cree Singers, Northern Cree is a powwow and Round Dance drum and singing group, based in Maskwacis, Alberta  
who have been singing together for more than 20 years. With 37 albums to their credit, the group has been nominated for six Grammy Awards, and have won three Native American Music Awards for Best Pow Wow Recording in 2001 and 2007 and for Best Compilation Recording in 2004. In 2017, the singers, along with founder Steve Wood and Tanya Tagaq, won a Juno Award for Classical Album of the Year – Large Ensemble for the album Going Home Star. Formed in 1980 by Steve Wood, with brothers Charlie and Earl, the group’s other members include; Ferlin McGillvary, Randy Wood, Joel Wood, as well as Conan Yellowbird. Northern Cree remains one of the most respected pow-wow groups in North America. The group is featured in the song and music video "Indomitable" by DJ Shub, which was nominated for Best EDM/Dance Video in the 2017 iHeartRadio Much Music Video Awards and the Native American Music Awards. Their new album on Canyon Records entitled, “It’s A Cree Thing,”  has been nominated for Best Pow Wow Recording and earned them a nod for Group of the Year and for Best Music Video.



A a sixth generation Apache and Mohawk with a Puerto Rican Taino mother and a Filipino father, Nahko grew up with the family that adopted him. Nahko and Medicine for the People is an American musical collective formed in 2008. The five member group is headed by frontman Nahko Bear and their music is a fusion of various cultural musical influences.  His creative inspiration is the desire to bridge cultural gaps. Nahko Bear has been musically inclined since the age of six when he started learning piano. As he grew older, Nahko remained tied to music as a piano teacher and casual songwriter. Nahko's songwriting became grassroots oriented around 2012 during which time he would travel around the US by van with his dog.  Nahko and Medicine for the People has toured with Michael Franti, Trevor Hall, Xavier Rudd, and SOJA Nahko Bear has also performed duos with Leah Song of Rising Appalachia.  His recording Dark As Night  released in 2013 reached No. 4 on the Billboard Top Alternative Albums chart; and went to  No. 6 on the Billboard Top Heatseekers chart. His recording, Hoka  released last year,  went to No. 72 on the Billboard 200 charts and has earned Nahko and Medicine for the People several nominations at this year’s Native American Music Awards including  Record of the Year.




AKA DJ SHUB is a former member of A Tribe Called Red,  a Canadian electronic music group, who blend instrumental hip hop, reggae, moombahton and dubstep-influenced dance music with elements of First Nations music, particularly vocal chanting and drumming.  With Dan, the group won the 2014 Juno Award for Breakthrough Group of the Year. A lifelong fan of hip hop, Shub has been a DJ for 15 years, originally inspired by the experience of his older brother, who would cross the border to DJ in Buffalo, New York. Equipped with DJ gear, Shub polished his skills in his parents’ basement, eventually winning the Canadian title at DJ competitions in 2007 and 2008. Family remains a huge part of this Mohawk father’s decision to remain in his hometown of Fort Erie, Ontario today. By combining electronic dance beats with samples of aboriginal singing and drumming, Dan is also credited for the creation of a new sub-genre of electronic music, dubbed ‘powwow step.’ At first, he didn’t want to limit himself to a sound pioneered by his former group but Powwow step is still in its infancy. He now loves the fact that he’s contributing to a whole wave of new contemporary indigenous music by creating his own tracks. DJ Shub along with the drum group Northern Cree have been nominated for Best Music Video for their collaborative effort entitled “Indomitable ft. Northern Cree.”



Carsen Lee Gray was born in Vancouver, British Columbia and is of First Nations Haida and mixed descent.  Carsen Gray is no stranger to a life of art, music, and entertainment.  Being the oldest daughter of Robert Gray, who played along side Nick Gilder in the band "Sweeney Todd" and niece of Bobby Taylor, most noted for his discovery and mentoring of Michael Jackson - The King of Pop; Carsen comes by her love for music naturally and started performing and recording with her uncle Bobby Taylor at age eleven overseas. Now, Carsen has been living between Saskatoon and Vancouver and working with Independent heavy weight artist Joey Stylez since 2013. Carsen has been writing songs, recording, and touring across Canada.  In 2015, Carsen was a regional finalist in the CBC 2015 Searchlight contest, and her single "Supernatural" reached #1 on the National Aboriginal Music Countdown. This year, Carsen received three nominations for the Indigenous Music Awards in Canada and won Best New Artist. She has been nominated for Best Music Video and Song of the Year for “Wanna See You” with DJ Shub.



Lifetime Achievement Recipient Gary Dale Farmer was born in Ohsweken, Ontario, into the Cayuga nation and Wolf Clan of the Haudenosaunee/Iroquois Confederacy. Gary was the Founder and Publisher of Aboriginal Voices Magazine, a magazine  devoted to Native Canadian issues.  He has over 100 Film and TV appearances to his credit as an actor with early roles in Police Academy (1984), The Believers (1987) with Martin Sheen, and Renegades (1989) starring Kiefer Sutherland and Lou Diamond Phillips. Gary starred as in the Robert Redford- produced thriller, The Dark Wind (1991); opposite Lou Diamond Phillips and Corey Feldman and Corey Haim in the drama Blown Away (1993). In Sioux City (1994) and  the first Tales from the Crypt (1989) horror movie: Demon Knight (1995). Gary was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for his performance as Nobody in Dead Man (1995), in which he starred opposite Johnny Depp, and for his role in Smoke Signals (1998). He appeared alongside Marlon Brando and Robert De Niro in The Score (2001). Gary has also directed  a few projects and has his own blues band: 'Gary Farmer and the Troublemakers’ who have released two CDs, Lovesick Blues and Road Songs. The band features N.A.M.A. award winners, Derek Miller on guitar, and veteran bluesman Marc Brown on guitar, along with Jaime Bird Yellowhorse on bass, and Jme Russell on drums.




Joseph Fire Crow one of the top Native American flute players and flute makers in the world and was called a “National Treasure” by the media and “a cultural ambassador” by his hometown in Billings, Montana,  Joseph was Cheyenne and a Native American Music Awards multiple award winner who released albums from 1992 to 2017. Since 1992, Joseph released eight solo albums, with six of them released internationally. His accomplishments include; a GRAMMY nomination in the Best Native American Music Album category, eight Native American Music Awards, a Telly Award, and a GRAMMY as a guest artist on David Darling’s Prayer for Compassion. He holds Native American Music Awards for; Songwriter of the Year, Best Instrumental Recording, a three-time Flutist of the Year, Artist of the Year, Song/Single of the Year, and a NAMA Lifetime Achievement Award. Some of Fire Crow's music was also included on the soundtrack of the documentary Lewis and Clark: The Journey of the Corps of Discovery. Joseph was a humble, caring, compassionate man, whose smile and laughter is what people remember most. Joseph’s life was dedicated to sharing the wonders of his homeland with others around the world. He died on July 11, 2017 at the age of 58 after battling idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Following word of his death, there was an outpouring of condolences and memories from other Native musicians across the country who found inspiration from him.



Since its 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.


Ed Koban is a multi-instrumentalist from Niagara Falls, New York playing mostly guitar and Native American Flute. Like the waters that roar over the edge in his hometown, Ed Koban's own music can be beautiful and evocative, raging and powerful. He has shared the bill with groups like; Foghat, Three dog Night, Blackfoot, Molly Hatchet, Indigenous, Rusted Root, and has performed in such nationally renowned venues like the Kennedy Center and at the 2002 Winter Olympics. Since 2011, Ed Koban has led the NAMA House band with his group, the Ed Koban Band for the Native American Music Awards performers and has become what Paul Shaffer was to Late Night with David Letterman. On the NAMA stage, Ed can rise to any occasion. He 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 Famer Nokie Edwards and many more.




Ernie Stevens, Jr. is the Chairman and national spokesperson for the National Indian Gaming Association (NIGA) in Washington, D.C.  Stevens is currently completing his seventh two-year term as the organization’s leader, which is a position elected by the member tribes of the National Indian Gaming Association. As Chairman of NIGA, Stevens represents the Indian gaming industry.  In this role, he has worked to educate Congress, the media and the public about the positive impacts of Indian gaming on tribal and nearby communities.  Stevens is also responsible for shaping policy initiatives that have the potential to impact the industry. Chairman Stevens is an enrolled member of the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin.






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September 7, 2017 – New York, NY. Nominations for the 17th Annual Native American Music Awards (NAMA) have been announced by The Native American Music Association. Nominations reflect the highest quality of recordings by music makers throughout North America and were selected by the combined votes of the national NAMA Advisory Board Committee. 

This year's new trends were evidenced by an overwhelming amount of music videos being released which spawned the creation of two additional music video categories to honor performance and narrative videos as well as the original conceptual category. The number of traditional music initiatives increased as well as the creation of songs about the many water protectors who were at Standing Rock this past year.


Both new and established artists share the list of nominations throughout a diverse array of 25 varied music categories. Some of the year's mainstream artists include; a Country music song, "Shooting Blanks" by WWE's Mickie James (Powhatan), "Stand Up", the music video by NAMA Hall of Famer Taboo of the Black Eyed Peas along with seven other Native artists which was recently honored at the MTV VMA's.  Leading  with four nominations is NBC-TV's The Voicefinalist, Josh Halverson and his new CD entitled Year of the Thunderbird, nominated for Artist of the Year, Best Folk Recording, Record of the Year, and Best Music Video for a Performance.


Recording artists with three nominations each include: Artson (Raramuri/ Tarahumara), The Cherokee National Youth Choir, Kelly Derrickson (First Nation), Lucas Ciliberti (Cherokee/MicMac),  Northern Cree (Cree), Perry Cheevers ToppahShining Soul (Tohono O’odham/Dine’), and The Cody Blackbird Band. Triple nominations also went to flutists; Jan Michael Looking Wolf Band (Kalapuya), Randy McGinnis (Cherokee), Steven Rushingwind & The Native Groove (Cahuilla, Taino), and Vince Redhouse   (Dine) who all released highly impressive instrumental recordings this year within the eligibility period.  

With two nominations each are; Anthony Benally (Navajo /Cool Runnings), Billy Simard (Ojibwe), Black Bear Brothers (Emanuel & Tim Black Bear, (Oglala Lakota), Broken Walls(Mohawk/Tlingit), C.C. Murdock (Shoshone/Piaute), Callie Bennett (Navajo/Diné), Carsen Gray & DJ Shub  (Haida), Cindy Paul (Metis/Cree), Clark Tenakhongva (Hopi / Canyon), Conrad Benally (Shoshone Bannock), Craig Elkshoulder, Janelle Turtle, Nelson Turtle Jr.  (Northern Cheyenne/Southern Cheyenne), Danielle Egnew  (Cherokee), James Edmund Greeley  (Hopi, Nez Perce), Joanne Shenandoah & Bambi Niles  (Oneida-Iroquois), Jonah Littlesunday“Gratitude” (Navajo Dine), JuQ (Oglala Lakota/ Dakota South), Kelly Jackson  (Lac du Flambeau/Chippewa), Levi Platero (Navajo), Nahko and Medicine For The People  (Apache), Painted Raven (Cherokee/Sioux), R. Carlos Nakai Quartet   (Navajo Ute), Radmilla Cody (Navajo Dine ), Rellik (Metis), Rhonda Head (Cree), Son of Hweeldi (Navajo) and Sten Joddi  (Muskoke Creek). 

Hosted by National Indian Gaming Association's Chairman, Ernie Stevens, Jr., featured performers invited to this year's Awards ceremony include; nominees  Josh Halverson,  Kelly Derrickson and Nahko of Nahko & Medicine For The People. A special tribute to the late Joseph FireCrow will be held.  As featured on America's Got Talent last year's Group of the Year, Lil Mike & Funny Bone will be performing. This year's Lifetime Achievement recipient will be Gary Farmer, who will also be performing with his band The Troublemakers featuring award winnersMarc Brown and Derek Miller, with more to be announced.

General Public voting is now open. To vote, visit the VOTE page of the Awards website or by clicking on the following link:  VOTE NOW   Public voting will determine the winner of each category. Music tracks from all nominees are also featured on the Awards' website at www.NAMALIVE.com.

Winners will be announced live at the 17th Annual Native American Music Awards which will be held on Saturday October 14th at the Seneca Niagara Resort & Casino in Niagara Falls, New York.

The Native American Music Awards & Association is the world's largest professional membership-based organization committed to honoring contemporary and traditional Native American music initiatives.

The Native American Music Awards & Association extends its sincerest congratulations to this year's NAMA Nominees.



C.C. Murdock “Resistance” (Shoshone/Piaute)

James Edmund Greeley “Before America” (Hopi, Nez Perce)

Josh Halverson “Year of the Thunderbird” (Mdewakanton Dakota)

Perry Cheevers Toppah “Sing To Your Lady” (Cool Runnings)

Randy McGinnis “The Journey  - hi a vi si i” (Cherokee)

Vince Redhouse  “Songs of the Earth” (Dine)



Billy Simard “Being Free”  (Ojibwe)

Jean Albert Renaud - JAR “I Ride Horses” (Cherokee/Blackfoot)

JuQ “Tempo: A Short Story by juQ” (Oglala Lakota/ Dakota South)

Kokopelli Girl “Ricochet” (Metis)

Lucas Ciliberti “Rainmaker” (Cherokee/MicMac)

Rose Angel  “Inner Voice Vol 1 & 2” (Tegua/Papago)



Black Bear Brothers (Emanuel & Tim Black Bear) “Songs from Cheyenne Creek” (Oglala Lakota/Rez West/KILI)

Craig Elkshoulder, Janelle Turtle, Nelson Turtle Jr.  “Cheyenne Peyote Songs” (Northern Cheyenne/Southern Cheyenne)

Crazy Flute  “Echos From The Mountain” (Cherokee)

Joanne Shenandoah & Bambi Niles “One World Christmas” (Oneida)

Shining Soul “Politics Aside” (Tohono O’odham/Dine’)

Steven Rushingwind & The Native Groove “Fuego” (Cahuilla, Taino)



Callie Bennett  “Awake, Arise and Shine” (Navajo/Diné)

Cindy Paul “The Flight” (Metis/Cree)

Danielle Egnew  “You’ve Got To Go Back The Way That You Came” (Cherokee)

Kelly Derrickson “I Am” (First Nation)

Radmilla Cody “Ke’ Hasin” (Navajo Dine/Canyon Records)’

Rhonda Head “Kisahkihitan (Cree)



Jan Michael Looking Wolf “Ascension” (Kalapuya)

Jonah Littlesunday “Gratitude” (Navajo Dine)

Matthew Tooni “Through Their Eyes Vol 1” (Eastern Band of Cherokee)

Randy McGinnis “The Journey  - hi a vi si i” (Cherokee)

Steven Rushingwind & The Native Groove “Fuego” (Cahuilla, Taino)

Vince Redhouse  “Songs of the Earth” (Dine)



Cherokee National Youth Choir “Celebration” (Cherokee Nation)

Jan Michael Looking Wolf Band “Ascension” (Kalapuya)

Northern Cree “It’s A Cree Thing” (Cree)

R. Carlos Nakai Quartet  “What Lies Beyond” (Navajo Ute / Canyon)

Broken Walls “The Path"  (Mohawk/Tlingit)

The Cody Blackbird Band “Live From Chicago” (Eastern Band Cherokee & Dakota/Redi Records)



Artson “E.A.R.T.H.” (Raramuri/Tarahumara)

Anthony Benally “Humble Expressions” (Navajo / Cool Runnings)

Clark Tenakhongva “Su’Vu’Yo’ Yungw” “Long And Steady Drizzle” (Hopi/ Canyon)

Conrad Benally “Always And Forever” (Shoshone Bannock)

Jonah Littlesunday “Gratitude” (Navajo Dine/Canyon)

Levi Platero “Take Me Back” (Navajo)



“Celebration” Cherokee National Youth Choir (Cherokee Nation)

“Hoka” Nahko and Medicine For The People  (Apache)

“Music From Turtle Island: Songs of Freedom” Various Artists (Metis/Cree)

“One World Many Voices” Various Artists (Ed Lee Natay, R. Carlos Nakai, Xavier Quijas Yxayotl, Earl Ray, Aaron White, Jonah Littlesunday)

“Sacred Inspirations” Various Artists (Spiritwind Records)

“Year of the Thunderbird” Josh Halverson (Mdewakanton Dakota)



“Alcatraz” Calina Lawrence  (Suquamish)

“Bullet Dress” Melissa Doud with the Mambo Surfers (Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa)

"Father" Spencer "Lightfoot" Wiley Wizick (Colville)

”If Only” Marcia Chum-Sackaney (Cree)

“Red Dust On Route 66”  Wolfsheart, Roy Pete, Jose Feliciano (Navajo)

“Shooting Blanks” Mickie James (Powhatan)

“Urban Nativez” Joey Stylez & Sten Joddi (Muskoke Creek)

“Wake Up” Kelly Jackson  (Lac du Flambeau/Chippewa)

“Wanna See You” Carsen Gray featuring DJ Shub  (Haida)


BEST MUSIC VIDEO - Conceptual 

“Come and Get Your Love” B. of Dakota South Records (Yankton Sioux/Oglala Lakota/Knudsen)

“Indomitable” ft DJ Shub  Northern Cree Singers

“Lady of the Lake” Painted Raven (Cherokee/Sioux)

“Me & The 99” Son of Hweeldi (Navajo)

“Springfields” Lucas Ciliberti (Cherokee/MicMac)

“Wanna See You” Carsen Gray & DJ Shub  (Haida)


BEST MUSIC VIDEO - Performance

“All Day” Shining Soul (Tohono O’odham/Dine’)

“Ascension” Jan Michael Looking Wolf Band  (Kalapuya)

“Just Enough” Josh Halverson” (Mdewakanton Dakota)

“Promised Land” The Cody Blackbird Band (Eastern Band of Cherokee & Dakota)

“Suicide Song” Kelly Derrickson (First Nation)

“Wake Up” Kelly Jackson (Lac du Flambeau/Chippewa)



“Black Snakes” Prolific The Rapper w/ A Tribe Called Red - Black Snakes 

“Love Letters To God” Nahko and Medicine For The People  (Apache)

“Never Give Up”  Artson featuring Supaman & Quese Imc (Raramuri)(Tarahumara)

“Rise Up” Komplex Kai (Tulalip)

“Stand Up / Stand N Rock #NoDAPL” Taboo & Various Artists

“The Hour” (Mamas song) Rellik (Metis/New Leaf)


NATIVE HEART  (Non Native)

Bearheart Kokopelli (Bernhard Mikuskovics) “Native Heart” (Namaste Music)

Jefferson Svengsouk “Peaceful Journey” (Celestial Light Show)

Jonny Lipford “Waves of Serenity”

Lex Nichols “Songs of the Plains”

Peter Phippen “Solace” (Promotion Music Records)

Timothy J.P. Gomez “The Awakening” (Wandering Trail Records)



“Being Free” Billy Simard (Ojibwe)

“I Am” Kelly Derrickson (First Nation)

“I Ride Horses” Jean Albert Renaud-JAR (Cherokee/Blackfoot)

“Native Americana Volume 1” Rob Saw  (Rob Saw/Mohawk)

“Rainmaker” Lucas Ciliberti  (Cherokee/MicMac)

“You’ve Got to Go Back the Way That You Came” Danielle Egnew  (Cherokee)



“Desert Wind” Sayani (Cherokee/Choctaw/Creek)

“Keeper of the Family” Shining Woman & Otsigeya (Cherokee)

“One World Christmas” Joanne Shenandoah & Bambi Niles  (Oneida-Iroquois)

“The Flight” Cindy Paul (Metis/Cree)

“Year of the Thunderbird” Josh Halverson (Mdewakanton Dakota)



“Always And Forever” Conrad Benally (Shoshone Bannock)

“Awake, Arise and Shine” Callie Bennett (Navajo/Diné)

“Embraced By The Light” Richard Redleaf, Ruby Redleaf, Lydia Redleaf (Rosebud Sioux)

“Kisahkihitan” Rhonda Head (Cree)

“Victory Road” Elvis Ballantyne  (Cree)

“The Storm Awakens” Verdell Primeaux and Leon Skyhorse (Yankton Sioux/Ponca/Navajo)



“Crossroads” Painted Raven (Cherokee/Sioux)

“Empty Cradle” Michael Longrider and Lester “Seven Star” Greenwood (Mi’kmaq/Metis)

“Fuego” Steven Rushingwind & The Native Groove (Cahuilla, Taino)

“Songs of the Earth” Vince Redhouse   (Dine)

“The Journey  - hi a vi si i” Randy McGinnis (Cherokee)

“What Lies Beyond” R. Carlos Nakai Quartet   (Navajo Ute/ Canyon)



“Cheyenne Peyote Songs” Craig Elkshoulder, Janelle Turtle, Nelson Turtle Jr.  (Northern Cheyenne/Southern Cheyenne/Cool Runnings)

“”Family Tradition” Jarvis Hunter (Navajo)

“Maskiki Awasis” Kelly Daniels (Cree /Cool Runnings)

“New Beginning” DonJay Nelson (Navajo / Cool Runnings)

“Simplicity” Cheevers Toppah  (Kiowa/Navajo / Cool Runnings)

“Songs of the Good Way of Life” Irvin Bahe (Navajo / Cool Runnings)



“Celebration” Cherokee National Youth Choir (Cherokee Nation)

“Doing It All” Irv Lyons Jr (Oneida)

“Give It My All” NDN Soul (Chickasaw/Cherokee)

“Tempo: A Short Story by juQ” JuQ  (Oglala Lakota/ Dakota South)

“The Path” Broken Walls (Mohawk/Tlingit)



“Belongs To The People” Young Bear (Canyon)

“Blacked Out” Southern Style (Navajo/Hopi/ Cool Runnings)

“It’s A Cree Thing” Northern Cree (Cree/Canyon)

“Sing To Your Lady” Perry Cheevers Toppah (Cool Runnings)

“Songs from Cheyenne Creek” Black Bear Brothers (Emanuel & Tim Black Bear) (Oglala Lakota/Rez West/KILI)



“Politics Aside” Shining Soul (Tohono O’odham/Dine’)

“Reverse Through Time.” Artson (Raramuri/Tarahumara)

“The 7th Generation Prophecy” Sten Joddi  (Muskoke Creek Nation of OK/Tattoo Muzik)

“The Dream” Rellik (Metis)

“Vision” Gabriel Yaiva and DJ Soe (Navajo/Hopi/Yaqui/Cree)



“019910” Son of Hweeldi (Navajo)

“Live From Chicago” The Cody Blackbird Band   (Eastern Band Cherokee & Dakota/Redi Records)

“Red-White & Blues” Bluedog (Ponca/Dakota)

“Resistance” C.C. Murdock (Shoshone/Piaute)

“Saddle Mountain Blues” Cecil Gray Native Blues (Kiowa)

“Take Me Back” Levi Platero (Navajo)



“Before America” James Edmund Greeley  (Hopi, Nez Perce)

“Humble Expressions” Anthony Benally (Navajo /Cool Runnings)

“Joyful” Jiiniikwe  (Bay Mills Michigan Ojibwe)

“Ke’ Hasin” Radmilla Cody  (Navajo Dine /Canyon)

“Sing To Your Lady” Perry Cheevers Toppah (Cool Runnings)

“Su’Vu’Yo’ Yungw” -“Long And Steady Drizzle” Clark Tenakhongva (Hopi / Canyon)



“10 Years of  P-Dub’n” Papago Warrior (Tohono O’odham)

“Creed and Culture” Native Creed (Tohono O’odham)

“From Us To You” Pick-Up Kings (Tohono O’odham)

“Otra” Native Creed (Tohono O’odham)

“Versatile Music 2” Famous Ones (Tohono O’odham)







NBC's The Voice  recent contestant, Brooke Simpson is 26 years old and is a full-blooded Native American from the Haliwa-Saponi tribe. Brooke is from Hollister, North Carolina and currently lives in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. She grew up on tribal grounds with 4,000 Native Americans, including most of her family. Every year they have a powwow and celebrate their traditions just like their forefathers. She discovered her love of music at age seven when she started singing with her parents. They are full-time evangelists and would take trips every weekend in their RV to different churches to sing as a family, leading praise and worship. Brooke has been performing for many years and it's gotten to the point where she has started to look for a plan B, so a lot is riding on this audition.

Below Brooke sings Aretha Franklin's "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" during The Voice knockouts and absolutely nailing her audition. Brooke competed in the Playoff Round, landing third place but first in our hearts.  https://www.nbc.com/the-voice/credits/credit/season-13/brooke-simpson


Jan Michael Looking Wolf performed his award-winning song, Live As One with the Oregon State University choirs and his ensemble. The song "Live As One" was written and released by Jan Michael in 2010. It's message shares a universal truth that we all are connected and have equal value regardless of nationality, ethnicity, heritage, gender, and personal differences. Live As One has received international radio play and won the award for Best Music Video at the Native American Music Awards in 2011 from a live taping of a special performance with native musicians from across the country on stage with Jan Michael and the Ed Koban band in Niagra Falls, New York. This version was specially arranged for choirs by OSU graduate student in Music Education, Danika Locey and conducted by Dr. Steven Zielke. In working with OSU, a published choral arrangement will be available to choirs across the country and beyond.