FALLS, N.Y. - Nominations for the 11th Annual Native American Music
Awards were recently announced by the Native American Music Association.
awards will be held Oct. 3 at the Seneca Entertainment Center in
the Seneca Casino & Hotel in Niagara Falls. The awards ceremony
will be hosted by Gil Birmingham who has received recent public
acclaim for his portrayal as Billy Black in "Twilight."
Birmingham's other TV and screen credits include; "Dreamkeeper,"
"Skins," "Nip/Tuck," "10 Items or Less,"
"Buffy the Vampire Slayer," and his powerful portrayal
of Dogstar in Steven Spielberg's six-part TV miniseries, "Into
the West." Birmingham will return as Billy Black in the "Twilight"
sequel, "New Moon," scheduled for release in November
is with great pleasure that we announce the inclusion of Gil Birmingham
to the Seneca Niagara Casino & Hotel for the 11th Annual Native
American Music Awards," said Karen Karsten, executive director
of entertainment for Seneca Gaming Corporation. Gil represents the
very best of what NAMA stands for - a formal recognition of outstanding
contributions in the arts by Native American performers. We couldn't
be more honored to have Gil join us in Niagara Falls for this very
year's Hall of Fame induction will be held for the late Ritchie
Valens, who is of Yaqui heritage on his mother's side. It has been
50 years since his tragic passing - he was killed on a small private
plane that took off from Clear Lake, Iowa bound for Fargo, N.D.
that never made its destination. The plane crash also claimed the
lives of Buddy Holly, J.P. "Big Bopper" Richardson and
the pilot Feb. 3, 1959.
special Hall of Fame tribute performance will be held in Valens'
honor by his brother, Mario Ramirez, and his Backyard Blues Band.
Mario's passion for music, and his desire to honor the memory of
his brother are the driving force behind his band.
induction presentation will be made by Tommy Allsup, famed guitarist
in Buddy Holly's band who lost the coin toss with Valens to ride
on the ill-fated plane. The coin-toss scene was depicted in the
film "La Bamba." In a music career spanning more than
60 years, Allsup (an citizen of the Cherokee Nation) has played
on hundreds of country chart toppers and worked with artists as
diverse as Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys, Buddy Holly, Roy Orbison,
Tanya Tucker, Kenny Rogers, Paul McCartney, Charlie Rich and Willie
Nelson. Allsup was elected to the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame in
2005 and won a Grammy Award for Best Country Instrumental Performance
recognition will also be given to guitarist/musician/producer Stevie
Salas as this year's Lifetime Achievement Award recipient. Salas
is an American born rock guitarist of Apache descent. With humble
beginnings, Salas' unique heavy funk/rock guitar styling's quickly
helped him make a name for himself in music industry circles in
the late 1980s. After 20 years in the business, Salas' talent and
swagger have earned him great respect in the music world as a studio
and concert musician. He has recorded, toured with, written, produced
and directed many record industry greats including; Mick Jagger,
Rod Stewart, George Clinton and Justin Timberlake. As
a producer, Salas has worked on many global superstar projects including
the 1989 classic "What Up Dog" by Was (Not Was) which
Rolling Stone Magazine named one of the top 100 records of the decade.
As a film composer he has scored many films and TV shows, but is
best known for the guitar score to the cult classic "Bill and
Ted's Excellent Adventure" where he not only scored, but also
appears as the hands of George Carlin in the famed wild guitar solo
also tours the world as a solo artist often playing sold out concerts
and festivals in the UK, Europe and Asia and has sold two million
solo records around the world. He has won many awards including
a Native American Music Award for Best Rock Recording in 2008. He
is the host and executive producer of the one hour live comedy/music
TV program "Arbor Live" in Canada and, for the last four
years, has worked as the music consultant for 19 Entertainment for
American Idol's Chris Daughtry, Jordan Sparks, David Cook, Allison
Iraheta, Kris Allen and Adam Lambert. Salas has also advised the
Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of the American Indian
on contemporary music programming and helped conceptualize the idea
for an exhibit on American Indian contributions to the roots and
advancement of contemporary music.
plethora of new up-and-comers were nominated alongside established
artists and previous winners throughout a diverse array of 30 music
categories spanning all genres. This year's leading nominee is classical
guitarist Gabriel Ayala (Yaqui) with five nominations surrounding
his three recordings; "Portraits," "Allegro"
and "Tango!" Three of those nominations are in the World
music category and the other two in Instrumental and Male Artist.
year also features several other classical instrumental recordings
including; Dawn Avery's "Tulpe" (Mohawk Haudenosaunee)
who was nominated for Debut Artist, "Molly & The Mohawks"
by composer Augusta Cecconi-Bates for Best Historical Recording,
and "Works By Jerod Impichchaachaaha Tate" by composer
Jerod Tate & The San Francisco Symphony & Chorus (Chickasaw)
for Best Instrumental Recording.
up with four nominations each are: Apryl Allen (Comanche) with "Na
Unu Nahai" (Shape Shifter) for Debut Artist, Pop, Record of
the Year and Song/Single of the Year; Bryan Akipa (Dakota Sioux)
with "Songs From The Black Hills" for Flutist, Male, New
Age and Record of the Year; Jana Mashonee (Lumbee) with her recording
"A Change Is Gonna Come" for Pop, Best Video and Song/Single
as well as for her release, "New Moon Born" which earned
her Artist of the Year; and Joanne Shenandoah (Oneida) and Michael
Bucher (Cherokee) for their recording "Bitter Tears Sacred
Ground." Together they share nods for Record of the Year and
Best Compilation. Shenandoah earned Best Female and Song/Single
for the track, "Riding Free." Bucher earned Best Video
for his single, "Don't Forget About Me," and Best Male.
three nominations each are debut artists Jace Martin (Mohawk) with
his eponymously titled release and Samantha Crain (Choctaw) for
"The Confiscation: A Musical Novella." Jan Michael Looking
Wolf (Kalapuya - Grand
Ronde Tribes), with "The Looking Wolf Project," Joy Harjo
with "Winding Through The Milky Way" (Muskogee) and Kevin
Locke (Lakota/Hunkpapa Sioux and Anishinaabe) with "Earth Gift"
also earned three nods each.
with two nominations each are Broken Walls, Annie Humphrey, Arvel
Bird, Black Lodge, Brule', Cherokee National Youth Choir, Darryl
Tonemah, Desert West, Douglas Blue Feather, Eagle & Hawk, Gary
Small, Golana, JJ Kent, James Peshlaka, Jim Boyd, Jimmy Shendo &
Moeity, Lenape Spirits, Lietsoiitah Ye'ii Bi Cheii Singers, Mary
Youngblood, Michael Searching Bear, Out of the Blue, Primeaux &
Mike, R. Carlos Nakai, Rain Song, Red Hawk, Rezhogs, Skylar Wolf,
Stevie Salas and Tony Redhouse.
year's Rap Hip Hop Recording category was besieged by entries marking
a new high for submissions in that category. Finalists include "All
Day All Night" by the Rezhogs (Yakama), "The Backside"
by Chase Manhattan (Muscogee Creek, Ojibwe), "Native Anthem
(Yall Aint Know)" by Sandy & Chris Hunt, "Kash Kow,"
by Lou Nice, Chief, Stoney Creek, Charly Lowry, and Aaron Locklear,
"Bluelight" by Quese Imc (Pawnee/Seminole), "The
World & Everything In It" by Team Rezofficial (Cree) and
"Talisman Wasted Talent" by N8 (Yakama).
nominations throughout all 30 music categories reflect an astounding
and diverse range of both new and established talent from our community,"
said Awards President Ellen Bello. We are extremely honored to be
pay tribute to a music great like the late Ritchie Valens and give
special recognition to international artist Stevie Salas. We are
also honored to have the participation and support of Gil Birmingham
as our host and music veteran Tommy Allsup as a special guest presenter.
We look forward to a spectacular awards celebration running the
full musical gamut of popular and traditional initiatives."
for the 11th Annual Native American Music Awards are on sale now
through all ticketmaster outlets. Public voting to determine the
winner of each category has now commenced and is open to the general
public. Anyone interested in voting can visit the awards Web site
Music from all nominees is currently
featured on the site.