Eiteljorg Musuem Blog

Joanne Shenandoah brings sweet, strong voice back to Indian Market and Festival

by Francesca Ducanes, Eiteljorg festivals public programs intern | Jun 17, 2014

Joanne Shenandoah
Award winning singer Joanne Shenandoah makes her return to Indian Market. She'll perform Saturday and Sunday at 11 a.m.

When multitalented, award-winning composer and musician Joanne Shenandoah performed at the Eiteljorg Indian Market & Festival in 2006, visitors weren’t merely entertained, they were entranced. Songs, sung in a sweet, clear, strong and beautiful voice – and often in Iroquois – are like a lullaby, with a touch of longing beneath the surface. Robbie Robertson of The Band says, “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.”

A member of the Wolf Clan of the Oneida Nation, of the Haudenosaunee Six Nations Iroquois Confederacy, Shenandoah is the most critically acclaimed Native American singer of her time. She has recorded more than 16 albums and won a multitude of awards, including a Grammy and 13 Native American Music Awards (Nammys). She has graced stages at The White House, Carnegie Hall, three Presidential Inaugurations, Madison Square Garden, The NMAI-Smithsonian and Woodstock ’94.

Her parents had a deep love for music, encouraging her to study voice, flute, piano, clarinet, guitar and cello. Her talent, combined with her beautiful, clear voice, enables her to embellish the ancient songs of the Iroquois using a blend of traditional and contemporary instrumentation. Her music reflects the indigenous philosophy and culture which continue to have a profound effect on the world today. From traditional chants to contemporary ballads of Native ways, her music has been described as an emotional experience, a “Native American trance.”

Back for a second time at this year’s Indian Market at the Eiteljorg Museum, Joanne Shenandoah is joined by her daughter Leah and her sister Diane to perform and captivate the hearts of audiences once more.  Her daughter, Leah Shenandoah, another accomplished musician, has been singing harmonies with her mother and aunt for most of her life. Leah weaves together Native American and hip-hop/electronic-dance music, which can be heard on her debut album Spektre. A collaboration with Jason “JJ Boogie” Richert, known for his work with Afrocentric rap group, Arrested Development, the album displays the full range of Leah’s vocal abilities. Leah is also a jewler, weaver, painter, sculptor, multimedia artist, clothing designer, and community activist. Together, both mother and daughter will capture the hearts of audiences in this year’s festival.

Joanne Shenandoah will be performing music with her daughter and sister on the main stage as well as storytelling along with her husband Doug George-Kanentiio (Iroquois) on both days of the festival.

Entertainment Schedule
Saturday and Sunday (June 21 - 22)

10 a.m. Welcome and Prayer
10:15 a.m.
Teresa Webb, Storytelling
11 a.m.
Joanne Shenandoah, music
Noon Scatter Their Own, alter-Native music
1 p.m. Tony Duncan and Estun-Bah, hoop dancing
2 p.m. Joanne Shenandoah and Douglas George Kanentiio, storytelling
3 p.m. Scatter Their Own, alter-Native music


Join us for a weekend celebration of Native American cultures through art, music, dance, demonstrations, food and more. Featuring Native performers and more than 150 artists from more than 60 tribes, Indian Market and Festival is a one-of-a kind cultural experience right here in the Midwest. Click this link to purchase tickets. Advance tickets are $10 and include admission for one adult (children 17 and under are free) to the Indian Market and Festival and the museum. All proceeds benefit the Eiteljorg Museum. The Market will be held rain or shine and the tickets are not refundable. Tickets are valid for one day only and should be picked up at the Will-Call stand (Main Gate) by presenting your e-mail receipt. No pets or coolers allowed.


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