Past Native Circle Performers & Presenters

Corn Bred

Corn BredFormed in 1999 by Jerome Lazore, Corn-Bred began as a local band on the Onondaga Nation in Central New York. Corn-Bred’s current members include Jerome Lazore (guitar, vocals), Curtis Waterman (harmonica, vocals), John “J.B.” Buck (bass, vocals), Todd Minard (drums), and Morris Tarbell (lead guitar, vocals). Jerome, Lenny, Curtis, and J.B. hail from the Onondaga Nation, and Morris from the Mohawk Nation which makes Corn-Bred Central New York’s only all Native American Blues Band.

At first they played for family and friends, but as more people heard their unique blend of rhythm and blues, rock and traditional American Indian music, their popularity grew and has extended beyond the boundaries of New York State. This has in turn led to some pretty amazing gigs.

Some of the places where Corn-Bred has played: New York State Casinos, The President’s Inaugural Ball, The National Museum of the American Indian, The Harley Davidson 100th Anniversary, Iron Workers Union Local 60 100th Anniversary, The Budweiser New York State Blues Festival, The Taste of Syracuse, and the Syracuse Area music awards ceremony. They have also opened for such national recording artists as The Beach Boys, Diamond Rio, Jana, Martha Redbone, and Los Lobos.

The band, who recently released their fourth album Rez-Bomb, took home the 2007 Native American Music Award for Best Blues and Jazz Recording for their title track Mother Earth. The Native Circle is honored to have two of their songs, Rez Bomb and Number 9, on the 2011 Native Circle Touch the Earth Festival LIVE CD and their song Jingle Dress Dancer on The Best of the Native Circle Touch the Earth Festival CD! Click here to order them today.

Corn-Bred will certainly have you up on your feet dancing! Please visit www.cornbredband.com to read more on Corn-Bred.

Back to Top

Gypsy Red

Gypsy Red Performing at 2010 Native CircleGypsy Red is a progressive folk band from Parish, NY who have over 80 original songs to their credit. Their music chronicles the endless journey of the spirit, ever seeking its way home. Spirit breaks free with guitarist John Sardella’s enchanting refrains on his melodic 12-string acustic guitar. The music spirals and soars with passionate jubilation through the expressive and heartfelt voice of Cherie Sardella, lead vocalist. John & Cherie Sardella have created a unique blend of spirited folk sound that appears to be a fusion of ageless wisdom and culture in a modern context.

They have played at festivals, coffeehouses and cultural events throughout New York and Canada appearing with artists such as Joanne Shenendoah, Bill Miller, Keith Secola, Ulali, Richie Havens, and Jamie Notarthomas. Several local musicians add a unique touch when they join the duo. Gypsy Red’s song, Standing in the Shadows, was on The Color of Hope Project, a CD comprised of 18 First Nation female artists, produced by Spirit Wind Records and Promotions, which seeks to improve the lives of battered women, their children, and others impacted by domestic violence. 40% of the profit goes to help battered women’s shelters and programs throughout the nation. To purchase this amazing CD go to www.thecolorofhope.info.

Gypsy Red fans eagerly await the release of the groups’ 3rd CD … The Heart and Soul of Gypsy Red. Let’s hope it’s completed by May so they can share it with everyone at the festival! In the meantime, you can visit them at www.gypsyred.com

Back to Top

Joseph Firecrow

Joseph FirecrowJoseph Firecrow, a Northern Cheyenne flute man making his home in Connecticut, has many credits to his name and music. He has been described as a ‘national treasure’.

In 1992, he recorded his first album, The Mist. Two years later, he released a second self-produced recording, Rising Bird. Since then, he has recorded numerous CDs, been nominated for and won two Native American Music Awards, and his CD Cheyenne Nation, a soulful mixture of traditional flute and contemporary instrumentation, earned him a GRAMMY™ nomination at the 43rd Annual Awards for Best Native American Music Album.

Prayer for Compassion won Best New Age Album at the 52nd Annual GRAMMY Awards. Firecrow was also awarded the 2006 NAMMY for Best Flutist of the Year. On November 12, 2010 Joseph FireCrow was honored by the Native American Music Association as NAMA’s 2010 ARTIST OF THE YEAR and FLUTIST OF THE YEAR!

Firecrow has been given charge by his people to learn and share the Wolf Songs (songs of love and affection that teach patience, generosity, honesty and hopefully understanding) and to talk about flutes with the blessings of his elders. Visit Joseph Firecrow at www.josephfirecrow.com

You can teach someone how to play the flute, but you can’t teach them how to make it sing. ~ Joseph FireCrow

Back to Top

Jonny Lipford

Jonny Lipford, Flute Outside the Box

Jonny Lipford is a young, award-winning performer of the Native American Style Flutes. Jonny takes an age old instrument and uses it to create not only the traditional sounds, but also sounds that are new and not commonly linked to the Native-American style flute – a voice all his own, “Flute Outside the Box”.

Jonny started his musical journey at the young age of 13 and released his first CD, Transitions, in 2007, at the age of 17. He is on a mission to share with people what this instrument is all about, to show just how versatile it really can be. He has been featured on NativeRadio.com and is a three time NAMA Nominee, ISMA and JPF Nominee, and NEMA Winner. Along his journey, Jonny has shared the stage with many notable musicians including Mary Youngblood, Mark Holland, Jeff Ball, Arvel Bird and Michael DeMaria.  Most will find it hard to believe that one so young could have mastered the flute so perfectly.

In every song you hear, you’ll experience the unbridled passion of an individual who has experienced far more than many people his age. Jonny’s innate sense of composition and mature understanding of melody touches the soul. His hands play out melodies that are uniquely pure, invoking a variety of emotions that will warm your heart and leave you astonished at his musical technique.

The Native Circle is honored to have three of Jonny’s songs on the 2011 Native Circle Touch the Earth Festival LIVE CD! Click here to order it today.

Whether it be a jazzy beat, a spirited tune or a heartfelt ballad, you will surely be satisfied. Please visit him at www.jonnylipford.com

Back to Top

Michelle Johnson

Michelle Johnson

Michelle Johnson is a student of American Sign Language (ASL) who has deep respect and admiration for this language and the culture from which it comes. She is not an interpreter as you would usually think about ASL. By combining ASL signs, movement, dance and facial expressions, Michelle instead creates a “visual interpretation” of what the song sounds like and what that music feels like.

Michelle began studying American Sign Language (ASL) at Massasoit College (MCC) under Professor Irene Duke in the summer of 1996. It was in the fall of 2010 when Michelle’s ASL journey took her away from MCC and her ASL family. Catherine Martin, a friend from MCC, had selected the song Grandfather by Wind Spirit Drum to perform for her final. When she chose it she was unaware that it had been nominated for Song of the Year at the 2010 Native American Music Awards. Not only did Michelle perform Grandfather at the 12th Native American Music Awards, she also appeared on stage that weekend performing to Joanne Shenandoah’s newly released song America.

Michelle Johnson is combined her American Sign Language Dance Interpretation with Laura K. Vannah’s Cherokee Amazing Grace at the 2011 Native Circle Touch the Earth Festival. Michelle credits this beautiful, silent language for giving her a “voice” she never knew she had.

Back to Top

Owl & Dove

David Searching Owl and Janet Quiet DoveOwl & Dove, formerly known as Sacred Winds, have been Native Circle performers since its inception in 2006.

David “Searching Owl” Beaulieu was born in a small town in New Hampshire where he still lives today.  Both Great Grandmothers were Native Americans. One was of Ojibwe descent and the other Abenaki. Influenced by many Native artists, for the haunting and thought provoking sound, David found his own style and place.  Harley Son of Eagle Bear’s, David’s loving pet who passed away a couple of years ago,  vocals inspired the song “Owl and Eagle Bear” on his first CD Leap of Faith.

Janet “Quiet Dove” Murphy-DeBlois born in a small city in Massachusetts, is of Irish, French and Native American heritage. Her Great Grandmother was an Eastern Woodland Native. On the journey of learning about native crafts and culture she was given the wonderful gift of her name by an elder. Honoring the heritage that her Great Grandmother could not. Music has always been a part of her life, and she am honored to be sharing it with you.    

Together, they are Owl & Dove. Owl & Dove were nominated for two Native American Music Awards in 2010. One for David’s compilation cd Night Before, the other as part of the Rise Up compilation cd. They appeared in the 2010 global release of Live As One recording collaboration by NAMA nominees to commemorate National Native American Heritage Day! Their music graces both the 2011 Native Circle Touch the Earth Festival LIVE CD and the Best of the Native Circle Touch the Earth Festival CD. Click here to order them today.

Check out their interview on WMUR’s Chronicles and then visit their website at sacredwinds-music.webs.com.

Back to Top

The Storytellers

The StorytellersKen Quiet Hawk and Deborah New Moon Rising are both of Abenaki descent. Both being from the Dawn land they felt most at home in a small wooded town in New Hampshire.  Living by a quiet lake, they gather wondrous insight into the stories they tell. Quiet Hawk is an accomplished flute maker and photographer, whose Native wooden flutes and stunning photographs are played and viewed by many world wide. New Moon Rising is an award-winning artist best known for her realistic wildlife paintings on wild turkey feathers. Her birch bark rattles and crafts adorn the regalia of many from coast to coast.

Both believe that storytelling should be more than just entertainment. “Storytelling should be a means of teaching, teaching us all how to be better people.” They have spent many years searching and researching for the stories that portray the true heart of the Native peoples. Only those stories that are suitable for all ages are performed in their teachings. Together with all the stories and life’s lessons they have gathered, they are very popular storytellers at Pow Wows and Native gatherings. They have performed at concerts and schools throughout New England, as well as traveling the entire East coast sharing their stories, their crafts, and their hearts to share the teachings of the native peoples.

The Storytellers are two-time Native American Music Award-winners for Best Spoken Word, Ken has been nominated in the Best Male category and Deb in the Best Female category. Their wonderful stories are a part of both the 2011 Native Circle Touch the Earth Festival LIVE CD and the Best of the Native Circle Touch the Earth Festival CD. Click here to order them today.

Their message, “If the stories die, the culture dies with them,” is a timely one. Listen to The Storytellers Radio Show every Wednesday night at 8pm on Blog Talk Radio. Please visit them at www.nativestorytellers.com.

Back to Top

Thunder Hawk Singers

Thunder Hawk Singers, Donald Blackfox and Laura K. VannahThe Thunder Hawk Singers, Donald Blackfox, Founder of the Thunder Hawk Singers, and Laura “Bright Star” Vannah, Founder and Executive Director of the Native Circle, was formed in 2000 in Salem MA. Their first CD Native Pride, featuring music from the Mi’kmaq and Northern Cheyenne nations, was awarded the 2009 Native American Music Award for Best Historical Recording.

The Thunder Hawk Singers have opened for Joseph Firecrow, a Northern Cheyenne recording artist; performed with Keith Secola at the opening ceremonies of the 2001 Native American Music Awards; and at the Ronald McDonald House NYC fundraiser in 2002. They have performed at the Native Circle Touch the Earth Festival each year since its inception.

The Thunder Hawk Singers music was  featured on Primal Quest Badlands, a documentary film by Randy Ericksen, which just became a part of the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour. They can also be heard on Rise Up: Music from Native America, a compilation CD intended to promote national awareness of the homeless crises in America.

Click here to purchase their CDs and read more about them.

Their music also graces both the 2011 Native Circle Touch the Earth Festival LIVE CD and the Best of the Native Circle Touch the Earth Festival CD. Click here to order them today.

Back to Top

Print Friendly