Joanne Shenandoah is an accomplished writer, musician, and performer. She is of the Wolf clan, and is an Oneida, which is one of the Six Nations that compose the Iroquois Confederacy. The Mohawk, Onondaga, Cayuga, Seneca and Tuscaroras are the other five nations of the Iroquois Confederacy.
Shenandoah is the daughter of Maisie Shenandoah, who is a Clanmother, and the late Clifford Shenandoah, who was an Onondaga Chief for the Haudenosaunee (People of the Longhouse). The Haudenosaunee is the traditional government /religion of the Iroquois Confederacy. Shenandoah has been performing and recording internationally with her native band for 8 years.
Joanne's powerful voice and spiritual stories have enabled her to share the stage and be in the studio with many well known musicians. She has received acclaim throughout Europe and North America for her ability to blend together ancient and contemporary musical styles. Her songs contain messages of peace and call for the need of harmony within all of Creation. (Indian Time, 17 May 1996, p.22)
Joanne's music draws upon her rich heritage. The songs she sings are enchanting, for they seem to reach deep within one's soul and touch the heart. Recently, when I took care of a motherless toddler who never seemed to be at peace. Getting this child to relax or nap was a chore. One day I played Joanne's CD, Life Blood, and it was the first time this child sat peacefully and listened. It was the first time she moved to music. It was truly amazing. Joanne's music reflects indigenous philosophy and culture that is necessary for the continuity of this planet, and it feeds the spirit.
Joanne's ability to weave into her music her Haudenosaunee cultural heritage and her melodious voice, have helped her to establish a reputation as one of America's foremost Native American recording artists. She has been bestowed with some very impressive honors: Native American Woman of Hope '95, Native American Woman's Recognition Award '96. and Outstanding Musical Achievement' 94.
Joanne opened Woodstock '97 and appeared on stage during Woodstock "94. She has performed at various music festivals throughout the country. She has created sound tracks for numerous television shows and video documentaries. In 1995, her projects included: Theme song to film "looks into the Night," music on major motion picture, :Dance Me Outside," sound track from "Indian In The Cupboard," CD ROM game, and "More Music From Northern Exposure." (Indian Time p.22)
Joanne has the following CD's & Tapes: Once in a Red Moon Life Blood with Peter Kater Matriarch a collection of Iroquois women's chants
Also to Joanne's credit are the following film and television appearances:
Rez Films LTD. - Dance Me Outside
CBS - Northern Exposure
Discovery Channel - How The West Was Won
TNN - Music City Tonight (Crook & Chase)
CNN - The Larry King Show
FOX - Not Necessarily The News
PBS - Honorable Nations
This land Is Our Land
Everything Has A Spirit
Joanne Shenandoah is co-founder and president of Round Dance Productions, a non-profit educational Native operated foundation dedicated to the preservation of Iroquois Culture. Eventually Round Dance hopes to create a Native American traditional music archive, a performing arts center, and a recording studio. They have begun to initiate activities to reach this worthy and much needed goal.