NIAGARA FALLS, NY – The Native American Music Awards (NAMA) will return to the Seneca Niagara Resort & Casino in Niagara Falls, NY on Saturday, November 19, 2022. This will be the organization’s 20th awards ceremony. In commemoration of National Native American Heritage Month, the 20th awards ceremony will be hosted by actor Robert Mesa (Navajo/Soboba) who recently played the first indigenous doctor, James Chee. Grey’s Anatomy.
Oren Lyons will be recognized as a living legend. Lyons, who is 92, is a faith keeper of the Turtle Tribe, the Onondaga Nation. He is an artist, speaker, author and environmental activist for indigenous peoples worldwide and holds the title of Wisdom Keeper. He has advocated for the recognition of the rights of indigenous peoples at the United Nations and has addressed the United Nations General Assembly. He is an All-American Lacrosse Hall of Famer and Honorary Chairman of the Haudenosaunee Nationals Lacrosse Program.
This year’s Hall of Fame inductee will be Mickey Free, a Grammy Award winner and multiple Native American Music Award winner of Comanche and Cherokee descent. Originally discovered and managed by Gene Simmons of KISS, Free was the guitarist for the R&B group, Shalamar, which recorded platinum hits such as “Dancing in the Sheets” from the movie soundtrack. footlooseand won a Grammy for “Don’t Get Stopped in Beverly Hills.” Beverly Hills Cop Soundtrack Free is currently on tour in support of his latest album, turquoise bluewhich featured members of The Santana Band, Billy Idol’s Steve Stevens and Gary Clark Jr.
Brule/AIRO’s Paul LaRoche and Robert Tree Cody will be honored as Lifetime Achievement Award recipients. LaRoche is a founding member of Brule, the epic Native American rock show. Brule’ has won eight Native American Music Awards, released 20 CDs and sold over a million CDs worldwide. Cody is a five-time Native American Music Award winner and multi-talented flutist, singer, dancer, actor and educator. He has released 13 albums.
This year’s featured performers will include multiple nominees – Antoine Edwards Jr., Cody Blackbird, Earl Slick & the Fabulous Ripcords, Fawn Wood, Gunner Jules, Spar Poirier, Stan Jody and The Hallucy Nation. Guest nominees will include Ava Rose, Blanca Iris Acuna, Blue Flames, Blue Mountain Tribe, Crazy Flute, Darren Thompson, Dr. April Lea Go Forth, Faran Sohapi, Gera and TM Clark, JUQ, Julian Taylor, Kelly Derrickson, Kelly Montejo Fink, Irv Lyons Jr., Melody McArthur, Raven Flyinghorse, Sandra Sutter, Savelle The Native, The Johnnys, Shibastik, Shiloh Ashley, Tess Remy-Schumacher, Twice As Good, Two Shields, and Yvonne St. Germaine.
A new partnership with the BMI Foundation will create a career grant for a Native American songwriter or composer. To be known as the BMI Foundation Rising Star Awards, this new program will honor a music producer in the Rising Star category for emerging and promising artists. The recipient of this award will receive a $2,500 grant.