Joanne Shenandoah – Peacemakers Journey (2000)

FrontCover1Joanne Shenandoah (born 1958) is a singer, composer and acoustic guitarist based in the United States. She is a member of the Wolf Clan; the Oneida Nation is part of the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois Confederacy). Her music is a combination of traditional songs and melodies with a blend of instrumentation.

She has recorded more than 15 albums and won numerous awards, including an Honorary Doctorate of Music by Syracuse University in 2002. She received a Grammy Award for her part in the album Sacred Ground: A Tribute to Mother Earth (2005), which had tracks by numerous artists.

Shenandoah is the daughter of Maisie Shenandoah, Wolf Clanmother of the Oneida Nation of New York, and the late Clifford Shenandoah, an Onondaga Nation chief. She has four sisters, Wanda, Vicky, Diane {her twin), and Danielle, as well as a brother, Jerry. As the Oneida have a matrilineal kinship system, the siblings were all considered to be born into their mother’s Wolf Clan. Descent and inheritance passes through the maternal line.

Through her father’s line, she is a direct descendant of Skenandoa, also known as John Shenandoah, an Oneida “pine tree chief”.

Joanne Shenandoah grew up on the Oneida Territory near Oneida, New York. She learned many traditional songs and music styles, and plays many instruments, piano, guitar, flute, etc.. She has written music and developed her own style, blending traditional and contemporary techniques and instrumentation.

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Joanne Shenandoah started performing in the Syracuse area. She has 23 recordings, and her first solo CD was recorded in 1989. In addition to her solo works, she has performed tracks with other musicians, or contributed tracks to group albums.

Although based in the Syracuse area, she travels frequently for her mostly solo performances in the United States and internationally. In 2011, Shenandoah and her daughter Leah recorded on the title track Path to Zero with Jim Morrison. The album also included artists, Sting/Bono, Sinéad O’Connor, Robert Downey, Jr. and others.

Shenandoah was invited to Rome, Italy to participate in the October 2012 celebration of the canonization of Kateri Tekakwitha, the first Native American saint. She performed an original composition for this occasion at The Vatican – St. Peter’s Basilica. She has performed in major venues and at major public events, including at The White House, Carnegie Hall, five Presidential Inaugurations, Madison Square Garden, Crystal Bridges Museum, National Museum of the American Indian, The Ordway Theater, Hummingbird Centre, Toronto Skydome, Parliament of the World’s Religions, (Africa, Spain and Australia) and Woodstock ’94.

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Shenandoah is a Grammy Award winner. She has received more Native American Music Awards (14 to date) than any other Native Artist, and a total of more than 40 music awards.[6] She has also received numerous Indie Awards and Syracuse Area Music Awards (SAMMYS). She was presented with the Rigoberta Menchú – Highest award by the Native Film Festival in Montreal, Quebec, Canada for her soundtrack in the documentary, Our Land Our Life.

Shenandoah was recently honored with the Atlas Award for her work with the climate change movement, both in the US and around the world.

Shenandoah hails from a traditional family. She is married to Doug George-Kanentiio (Akwesasne Mohawk), a co-founder of the Native American Journalists Association and published author.

Shenandoah is one of the original board members of the Hiawatha Institute for Indigenous Knowledge, which operates in partnership with Syracuse University. (wikipedia)

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And here´s her 7th solo-album:

Joanne Shenandoah is a woman of great strength and stature among her extended family — the Oneida tribe of the Iroquois Nation. Peacemaker’s Journey is based on the legend of Skennanrahowi, a man born of immaculate conception, who united the tribes of the Iroquois Nation into the first concept of the United Nations. The detailed liner notes relate the myth and the miracles within. Shenandoah and Tom Wasinger, her frequent co-producer and collaborator, have created this Native American treasure without the use of cedar flutes. The sound design incorporates traditional and exotic instruments to compliment Shenandoah’s marvelous vocal textures. This is a special CD. It will appeal to fans of Little Wolf Band, Spirit Nation and Walela.(by Jim Brenholts)

Oh yes, these songs are powerful and moving , gently expressing the energy of the Paecemaker


Dennis Burns (samples)
Barbara Cawelti (violin)
James Hoskins (cello)
Tim Morton (violin)
Jody Price (viola)
Joanne Shenandoah (vocals)
Tom Wasinger (guitar, lap steel guitar, mandolin, dulcimer, hammered zither, ocarina, marxaphone, kalimba, bass, percussion, background vocals)
Brett Wallace (cello)
background vocals:
Diane Shenandoah – Leah Shenandoah

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01. The Peacemaker Is Born 4.10
02. The Good Message 3.23
03. Mother Of Nations 4.10
04. Tadodaho (Snake in His Hair) 3.49
05. Aiionwatha Creates Wampum 3.48
06. Aiionwatha Forgives 3.51
07. Planting The Tree Of Peace 4.35
08. The Eagle Watches 4.01
09. The Great Law Of Peace 3.39
10. You Will Have Peace 4.53
11. Peace and Power 3.28
12. All The Earth Will See 3.35

All songs written by Joanne Shenandoah



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