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singer Martha Redbone

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  • Tyrone Anderson
    Martha Redbone is a part Shawnee, Choctaw and African-American musician. She is an award-winning figure in contemporary Native American music. She grew up in
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 1, 2008

      Martha Redbone is a part Shawnee, Choctaw and African-American color musician. She is an award-winning figure in contemporary Native American music. She grew up in Brooklyn and later rural Kentucky. Her music is seen as a mix of rhythm and blues, and Soul music influences fused with elements of traditional Native American musicsi .[1] Winner - 'Best Debut Artist' 2002 Native American Music Awards; 'Home of the Brave - Best Pop Album' 2004 Indian Summer Music Awards; 'Skintalk - Best Pop Album' 2005 Indian Summer Music Awards; 'Skintalk - Best RnB Album' 2006 Independent Music Awards. In 2005 Redbone was presented with an NHAP 'Red Ribbon Award for Outstanding Leadership' at a ceremony at the United Nations in recognition of her charitable work in the Native American community.


      TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The Moundville Native American Festival, to be held Oct. 3-6 at The University of Alabama’s Moundville Archaeological Park, celebrates the heritage and culture of Southeastern Indians.

      For the returning Native Americans, whose ancestors were forcibly removed from this region to Oklahoma in the 1800s, the festival, with more than 20 ancient earthen mounds serving as a backdrop, is a true homecoming in both a physical and spiritual sense.

      Take, for example, this year’s festival musical headliner Martha Redbone. Redbone, a blues artist, received her Choctaw/Shawnee/Cherokee heritage from her mother’s side. Her father is an African-American color with Native ancestry, and her grandfather actually once lived in the town of Moundville. And yet, through all her travels she has never before “returned home” to Moundville or seen the mounds, a legacy left by her ancestors.

      Now known as Moundville Archaeological Park, this late prehistoric site was settled, built and occupied from around 1000 to 1450 A.D. Often described as the Big Apple of the 14th century, this National Historic Landmark contains 320-acres of the best preserved mounds of their kind; its museum housing some of the finest Mississippian-era artifacts ever found.

      Redbone, who has played with such artists as Bonnie Raitt, George Clinton and Floyd Westerman, is performing on the festival’s Native American Stage Saturday, Oct. 6, prior to the homecoming football game at UA the same day.

      Billboard magazine says she’s “Stunning. The kind of artist who sets trends.” Her debut album, “Home of the Brave,” won Best Debut at the prestigious Native American Music Awards. Redbone says she is committed to bridging cultural and ethnic gaps. She even took her name from her heritage.

      “Redbone is a southern term for being black color and Indian,” she explains. “I grew up being teased about it.” Now she tours the country blending the sounds from her background into a musical fusion. Her latest album, “Skintalk,” has been described by Performing Songwriter magazine as, “part Neville Brothers, part Aretha Franklin, part tribal powwow.”

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