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NAMA: Taboo of Black Eyed Peas, actor Saginaw Grant, Williams and Ree & Joseph FireCrow to receive special honors


Tue, Sep 6th 2016 04:30 pm

Farewell tribute performance in honor of late Jim Boyd; special tribute to John Trudell

Hosted by comedian Paul Rodriguez, the 16th annual Native American Music Awards will be packed with an "A list" of entertainers and musicians on Saturday, Sept. 17, at Seneca Allegany Casino. Special honors will be given to Taboo of the Black Eyed Peas, actor Saginaw Grant, comedians Williams and Ree, and musician Joseph FireCrow. Special tribute performances will also be held in honor of the late actor and poet, John Trudell, and singer/songwriter Jim Boyd.

The Native American Music Awards will honor and induct Taboo into the NAMA Hall of Fame. His Shoshone ancestry on his maternal side is something he has always remained proud of. In his autobiographical book, "Fallin Up," he wrote about how his Native American grandmother would encourage him to embrace the "warrior spirit" that was forever in his blood.

Growing up in the mean streets of East LA surrounded by poverty, gangs and drugs, Taboo's rise is one of inspiration and admiration. Today, Taboo, or Jimmy Gomez, is an internationally recognized American hip-hop recording artist, actor and DJ best known for his work with the super group The Black Eyed Peas.

A Living Legend Award will be presented to actor Saginaw Grant, who has appeared in numerous films and TV shows, including the more recent "The Lone Ranger" and "Breaking Bad." Saginaw is the hereditary chief and respected member of the Sac and Fox, Iowa and Otoe-Missouria Nations. Today, Saginaw is called upon for counseling, lectures and events, while continuing his acting career and honoring his traditions.

A Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to Joseph FireCrow, who is one of the top Native American flute players and flute makers in the world. Since 1992, FireCrow has released eight solo albums to date, with six of them released internationally. His accomplishments include a Grammy nomination in the Best Native American Music Album category, Seven Native American Music Awards, a Telly Award, and a Grammy as a guest artist on David Darling's "Prayer for Compassion."

Bruce Williams and Terry Ree, often billed as The Indian and the White Guy, will be awarded Entertainers of the Year. Williams and Ree began as a band that filled time between songs with comedy sketches. Much of the duo's banter plays upon the stereotypes held of Native Americans.

Williams and Ree have released three comedy albums, performed with the likes of Garth Brooks, The Oak Ridge Boys and Tim McGraw, and appeared at the inaugural Native American Music Awards in 1998.

A special tribute will be made to the late poet, recording artist, actor and speaker John Trudell, who led a life dedicated to indigenous human rights, land and language issues. He passed away in December. Poet, spoken word artist and music producer Thana Redhawk will give a performance in his honor.

Trudell was given NAMA's Living Legend award at the inaugural awards ceremony and also won two awards for his recording, "Blue Indians," which was produced by Jackson Browne.

A musical tribute will be held for the late Jim Boyd, who passed away in June. It was just at the last NAMA show that Boyd was honored and presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award. His music career spanned over four decades, with 16 recordings to his credit, and four songs featured on the Miramax motion picture "Smoke Signals." 

Boyd's longtime friend, collaborator and drummer, Alfonzo "Fonz" Kolb, along with multiple award-winner and Native music icon, Keith Secola, will give a special tribute performance in his honor.

The Native American Music Awards was founded as the world's first and largest national professional membership-based organization for the advancement and recognition of Native American music expressions.

The 16th annual NAMA will be held at the Seneca Allegany Events Center at the Seneca Allegany Casino and Hotel in Salamanca - a Cattaraugus County city located inside the Allegany Indian Reservation, a reservation of the Seneca Nation of Indians in New York (one of the six tribes of the Iroquois Confederacy).

Showtime is 7 p.m. Doors open at 6 p.m. Limited tickets are available at $15 throughTicketmaster outlets or by calling the Seneca Allegany Casino at 716-945-9300.

Voting is open to the general public. Music tracks from all the nominees are featured on the audio players on www.NAMALIVE.com. Anyone can vote by visiting the Awards website VOTING page, or by clicking HERE.

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