On October 12, the Native American Music Awards held their 18th annual awards ceremonies in the Seneca Events Center at the Seneca Niagara Resort and Casino in Niagara Falls, New York.
NAMA presented a total of 34 awards in a variety of categories and inducted a new member into the Native American Music Hall of Fame.
Last year’s Hall of Fame inductee Mickie James and the comedy duo of Williams and Ree served as hosts for the gala event. The Newtown Women’s Society from the Seneca Nation, the Old Bridge Women’s Singers with Saginaw Grant, Felipe Rose of the Village People, Connor Chee with his grandfather, Tracy Lee Nelson, and Twin Flames all gave musical performances. Western New York musician and member of the Mohawk Nation Ed Koban and his band The Ed Koban Group was the house band for the night and accompanied the performers.
After giving a performance on Oct 11 in the Bear’s Den Showroom, Williams and Ree became the first comedians to take the stage of a NAMA event.
In a posthumous presentation, Native American Music Hall of Fame member Micki James inducted guitarist Jesse Ed Davis into the Hall of Fame. Appearing in over 100 albums, Davis has performed with numerous artists including Jackson Browne, Bob Dylan, Leon Russell, Eric Clapton, Rod Stewart and the Faces, Willie Nelson, Marvin Gaye, B.B. King, Neil Diamond, and Arlo Guthrie. The Ed Koban Group, Buffalo Music Hall of Fame member Robert Freightrain Parker and former bandmates Mark Shark and Quiltman all gave musical performances in tribute to Davis.
Davis’ cousins Richenda Davis Bates and Constance Davis Carter accepted the award for Davis.
Winners of the 2018 Native American Music Awards:
Artist of the Year: Annie Humphrey for “The Beast and The Garden”
Debut Artist of the Year: Calvin Standing Bear for “Fly Eagle Fly”
Debut Group of the Year: People of the Star Orchestra for “Dreamwalker Suite”
Best Female Artist: Kelly Derrickson for “I Am”
Best Male Artist: Randy Wood for “Family”
Group of the Year: Twin Flames for “Signal Fire”
Flutist of the Year: the Pine Ridge Flute Society for “Waziahanhan Siyotanka Okolakiciye”
Best Americana Recording: Sandra Sutter for “Cluster Stars”
Best Blues Recording: Tracy Lee Nelson for “Blues Loving Man”
Best Country Recording: Desja Eagle Tail for “Never Let Me Go”
Best Folk Recording: Twin Flames for “Signal Fire”
Best Native American Church Recording: Oliver Littlecook, O.J. Littlecook, and Kyle Robedeaux for “Songs of the Native American Church from Oklahoma, Vol. 5”
Best Historical Linguistic Recording: Jeremy Dutcher for “Wolastoqiyik Lintuwakonawa”
Best Spoken Word Recording: Thana Redhawk for “Fires of Thunder”
Best Instrumental Recording: “Steven Rushingwind for “Rushingwind”
Best Pop Recording: Rita Coolidge for “Safe in the Arms of Time”
Best Pow Wow Recording: Stoney Park for “The Journey”
Best Rap or Hip=HOp Recording: Artson for “Brave Star”
Best Rock Recording: The Native American Rock Opera “Something Inside is Broken” by Various Artists
Best Traditional Recording: Craig Elkshoulder for “ Sweat Lodge Songs”
Best Waila Recording: O’odham Nights for “All for You”
Record of the Year: “Don’t Let the Drums Go Silent” by Saginaw Grant
Song of the Year: “Women and Water” by Paco Fralick and Michael Bucher
Best Single Recording: “Left Right Left “by Micki James
Best Dance Song: “Going Back to My Roots” by Felipe Rose
Best New Age Instrumental Song: Connor Chee for “Beginnings”
Best Music Video Concept: Supaman, Bear Fox, and Teio Swathe for “Sky World”
Best Music Video Narrative: Terrance. Jade for “Lakota Will Live”
Best Music Video Performance: Indian City for “Through the Flood”
Native Heart: Alexander Van Bubenheim for “Don’t Let the Drums Go Silent”
Best National Radio Program: Pow Wow Radio on Pow Wows.com
Best Indie Artist: P.J. Vegas for “Tears”
Comedian of the Year: Tonia Jo Hall