All of upstate New York is Iroquois land. The tribe of six nations, sometimes known as the "League of Peace and Power," and the "People of the Longhouse," employed the expression inherent in song as part of its culture on a daily basis, right here on the land Buffalo and its surrounding burgs were built upon. When Joanne Shenandoah arrives for a performance in the Seneca Niagara Casino Events Center at 8 p.m. Saturday, the Wolf Clan of the Iroquois Confederacy member will be coming home.
Shenandoah's music, which offers a striking blend of traditional Native American sounds and present-day instrumentation, is centered around her striking singing voice -- which might be familiar to fans of the late television show "Northern Exposure," and is certainly familiar to high-profile fans of her work, including Jackson Browne, Rita Coolidge and Willie Nelson.
Shenandoah played before a massive pop audience when she kicked off the proceedings for the 1994 edition of the Woodstock festival. She has also grabbed herself a Grammy Award and claimed the Artist of the Year honors at the Native American Music Awards a remarkable 10 times.
Tickets for Shenandoah's performance are $5 to $10, and can be found at the Events Center box office or through Ticketmaster.com.
-- Jeff Miers