This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Native American Music Awards, and the occasion will be marked with an awards ceremony and concert inside the Seneca Niagara Events Center at 8 p.m. Saturday.
The "Nammys," as the ceremonies have come to be known, honor Native American musicians who have emerged onto the world stage, while retaining a commitment to their communities. This year's lineup of inductees displays the wildly diverse musical forms the Native American community has entered into, worked within and, in many instances, radically altered. The 10th anniversary Nammy show will also honor traditional musicians.
Headlining the concert portion of the program will be one of this year's Nammy Hall of Fame inductees: legendary guitarist and Southern rock progenitor Rickey Medlocke.
Medlocke is famous as the founder and leader of Blackfoot, the '70s band that most convincingly married heavy blues, country and hard rock to the Southern style perfected by the Allman Brothers and revved up to arena-rock levels by Lynyrd Skynyrd.
Blackfoot, named in honor of Medlocke's Native American roots, sold some 5 million albums and struck radio gold in the late '70s and early '80s with the high-octane "Train Train" and the quintessential Southern rock ballad "Highway Song." Fittingly, Medlocke -- who was initially the drummer for the nascent Skynyrd -- fell neatly back into the fold as guitarist with that band, after disbanding Blackfoot in 1996. Medlocke brought substantial fire into the group, and it's largely because of his enthusiastic presence that Skynyrd remains a legitimate, ongoing concern, not solely an oldies act.
In addition to Medlocke, the Nammys will honor Joanne Shenandoah, A Taste of Honey's Janice-Marie Johnson, the Village People's Felipe Rose, and Pat Vegas of Redbone, among others.
WHAT: Native American Music Awards
WHEN: 8 p.m. Saturday
WHERE: Seneca Niagara Events Center, Niagara Falls
TICKETS: $20 and up