Native American musical artist in concert Friday

Published 3:00 am Thursday, October 22, 2015

Martha Redbone, one of the top Native American musical artists in the world, will be in concert at 7 p.m. Friday on the Troy University practice fields adjacent to Trojan Arena just off George Wallace Drive.

The Martha Redbone Trio concert is a featured event of the Ma-Chis Lower Creek Indian Tribe of Alabama Powwow Friday and Saturday on the university campus. Admission is free.

Martha Redbone is an American blues and soul singer of part Cherokee, Choctaw, European and African-American descent. Her award-winning work is recognized by the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of the American Indian. She has recorded and performed with Bonnie Raitt, Pete Seeger, Youssou N’Dour, George Clinton, Rita Coolidge, Randy Brecker and Nona Hendryx.

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“In Martha Redbone’s concerts, she explores traditional and modern variations of folk, roots, blues, tribal, and soul music using her beautiful strong voice, her charismatic storytelling, and a variety of instruments played by two outstanding musicians,” said Dr. John Jinright, presenter chair for the Troy Arts Council, co-sponsor of the concert with Troy University. “She is an incredible talent and a very gifted educator. Her show is family-friendly and having her perform here is a unique opportunity.”

Martha Redbone was born in Kentucky and has maternal roots in parts of Appalachia. She absorbed music from many local traditions: African American, Cherokee, Choctaw and English folk music. Her father had a strong gospel music tradition from North Carolina.

She became a musician and singer, exploring soul with Native American undertones and burst onto the scene at the 2002 Native American Music Awards.

Martha Redbone has earned a solid reputation as a sought-after collaborator, performer, educator, and mentor across native North America and in some cases abroad, Jinright said.

In early 2007, Martha Redbone’s “Skintalk” won the 6th Annual Independent Music Awards for Best R&B Album. Her 2012 work, “The Garden of Love: Songs of William Blake,” sets Blake’s poetry to music that draws from rural influences of Appalachia, English folk, African American, and Native American traditions.

The Martha Redbone Trio will be an outdoor performance and is free and open to the public. She will also speak Saturday morning at the main tent on the university’s intramural fields.

The general public is invited to the powwow Friday afternoon with the gates opening at 3 p.m. Skilled artists and demonstrators will be on hand and along with dance competitions and exhibitions. The event continues on Saturday from 9 a.m. until 8 p.m., with the Grand Entry scheduled for noon. There is no cost for admission.

The Ma-Chis Lower Creek Indian Tribe of Alabama Powwow is sponsored in part by Troy University, the Troy Arts Council, Alabama State Council on the Arts and National Endowment for the Arts.