Most Viewed Stories
Singer Jana Mashonee to headline Native American Day festivities
Grammy-nominated vocalist Jana Mashonee returns to the local stage this week to help the Cocopah Indian Tribe celebrate Native American Day.
The free, family-friendly event is slated for Friday, featuring an outdoor concert by Mashonee, a fry bread festival and an exhibit of arts and crafts made by tribal members.
Each year the Cocopah Indian Tribe opens its doors to its neighboring communities, welcoming everyone to this popular celebration of culture and family.
“The goal behind Native American Day is celebrating Native American culture, plus to make it a festival not only for Native Americans, but for all communities to come out and share their culture,” said Daniel Valenzuela, manager of the Native Eatery, which is hosting the fry bread festival.
The arts and crafts will be on display from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday in the resort's food court. All other outdoor events begin at 5 p.m. and are open to all ages. People are encouraged to bring lawn chairs.
Casino officials say they're excited to hear more music from Mashonee, who headlined during last year's Native American Day concert.
“Jana is an amazing artist who blends great upbeat contemporary music with her Native American roots,” said John Giles, marketing director for Cocopah Casino. “Her music is personal, fun and she gives everything she's got while on stage.”
Mashonee's free, all-ages concert starts at 7 p.m.
The vocalist launched her career in 2006 with the concept album “American Indian Story,” which earned the singer a Grammy nomination. Music from that album was featured on the Discovery Channel's popular series “Flying Wild Alaska.”
The North Carolina native's touring schedule has since taken her to 49 states, along with stages throughout Europe and Canada.
Her career highlights include a concert at Carnegie Hall and performances for President Obama at an inaugural ball and for First Lady Laura Bush at a First Lady's Luncheon.
Mashonee holds the honor of being the first Native American performer to earn a spot on the Billboard dance charts. Her single “Ooh, Baby, Baby” was picked as Billboard's single of the week and her CD “More Than Life” sold more than a million copies.
Her video for “The Enlightened Time” won numerous film festival awards, as well as a NAMMY for Best Short Form Music Video, Mashonee's seventh Native American Music Award.
“It has always been my mission to break down stereotypes about natives and show the truly beautiful ways of our people,” Mashonee told the Yuma Sun. “I think that through music, this has and continues to be achieved. Music is the ultimate conduit that spreads positivity throughout the world.”
Darin Fenger can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 539-6860.