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Online voting site broadens competition for October Nammys

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NEW YORK - More than 90 entries, including many new faces, will compete for this year's Nammys in an innovative system of online voting, the Native American Music Association announced.

Winners in the 24 Nammy categories will be announced at the Fourth Annual NAMA award show at the Sandia Casino Amphitheater near Albuquerque, N.M., tentatively Oct 20, NAMA spokesman Donald Kelly said.

The 3,650-seat outdoor amphitheater is part of the Sandia Pueblo gaming facility which celebrated its grand opening this May.

A new online "listen and vote" system helped the NAMA Advisory Board select five nominees in each category, Kelly said. The site provided a brief audio selection of each entry along with a ballot. It helped make a first cut in a record number of entries, which totaled 15 in some popular categories.

The voting site is available to the general public through the NAMA Web site, www.nativeamericanmusic.com.

"It's our innovation," Kelly said. "We are the first awards show to have it."

Kelly credited the site for this year's notably broader range of nominees, since it gave the voters a chance to hear less familiar entries. Although the list of final nominees includes many famous names - Joanne Shenandoah, Robert Mirabal, Robert Tree Cody and R. Carlos Nakai - it also introduced new performers such as Pamyua, Janice Marie and Nadjiwan.

The most-nominated musician, predictably, is flutist Nakai, who appears in six different categories. But the second most ubiquitous is relative newcomer Annie Humphrey, the Anishinaabe singer and songwriter, with four solo singing entries and a fifth on a Spoken Word album.

The most honored album is Shenandoah's "Peacemaker's Journey," (Silver Wave) which won the Oneida singer four personal nominations and a fifth entry in the Best Producer category.

Other leading albums were Humphrey's "The Heron Smiled" (Makoche) and Mirabal's "Music from a Painted Cave" (Silver Wave) with four nominations each. Arigon Starr received three nominations for her album "Wind-up" (Wacky) and one for single of the year for "Junior Frybread."

The entries for Nakai are divided equally between two of his works. He appears in three categories as leader of his jazz quartet on "Ancient Future" (Canyon) and in three others on "In a Distant Place" (Canyon), recorded with the two members of his New Age trio and the Tibetan traditional flutist, Nawang Khechog.

Other multiple nominees include Robert Tree Cody, Joseph Fire Crow, Keith Secola, Radmilla Cody, Jay Begaye and Keith Bear, as well as the groups Lakota Thunder, Indigenous and Primeaux & Mike.

The nominations continue the remarkable saga of Makoche Recording Co. of Bismarck, N.D., all of whose four entries were multiple nominees. The six-year-old company made an impression on the music world this spring when it provided two of the first five Native American Grammy nominees, Fire Crow and Lakota Thunder.

"It's very humbling for our company to get this kind of recognition," said Makoche founder David Swenson, "but it's also pretty astounding at the same time. Credit is due to those artists who have chosen Makoche as their home."

The nominations also reflected the exposure provided by the First Annual Native American Blues Festival, put on by NAMA this May in New York City. Two performers at the show, Jimmy Wolf and the Gary Small Band, are competing for Best Blues Recording.

One entry has a special poignancy, the "Native American Songs as Told by Wolfsong" (Wolfsong Productions.) Wolfsong, born Rickie Douglas Provencher, the Abenaki storyteller from Vermont, passed on last November at the age of 47.

NEW YORK - More than 90 entries, including many new faces, will compete for this year's Nammys in an innovative system of online voting, the Native American Music Association announced.

Winners in the 24 Nammy categories will be announced at the Fourth Annual NAMA award show at the Sandia Casino Amphitheater near Albuquerque, N.M., tentatively Oct 20, NAMA spokesman Donald Kelly said.

The 3,650-seat outdoor amphitheater is part of the Sandia Pueblo gaming facility which celebrated its grand opening this May.

A new online "listen and vote" system helped the NAMA Advisory Board select five nominees in each category, Kelly said. The site provided a brief audio selection of each entry along with a ballot. It helped make a first cut in a record number of entries, which totaled 15 in some popular categories.

The voting site is available to the general public through the NAMA Web site, www.nativeamericanmusic.com.

"It's our innovation," Kelly said. "We are the first awards show to have it."

Kelly credited the site for this year's notably broader range of nominees, since it gave the voters a chance to hear less familiar entries. Although the list of final nominees includes many famous names - Joanne Shenandoah, Robert Mirabal, Robert Tree Cody and R. Carlos Nakai - it also introduced new performers such as Pamyua, Janice Marie and Nadjiwan.

The most-nominated musician, predictably, is flutist Nakai, who appears in six different categories. But the second most ubiquitous is relative newcomer Annie Humphrey, the Anishinaabe singer and songwriter, with four solo singing entries and a fifth on a Spoken Word album.

The most honored album is Shenandoah's "Peacemaker's Journey," (Silver Wave) which won the Oneida singer four personal nominations and a fifth entry in the Best Producer category.

Other leading albums were Humphrey's "The Heron Smiled" (Makoche) and Mirabal's "Music from a Painted Cave" (Silver Wave) with four nominations each. Arigon Starr received three nominations for her album "Wind-up" (Wacky) and one for single of the year for "Junior Frybread."

The entries for Nakai are divided equally between two of his works. He appears in three categories as leader of his jazz quartet on "Ancient Future" (Canyon) and in three others on "In a Distant Place" (Canyon), recorded with the two members of his New Age trio and the Tibetan traditional flutist, Nawang Khechog.

Other multiple nominees include Robert Tree Cody, Joseph Fire Crow, Keith Secola, Radmilla Cody, Jay Begaye and Keith Bear, as well as the groups Lakota Thunder, Indigenous and Primeaux & Mike.

The nominations continue the remarkable saga of Makoche Recording Co. of Bismarck, N.D., all of whose four entries were multiple nominees. The six-year-old company made an impression on the music world this spring when it provided two of the first five Native American Grammy nominees, Fire Crow and Lakota Thunder.

"It's very humbling for our company to get this kind of recognition," said Makoche founder David Swenson, "but it's also pretty astounding at the same time. Credit is due to those artists who have chosen Makoche as their home."

The nominations also reflected the exposure provided by the First Annual Native American Blues Festival, put on by NAMA this May in New York City. Two performers at the show, Jimmy Wolf and the Gary Small Band, are competing for Best Blues Recording.

One entry has a special poignancy, the "Native American Songs as Told by Wolfsong" (Wolfsong Productions.) Wolfsong, born Rickie Douglas Provencher, the Abenaki storyteller from Vermont, passed on last November at the age of 47.