Dawn Avery (Ieriho:kwats) Grammy and NAMA nominated artist
is referred to as a "daring cellist and vocalist" by the NY Times.
Her new album OUR FIRE features native contemporary songs reminiscent of Dar William’s alternative-folk, Sade’s smooth jazz, Enya’s choral chants, and David Darling’s soaring cello lines! All with a powerful Native American sensibility, as she sings in English and Mohawk. Grammy winning artist, Larry Mitchell, produces and plays guitars along with Steven Alvarez on percussion and special guests Joy Harjo and Shelley Morningsong.
Enjoy the smoky voice, forceful lyrics and sensual cello playing of Dawn Avery as she releases some of the most poignant work of her career!
OUR FIRE includes songs about the land, the environment, our longhouse fires, ancestors, women, residential schools, language, native pride, connection of peoples around the world, change and more! Some songs rock, while others soothe and inspire. Lyrics can be found on her website - www.dawnavery.com
Instrumental versions of several of the tracks from this album have been used in two award winning films: "Don't Sick After June: Indian Healthcare in the US (Rich Heape Productions) and the Smithsonian's new release featuring Nora Naranjo Morse, entitled "Always Becoming." The album has been nominated in the New Mexico awards and the upcoming Native American Music Awards and has been featured on WPFW in DC.
"Rarely are performers as at home at Lincoln Center as they are in a sweat lodge.Composer, cellist, vocalist, educator and Grammy-nominated performer, Dawn Avery is equally comfortable in many musical worlds. Of Mohawk descent, Dawn's Indian is Ieriho:kwats and she wears the turtle clan. Working with musical luminaries from Luciano Pavarotti to Sting, Dawn spent years honing her musical talents, collaborating and performing with John Cale, John Cage, David Darling, RC Nakai, Joanne Shenandoah, Reza Derakshani, Sussan Deyhim, Ustad Sultan Kahn, Karsh Kale, Mischa Maisky and Glen Velez with music degrees from the Manhattan School of Music and NYU. She has just completed her doctoral exams in ethnomusicology at the University of Maryland, where she specializes in Native American Music.
Dawn Avery has performed at the Montreux, Copenhagen, Helsinki, Gschwendt and Banlieu Bleu Jazz Festivals in Europe. She's played uptown at Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall, as well as in New York's thriving downtown music stages like the Knitting Factory and La Mama. Recently establishing herself in the Dc metropolitan area, Dawn has performed at the Kennedy Center, Washington's Folklife Festival and the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian.
Dawn specializes int he performance of contemporary Native American music with her own ensemble OKENTI and as a soloist int he NORTH AMERICAN INDIAN CELLO PROJECT.
As an educator, Dawn helps to nurture future generations of musicians as Professor of Music at Montgomery College in Maryland, where she has produced a World Arts Festival for nine-years.
Dawn Avery's compositions span from orchestral to chamber, songwriting to traditional women's stomp dances. She has collected awards for her works from the American Dance Festival at Duke University, NYU, Meet the Composer, the Maryland Flute Association and the Arts & Humanities Council of Montgomery County, the Ford Foundation, and the First Nations Composers Initiative, American Composers Forum. Her music can be heard on the award winning films by Rich Heape: "Our Spirits Don't Speak English Here: Indian Boarding Schools" and "Don't Get Sick After June: Indian Healthcare" as well as a new release by the Smithsonian by Nora Naranjo Morse entitled, "Always Becoming."
Dawn Avery is on the national board of the American Composer's Forum where she was an advocate for the First Nations' Composers Initiative.
Dawn's exploration of sacred music led her to study the relationship between music and spirituality, especially in meditative practice. Her CD and the accompanying books by Dr. Rick Jarow of Vassar College are available on SoundsTrue. She has led meditation groups and spiritual music performances at the Milan Sacred Music Festival, the Omega Institute for Holistic Studies, The Open Center in NYC, Esalen Institute in Big Sur, CA, Musicales Visuales in Mexico City and on Six Nations Territory. As a leader of meditation, career and creativity workshops, she has worked with such great healers as the Dalai Lama, Rick Jarow, Ron Young, Jan Kahehti:io Longboat, Ray Tew^ntese John and Hilda Charleton." Virginia Prescott, NPR producer and journalist