There is no question about it. Jana Mashonee has a voice. Maybe even the voice. One listen to her performance on her newest recording, Stay With Me Baby, will tell you that.
First signed to Curb Records, her single, Ooh, Baby, Baby was picked as Billboard’s single of the week and went on to become a radio and sales success. More than Life followed, selling over a million copies on its own and as part of numerous compilation albums. A controversial version of Led Zeppelin’s epic, Stairway to Heaven, came next, earning her the honor of being the first Native American to top the Billboard dance charts.
Exploring her cultural roots, Jana then released American Indian Story, a brilliant concept album that garnered her a second GRAMMY nomination. The video for the single, The Enlightened Time, won awards at major film festivals around the world as well as a NAMMY for Best Short Form Music Video. Music from the album is featured on the Discovery Channel’s new hit series, Flying Wild Alaska.
Her first book, American Indian Story – The Adventures of Sha’kona, based on the GRAMMY nominated album of the same was also recently completed. The fantasy filled mystery-adventure is the uplifting story of the young heroine, Sha’kona, and her journey of self-discovery and courage. Fans and critics alike have praised this young adult novel for its characters, magic and message.
Jana continued to pay tribute to her heritage with the exquisite, American Indian Christmas, an extraordinary work featuring ten classic Christmas songs sung in ten different Native American languages accompanied by a full orchestra and traditional Native American instruments. A critical and commercial success beyond her wildest imagination, the album won her another NAMMY award. On December 16, 2011 she featured some of these songs in an emotional and intimate performance at the world-renowned Carnegie Hall in New York.
New Moon Born took Jana in a new direction. A soul-stirring collection, steeped in R&B and gospel roots, which brought her back into the mainstream spotlight. She debuted the featured track, an emotional cover of Sam Cooke’s classic, A Change Is Gonna Come, at the American Indian Inaugural Ball for President Obama. This was her second performance for a First Family. A year earlier she sang at the First Lady’s Luncheon for Laura Bush. The song went on to win her an eighth Native American Music Award for Song of the Year and the video took the Best Music Video prizes at the prestigious Indie Film Festival and at the American Indian Film Festival.
With all she has going on and with a tour schedule that has brought her to forty nine of the fifty states as well as overseas, Jana has still found time to give back. Her Jana’s Kids Foundation has been helping Native youth achieve their dreams through its programs and scholarship offerings for almost as long as she has been an artist. In recognition of her efforts, Jana was named 2011 Woman of the Year for her philanthropic work.
Jana’s even taken a stab at acting. In February 2012, Jana’s new movie in which she stars in, Raptor Ranch, will be debuting at the Berlin Film Festival.
Those are the facts, but to find out who Jana Mashonee really is, give a listen to Stay With Me Baby. That will explain better than any words could ever hope to.