Joan Henry & SPIRITED: Ajijaak Rise

From the extraordinary Henson-Creature-Shop-Puppets & Indigenous Dance musical AJIJAAK ON TURTLE ISLAND which graced New York’s New Victory Theatre in 2019 comes this modern-day Indigenous encouragement song by composer Dawn Avery & playwright/lyricist Ty Defoe. Vocalist Joan Henry lovingly closed every night of the show’s national tour and New York run with this visionary song, and developed this arrangement with pianist Dennis Yerry expressly for the talents of SPIRITED. Drummer Ruperto Ifil & bass player Rich Syracuse carry listeners from the soaring melodic original feel right to the heart of Brazil in the true spirit of the young crane Ajijaak’s migratory adventures – past, present, and yet-to-come…

Round Dance Song

At The Ashokan Center’s 2017 Summer HOOT! – a family-friendly festival in upstate NY –  Joan was enlisted to add a First Nations perspective to the American Roots music annually featured there. They even built a Storytelling Stage in the woods for her (and future storytellers!) In addition to her mainstage performance, they recorded selections from this intimate Pewter Sessions concert, where she spoke about the broad range of differences in the living tradition of Native music across ‘Turtle Island’, and began with a brisk-tempoed contemporary round dance song.

Crane: On Earth, In Sky at the Lied Center

The residency and performances of Crane: On Earth, In Sky would not be possible without the creativity and vision of Heather Henson, Ty Defoe and IBEX Puppetry. The Lied Center is grateful for this year-long partnership that inspired, entertained and transformed the lives of many Nebraskans.

Seegerfest Memorial Concert

In the summer of 2014 Joan Henry was part of the Seegerfest Memorial Concert at Lincoln Center in NYC in honor of Peter and Toshi Seeger. She and V. Roland Mousaa sang The Indian Prayer, performed with David Amram & daughter.

World Peace & Prayer Day

WORLD PEACE & PRAYER DAY, also known as Honoring Sacred Sites Day, was envisioned and brought forth by Chief Looking Horse as a day to join worldwide communities and people of all races, ages, genders, and faiths who share concern for the welfare of the Earth and humanity. Honoring-ceremonies, invocation and prayer are observed in collaboration with local indigenous representatives. On behalf of Chief Arvol Looking Horse, Joan Henry, traditional Song Carrier, spoke to the intent and vision of this longtime Gathering for the people, and for the health and healing of Mother Earth.

Self Care: A Revolutionary Practice

Guest Speakers: Dr. Gulrukh Bala | Healer, Author, Founder – Heartlight Ascension Joan Henry (Tsalagi / Nde’ / Arawaka) | Traditional Song-Carrier & Elisi (Grandmother) Dr. Melba Nicholson Sullivan | People, Culture & Systems Consultant July 17, 2020 Mindfulness has been made a prominent and palatable concept through recent years, Its origin, however, lies in rich global histories of spirituality and culture. Mother Earth is currently healing itself from trauma we have inflicted on her through generations, while our humanity attempts to dismantle the historic trauma of oppression. There is no better time to remind ourselves of the roots of self care and nourishment towards healing and balance of ourselves and our communities.

Heart & Mind Festival

Ms. Henry is both hahesh’kah (lead drummer) and dekanogisgi (traditional song-carrier), and a Native Women’s Traditional dancer. Encouraged by her elders, she founded acclaimed traditional drum group Mothers of Nations Singers & Dancers (later known as Sky Woman Singers) — the first women’s drum ever invited to the National Native American Veterans Powwow in Washington DC and the first to preside at Indigenous Peoples’ Day Opening Ceremonies for the United Nations — where Ms. Henry has since presented on healing & spirituality among First Nations women and offered opening prayers & song for the International Day of Peace and the World Indigenous Forum.

Radio Woodstock Benefit

Liam Ó Maonlaí with Special Guests Amy Helm, Daniel Littleton, Ruthy Ungar, and Joan Henry perform Sí Do Mhamo í at Radio Woodstock 100.1 on Wednesday, 3/26/14.

Liam Ó Maonlaí with Special Guests Amy Helm, Daniel Littleton, Ruthy Ungar, and Joan Henry perform The Master’s Eyes (Van Morrison cover) at Radio Woodstock 100.1 on Wednesday, 3/26/14.

We Will Wear What We Want

On November 27, 2015, two Canadian women’s rights organizations, 1 Just City (Winnipeg) and the Institute for International Women’s Rights – Manitoba (IIWRMb) coordinated a day of women’s freedom of expression in dress. This act of solidarity on the first day of the United Nations Women’s 16-Day Action Campaign Against Gender-Based Violence came on the heels of an incident in Winnipeg where a woman was harassed and ejected from her job for complying with her religious obligation to wear a hajib. Joan was honored to receive the call requesting permission to use the Women’s Honor Song as the soundtrack for their awareness-raising campaign.

Wisdom Keeper Concert

Anagehya- women of all the Nations – you are the strength, you are the force, you are the healing of the Nations. The Women’s Honoring Song has become Joan’s most popular YouTube clip, garnering some 637K + views at last count. Performed in concert at the Blue Deer Center with remarks on the nature of traditional songs.

A NW Coast song offered to honor the founding Spirit of the Blue Deer Center with remarks on protecting teachings; recorded in concert – April 2010

Joan Henry, at her Blue Deer Center Concert, teaches Alligator Dance, a traditional Hotinsionni social dance, to attendees. The Alligator Dance, as Joan explains, teaches the power of relationship. After teaching the simple dance step, she adds “here comes the singing part! OMG, multi-tasking, you can do it!”

Northeast woodlands Native traditional song for the hemlock trees, from a concert at the Blue Deer Center, April, 2010.