SHANNON THUNDERBIRD & SANDY HORNE
SHANNON THUNDERBIRD, M.A.
I am proudly descended from the "Originals", the Coast Tsimshian People: Lax Kw'al'aams Band of the Royal House of Niis'gumiik, Giluts'aaw Tribe (also spelled 'Kilutsau'). I am Gispudwada (Blackfish/Orca) Clan. I am descended from a powerful line of princess/matriarchs storytellers, spirit doctors, singers, actors, musicians and dancers.
I'm not going to lie to you, I was a little shy in asking her to play her bass and sing some backup on my album, "May Your Spirit Be Strong'. I mean, after all, she is a famous 'SPOON'! She didn't hesitate, she just did it, offering valuable suggestions that made the songs better. One of our first musical performances together was at the launch party for the CD.
Now, the skies the limit, we've become stronger songwriters working together, and our new album, "Wind Centre" reflects that strength. I am a classically-trained singer, Sandy is a pop singer. It is often remarked how beautifully our two voices seamlessly blend together. She even bravely sings in other Indigenous languages including mine, Sm'algyax which is one of the most difficult languages to speak, never mind to sing. I have developed a system of phonetics to teach her proper pronunciation.
She is now such an integral part of my life, that I don't embark on a new project without first calling her. Her first comment, after the groan, when I cheerfully tell her I have a new idea is, 'what's it going to cost." Isn't she cute? After that, she dives right in. She has a very special way of keeping me grounded, her creativity and practicality help my ideas fly. Our friendship and love for each other shows everyone who comes to our shows that two different cultures can come together in a way that makes our Ancestors sing. Love ya, Sandeee Wandeee!"
SINGER-SONGWRITER, FABULOUS BASS PLAYER
Message from Sandy about Shannon. "It has been such a thrill working with my "sister of heart", Shannon Thunderbird. Going on the road is our vacation and we have such fun working, creating, laughing and crying together. She is my mentor in terms of my Aboriginal education. I had been walking the Haudenosaunne path for a number of years before we met, but my knowledge has simply skyrocketed since we've been together. Working with a sometimes demanding, very artistic and creative Elder can be a challenge, (Comment from Shannon: "Hey, Wait a minute! I'm a pussycat, should I be putting this on the website?"), but I just laugh at her and then she laughs at herself. She is very funny, with an energy level that would fell someone half her age. She works very hard and makes traditional knowledge interesting, vibrant and relevant, creating contemporary situations in which to do it. Her "Moon Thunder" and Eagle Thunder" Medicine Wheel Workshops are examples. She has an uncanny way of reaching people in a non-critical manner that has them in the palm of her hand in the first two minutes of meeting them.
I was thrilled when she and her sister, Kate, agreed to preside at my wedding in September, 2008. It was a magical day. We've been through a lot in these last eleven years, but the best is yet to come. Shannon's new project, "Moon Thunder: Identity, Belonging, Solidarity-It's a Girl Thing! (she always has another idea) is simply great, we both love working with young women. I have a lot of demanding roles in Teya Peya but I love 'em all. I love you, you big gorgeous totem pole." (oh gosh)
**In case you are interested, the Butler's Rangers commanded by Lieutenant Colonel John Butler was raised in 1777 and served until the general reduction of the British Army in North America in 1784. A key factor in the successes of the Rangers was the close, respectful co-operation of the various Native nations with which it served, including the Haudenosaune. They even had a mission statement: "To Serve With the Indians as Occasion Shall Arise."
"Songs and Music of First Nations peoples sung and written by one of the pre-eminent voices of First Nations culture and spirituality." (San Diego Press)
Between the two of us, we create captivating music, and because we are both 'real' singers, we sound just like our records when we are singing live! What a concept!
"Drawing on her Pacific Northwest Coast Tsimshian roots, her mesmerizing emotional impact on audiences arises from her three and a half octave vocal range, storytelling ability, and deep involvement with First Nations issues. Her drumming, original music and lyrics, stirring repertoire, presentation, and luscious voice make her one of the most in-demand performing artists on the current scene. " (King Weekly)
We are on the road working globally at Conferences, Conventions, Theatres, Festivals, Educational Institutions.
CDs & Books for sale wherever we are performing
I educate audiences about First Nations Culture, History and Spirituality through my much in demand singing and storytelling skills.
My passion is my people and to tell the "real" story from a Native perspective.
I have been singing since I was five years of age (that is as far as I go in terms of my age!). Sandy since she was a teenager. Along with my extensive experience in the Arts, university education (it really helps to be a researcher), teaching skills and insatiable curiosity, I've been blessed with a unique combination of talents that underlie the presentation of sometimes difficult subject matter in an educational, compassionate and entertaining fashion to audiences of all ages. All this is further enhanced because of what Sandy brings to our collaborations.
Sing with Mother Earth, Fly with Raven
Incorporating the dynamics of live theatre borne from the great Feast ceremonies of the Northwest coast, (we call them Yaawk not potlatch) drums and music, we have a great time telling fantastic tales about the Secular and Supernatural worlds that both educate and uplift the audience. We offer universal messages about the inter-connectedness and endless possibilities that such connections make to the living world.
We also tell stories about real people from all over Turtle Island, (Crazy Horse, Chief Joseph, In-Who-Lise, Black Shawl, Chief Dan George, Legeex, the Brant Family, Tecumseh.....). We use musical and narrative forms as entertaining ways to tell about their lives, loves, and lore both before and after European contact.
Wilwilaaysk, All My Relations.
SPEAKER AND EDUCATOR
"Shannon, I would
like to thank you for an outstanding luncheon keynote presentation at
the Human Resources Conference:
Connect, Collaborate, Build Human Capacity.
the hearts and minds of our attending delegates and opened them to
embracing change and connectedness on a meaningful level....Your
presentation, "Soul Speak and the True Self" was extremely
well-received. [It] made a shift in people's perspectives and helped
them to see and feel the need to build connections on a personal level
to truly engage in a collaborative Community."
"Shannon Thunderbird's ability to reach people from all walks of life with her 'soul speak' messages is truly amazing." (A. Michaels, Engineer)
WE WERE VERY PROUD TO REPRESENT
CANADA AT EXPO 2005
Three shows/day, 100 degree heat in regalia! We are professionals, do not try this at home! We had a fabulous time.
INFORMATION ON BOOKINGS, CONTACT:
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