Renowned Indigenous drum group, the Northern Cree singers, performed live at the 2017 GRAMMYs awards.

 It’s rare for Indigenous music to be recognized by big music award shows and rarer still to see Indigenous musicians on the stage.

But tonight, at the 2017 GRAMMY Awards, the acclaimed drum group Northern Cree were given the opportunity to grace the Premiere Performance stage, where 11 singers from the group performed a beautiful hand drum song.

This year, Northern Cree were nominated for Best Regional Roots recording. This was the group’s seventh nomination and, although they didn’t win the award—which went to Kanaka Maoli / Native Hawaiian artist Kalanai Pe’a—their live performance at the award show was breathtaking.

After performing “Cree Cuttin” from their Grammy nominated album, It’s A Cree Thing, Northern Cree were joined on stage for a performance by fellow nominee, singer Carla Morrison.

When Stephen Wood was a child, an elder gave him the Cree name “Mistikwaskihk Napesis” during a traditional sweat ceremony in Arizona. Translated into English, the phrase means “Drum Boy.”

“I often wonder how the heck the old guy that gave me the name knew I would end up being the keeper of drums,” Mr. Wood says today.

He is 56 and has played the drum most of his life. He grew up in Alberta on the Saddle Lake Cree Nation, where his father, Alexander, conducted powwows. It was not unusual for visitors to drop by their house for a feast prepared by Mr. Wood’s mother, Elsie. Afterward, they would play drums and sing.

“It was magic,” Mr. Wood says.


Responses to "Northern Cree’s Incredible Performance at the 2017 Grammys"

  1. Nanci says:

    Wonderful to see them there.

  2. Unknown says:

    made me want to cry. I am so damned proud to be a Native.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Truly breathtaking <3

  4. ���� awesome

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