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 Whitefish Bay, drum group

Whitefish Bay

Tribe:
Genres: Powwow, Round Dance, Northern Drum, Indie, Contemporary
Location: Kenora, Ontario, Canada
Group Members:
Andy White-Head (Singer), Randy White, Ryan White, Ramsey "Wobby" White, A.J. White, John "Meenace" White, Grayfox "Waagosh" White, Tommy "Toowaas" White, Jr., Freeman "Spud" White, Jr., Elton "Miagi" Bruyere, Gary Smith, Chuck Kelly, Jamie "Slick" Mandamin, Farrel "Squirrel" Mandamin

Whitefish Bay, drum group discography, awards, reviews, interviews, and videos. Pow wow CDs for sale below.

Whitefish Bay SingersThe Whitefish Bay Singers are all of the Ojibway Nation from the Lake of the Woods area in Ontario, Canada. The drum has travelled extensively through out North America and continue to do so. The "guys" are well known on the powwow circuit, and have made many friends along the way.

The Whitefish Bay Singers began in the 1970's. The drum group was comprised of a few members of Whitefish Bay First Nation. Andy White, the drum keeper, initiated the idea of starting the Whitefish Bay Singers along with his uncle and son. Andy says that he began the group because he felt like singing.

The first big pow-wow they tested their vocal talents was at a Treaty #3 gathering in Kenora, Ontario in 1973.

Whitefish Bay Discography and Awards:

To date, Whitefish Bay has put out 11 albums, with a new one about to be released.

  • Oshke'ye'ii (meaning New One in Ojibway)
  • Whitefish Bay Singers: Greatest Years 1990 - 2002
  • Anishinabe Meenigoziwin
  • Ndo Te Mag
  • Powwow 2K

Critical reviews of Whitefish Bay:

Whitefish Bay comment on their music:

Whitefish Bay northern drum groupOshke ye ii - Meaning New One in Ojibway - is the name of their album released in January 2007. It is a collection of 10 tracks reflecting the general shift that inspired its name. Some of the song titles are even infused with humour to convey that everything changes and that we can all laugh about it.

"When I look back on it, I understand what he wanted to do," Randy White says of his father's foresight. "This particular album, there are new, younger singers jumping on board and guys like myself are getting up there...we realize that things will eventually change again. Once, we were the young guys who came in."

The new generation draws from their heritage; a long line of singers who's blood is ingrained with the beat of their grandfathers' drums. Along with the new compositions, they sing their own versions of the traditional songs rooted in the Whitefish Bay community.

Members of the older generation instruct how to weave creativity into those songs without deviating too far, just as they were taught by their own fathers.

"We sing at a higher pitch," Randy explains as the difference between their sound and the purely tradtional form.

"We're more or less contemporary singers. A lot of the songs we sing are sung in a way that even the songs themselves are different than how my grandfathers sang their songs. We sing it a lot louder too."

He pauses. "At the heart of it, the spirit is still there. Like I said, it's kind of in our bloodlines.

~taken from City Life in Kenora (daily miner and news) by Jon Thompson, interviewing Randy White, a Whitefishbay Singer, November 2007.

Whitefish Bay Singers at Manitoahbee 2007

This article was published on Friday 20 June, 2008.
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