Bluesman Dwayne Laforme joins NAMA house band

SIX NATIONS — Six Nations/New Credit blues guitarist Dwayne Laforme has been asked to be a part of the house band or the this year’s Native American Music Awards, aka NAMA or Nammys, sanctioned by the Grammy Awards, but for indigenous musicians.

The Nama Awards Celebration is “the world’s largest and only professional membership-based organization dedicated to showcasing and honouring outstanding music initiatives by Native North Americans and American Indians. The Native American Music Association, a 501(c(3) was established in 1998 surrounding the debut of the Native American Music Awards in order to promote greater cultural understanding and revival of Native American music and culture. It was founded in 1998.

According to the New York Times, the Nama or Nama Awards represent “The music industry’s only national organization for the advancement and recognition of Native American music, devoted to bringing Indigenous music to the world’s consciousness.

USA Today agrees saying, ”It’s time to start taking Native American music seriously.” And so the Namas were created.

“We went to Niagara Falls, New York last Sunday” said Laforme. “I guess music director Ed Koban has been following me on social media and asked if I would come out and jam with them.”

Koban liked Laforme’s style and his feel and asked him to be a member of the house band for the awards show.

“He said it was a perfect mix,” says Laforme.”He said, ‘if this is an audition, you easily passed.”

He admits this assignment will be a challenge for him, to work up other people’s songs of whatever style is required.

“I tell my manager Veronica to always be careful to stipulate that Laforme is strictly a “blues” guitar player,” says Laforme. “That’s all I wanna to do, but with the profile this could give me, I decided to do it.”

Laforme will be packing up his guitar collection and driving south to begin rehearsals at the end of September. With him will be his prize custom built BB King, Gibson “Lucille”, Buddy Guy signature Polka-Dot Fender Stratocaster, his Les Paul, and two Fender Telecasters.

As a warm-up to the show, he will be sitting in with the other members of the house band to play a club called Attitudes, in Lockport, NY.

“I hope its a big crowd, ‘cause that’s when I play my best,” he says.

Rehearsals for the show will begin early October. Another challenge for Laforme is that, by his own admission, he hates practicing. He will be required to work with the award winners for a minimum of five hours a day leading up to the show.

Laforme considers the invitation to be a part of the show band a confirmation of his ability and his growing notoriety as a solo artist. He also sees the opportunity to network with other musicians across the boarder.

Laforme set aside his solo career for a time to play along side fellow Six Nations blue guitarist Joel Johnson, but has always kept busy with his own Dwayne Laforme Boogie Band. Now he is getting back to traveling his own road on his own terms.

“It’s all about what I want to do,” he says. “My style, my singing, my songs. I’m hoping it will open some new doors.”

He even picked up a new monicker he likes.

“They call me the Six Nations Blues Master down there and I kinda like that,” he laughs.

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