ShowtimeThursday 9:40 pm
OriginQu'Appelle Valley, Saskatchewan
GenresFolk, Pop, Rock
Buffy Sainte-Marie is one the most influential Indigenous musicians of our time. Perhaps you know Sainte-Marie from her 1960s protest anthems (“Universal Soldier”), open-hearted love songs (“Until It’s Time for You to Go”), incendiary powwow rock (“Starwalker”), or the juggernaut pop hit “Up Where We Belong”. You might know her from 2015 Juno and Polaris Prize winning album Power in the Blood. One of her earliest classics, “Cod’ine,” a harrowing account of addiction well ahead of its time, was covered by everyone from Janis Joplin to Donovan to Courtney Love. Or maybe you remember Sainte-Marie from her five years on the television show Sesame Street beginning in the mid-’70s. If you don’t know, trust us. Her live performance is a powerful and energetic experience you don’t want to miss. The Cree singer-songwriter, activist, educator, visual artist, and winner of countless awards (Oscar, Juno, and Golden Globe, among them) will be gracing the NLFB stage for the first time in over 30 years. She will perform with her talented band, perhaps the only force that can keep up with her creative spirit.
Often pegged as a folk singer – particularly by past record labels that either failed or were unwilling to see how far ahead of the curve she was – Sainte-Marie never fully fit in with her ’60s contemporaries. While her peers were singing the centuries-old folk ballads she may have adored, her songs sprang from her own imagination and were effortlessly unique. Every song and every era has revealed new and distinctive shades of an artist revered for her pioneering and chameleon ways. There was no mold from which Buffy Sainte-Marie emerged; she created her own, ripened from experiences in both her head and her heart. “To me, a good song stays relevant even though other good ones come along,” she says. “I feel like all my songs are coming from the 3-year-old I’ll always be, and the ones I keep loving are fresh to me every time I perform them.”