Classically trained Mezzo Soprano Rhonda Head has recorded a new CD titled Nikumoon - which means "Song" in the Cree Language.
The CD won 2014 Best Canadian Artist at the West Coast American Indian Music Awards in Los Angeles CA, won Best Spiritual at the 2014 Indian Summer Music Awards in Milwaukee, WI, was nominated for Best Aboriginal Song at the Canadian Gospel Music Awards and nominated for Best Female and Best Gospel at the 2014 Native American Music Awards.
When Rhonda performed at the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra Indigenous Music Festival in 2012 she performed some Cree Hymns which inspired her to record. "When my accompanist and I were rehearsing the pieces, there was a spirit in the room and we both felt it. I immediately knew that I had to record them."
Her latest CD consists of 10 Cree Hymns that have been sung in her home community of Opaskwayak Cree Nation, MB for decades. Some of the Hymns recorded - the popular How Great Thou Art and Amazing Grace. Rhonda said, "Performing in the Cree Language is like singing in the languages of Love - Italian, French, and Spanish. I compare it to them because the Cree Language flows in time with the music. It's beautiful and it has a spirit."
Rhonda had the privilege to work with Winnipeg based producer/mixer Neal Cameron from Private Ear Recording Studio in Winnipeg, MB - He has been nominated three times for Recording Engineer of the Year at the PMA’s and has both WCMA and Juno nominated and winning projects. And with Master/Engineer Jamie Sitar - Jamie’s work has won Juno Awards and earned Gold and Platinum record sales. His credits include Bif Naked, Randy Bachman, Chilliwack, Swollen Members, Classified, as well as many indie artists.
Rhonda collaborated with cellist - Julian Bradford, Julian has performed and recorded with a range of artists from home town electro funk fusion party sensation Moses Mayes, to pop songstress Chantal Kreviazuk, to smooth jazz legend Kenny G. Violinist John Paul Peters - JP is a classically-trained violinist also fluent on numerous other instruments including guitar, bass, drums, and keys. Traditional hand drummer Co Co Ray Stevenson - one of the most respected singers on the pow-wow trail. Piano accompanist Andrew Legeny is a full-time music teacher, the President for The Pas Arts Council and involved with The Pas Community Choir, Aurora and Theatre 53. Andrew received a Music Builder’s Award from the Canadian Music Educator’s Association in 2012 for emphasizing the importance of music education in the community.
Rhonda's debut CD Kayas won her a 2011 Native American Music Award in Niagara Falls, NY for Best World Recording and a nomination for the Indian Summer Music Awards in Milwaukee, WI for Best Spiritual song for Amazing Grace. The CD is recorded in five different languages-Italian, French, Latin, English and Cree.
Last summer Rhonda was asked to be part of a compilation CD for veterans in Canada called - PPCLI, her song Amazing Grace sung in Cree is part of this amazing tribute to Veterans.