Buffy Sainte-Marie is an internationally renowned recording artist, activist, educator, visual artist, and winner of countless awards (Oscar, Juno, and Golden Globe, among them). With an esteemed career spanning five decades to date, Sainte-Marie is widely known for her 1960s protest anthems (Universal Soldier, Now That The Buffalo’s Gone), open-hearted love songs such as Until It’s Time for You to Go (which has been recorded by a lengthy list of international stars including Elvis Presley, Barbra Streisand, and Cher), incendiary pow-wow rockers like Starwalker, and the juggernaut Academy Award-winning pop hit Up Where We Belong. Most recently, she released the two-time JUNO Award and Polaris Music Prize-winning Power in the Blood. This fall, Buffy Sainte-Marie will release her nineteenth studio album, Medicine Songs.
Medicine Songs features new recordings of some of the most insightful songs Sainte-Marie has ever written, like the decades-spanning, rock ’n’ roll reportage Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee; timeless folk classics like Universal Soldier, Now That the Buffalo’s Gone, and Little Wheel Spin and Spin; as well as forgotten gems that were simply ahead of their time when first released, like the shimmery, eye-opening Priests of the Golden Bull, and the chillingly prescient Disinformation. Parts salve, soul food, and soundtrack for the resistance, Medicine Songs is a collection of activist songs about the environment, alternative conflict resolution, Indigenous realities, greed, and racketeering.
Buffy Sainte-Marie has spent her whole life creating, and her artistry, humanitarian efforts, and Indigenous leadership have made her a unique force in the music industry. In 1969, she made one of the world’s first electronic music albums; in 1982 she became one of the first Indigenous women to win an Academy Award, and she even spent five years on Sesame Street where she became one of the first women ever to breastfeed on national television. She’s been blacklisted and boycotted. She’s written folk pop standards, and an Irish traditional. She penned Universal Soldier, the definitive anti-war anthem of the 20th century. She is an icon who keeps one foot firmly planted on both sides of the North American border, in the un-surrendered territories that comprise Canada and the USA.
Buffy Sainte-Marie performs Nov. 16 at Hammerson Hall in the Living Arts Centre.