April 6, 2010
For Immediate Release
West Muskogee, OK - Lisa LaRue, known for her prog-rock songwriting and keyboard musicianship via her solo projects and Project 2k9, has issued a statement regarding the passing of Cherokee tribal leader and National Woman's Hall of Fame Inductee Wilma Mankiller:
"It is with sincere sadness to be informed of the passing of Cherokee tribal leader Wilma Mankiller today. Former Chief Mankiller gave hope and inspiration to Cherokee women, both young and old, including myself. She was an icon and a role model. As Oklahoma’s Native American Artist of the Year, I am proof that a Cherokee with dreams can achieve them - with tenacity, which was a hallmark of former Chief Mankiller’s philosophy. As President Barack Obama declared, “Her legacy will continue to encourage and motivate all who carry on her work.” As a promoter of our people’s history through both my musical career and my tribal work as Director of Language, History and Culture for the Keetoowah Cherokee, I will carry on her work and vision. I send my sincere sympathy to her husband Charlie, her daughters, and other family, friends and colleagues."
Wilma Mankiller (November 18, 1945 - April 6, 2010), once a dirt-poor Oklahoma farm girl, grew up to make history, becoming the first woman principal chief of the Cherokee Nation. She has written several books, won numerous awards, and was the recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom for her vision and commitment to a brighter future for all Americans.
A composer and keyboardist, LaRue became the first female artist signed to the Sound of America Records label(SOAR) Natural Visions sublabel. Her debut release was titled "Beloved Tribal Women," produced by Will Alexander (keyboard tech to Keith Emerson, Herbie Hancock, and many other great keyboard players). The CD also received accolades for being a first in combining art with music. The CD booklet featured 14 paintings by the most awarded female Native American artist in the world, Joan Hill. The idea was, "A picture paints a thousand words," so naturally, the music was instrumental, letting the art inspire the listener. Since then, LaRue has released "Children's Songs in the Cherokee Language," "That Ol' Sofkee Spoon," "Ama," "Transformation 2012," and most recently, "World Class" released as Lisa LaRue Project 2K9.
Lisa LaRue grew up in Topeka, Kansas, but now resides in her native Oklahoma. She is a tribal member of the federally-recognized United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma. She is the 2008 Oklahoma Music Awards' "Native American Artist of the Year," and a 2008 nominee for the Hollywood Music Awards' "Instrumental" category. LaRue is currently working on new tracks with her band, "2KX" and with the David Mark Pearce band Strangeang3ls.
For more information about Wilma Mankiller, please visit http://www.tulsaworld.com. For more info about Lisa LaRue, please visit http://www.lisalaruemusic.com.