OCT 11 - 13, 2024

California WorldFest | Official Performer

Martha Redbone

Martha Redbone is a Native & African-American vocalist/songwriter/composer/educator. She is known for her unique gumbo of folk, blues and gospel from her childhood in Harlan County, Kentucky infused with the eclectic grit of pre-gentrified Brooklyn. Inheriting the powerful vocal  range of her gospel-singing African American father and the resilient spirit of her mother’s Cherokee/Shawnee/Choctaw culture, Redbone broadens the boundaries of American Roots  music. With songs and storytelling that share her life experience as a Native and Black woman  and mother in the new millennium, Redbone gives voice to issues of social justice, bridging traditions from past to present, connecting cultures, and celebrating the human spirit. 

Her album The Garden of Love- Songs of William Blake”, produced by Nitty Gritty Dirt Band  founder/Grammy Winner John McEuen is an unexpected twist– “a brilliant collision of cultures”  The New Yorker – features Redbone’s magnificent voice, Blake’s immortal words and a masterful  cornucopia of roots music (blues, gospel, bluegrass, soul and traditional Southeastern Woodlands). Featured on All Things Considered the album released on her own imprint Blackfeet Productions  rose to the Top Ten on Amazon Folk Charts for many weeks and has become the bedrock of her  live shows bringing audiences to their feet with her fiery old time mountain gospel singing and  foot-stomping energy. 

Redbone and her long-term collaborator/husband, composer/pianist/producer Aaron Whitby are  called “the little engine that could” by their “band of NYC’s finest blues and jazz musicians” Larry Blumenthal-Wall Street Journal. From grassroots beginnings at powwows across Indian  Country and in the underground clubs of NYC Redbone has built a passionate fan base with her  mesmerizing presence and explosive live shows. Her debut “Home of the Brave” Stunning  album, the kind of woman who sets trends” Billboard- garnered extremely positive critical  attention while her sophomore album “Skintalk ” described as the soulful sound of “Earth, Wind  and Fire on the Rez” J Poet, Native Peoples Magazine took her music to Europe and the Far East.  Albums “Skintalk” and “ The Garden of Love: Songs of William Blake are recognized in the  Library Collection and “Up Where We Belong: Native Musicians in Popular Culture” exhibits in the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian in Washington DC

Redbone is Composer for the Public Theater’s 2019 production of “For Colored Girls Who Have  Considered Suicide/ When the Rainbow is Enuff”, a revival/reimagining of the 1976 classic  choreopoem by the late Ntozake Shange. Redbone joined the all women-of-color Creative Team to celebrate the author’s historical work and legacy, enjoyed a 4-week extended run through  December and received rave reviews with notable mentions for Redbone’s (“supreme  music…brilliant”- NY Daily News) original compositions and score. 

The Redbone and Whitby’s newest work is Bone Hill – The Concert, an interdisciplinary musical  theater work that brings to light an important piece of American history that has never been told.