Singer, songwriter, artist, activist … Buffy Sainte-Marie’s career is a kaleidoscope of achievement that has captivated her fans and influenced her contemporaries for nearly five decades.
And when she appears in Sidney’s Mary Windspear Centre on Dec. 13, you can expect that her audacious energy is certain to entertain and inspire her audience with a unique blend of joyful music and thoughtful lyrics.
You see, Buffy Sainte-Marie is more than just another musical act.
She began her career in the early ‘60s when her song Universal Soldier became an anthem for the peace movement. Her music during that period even caught the attention of the Lyndon Johnson’s White House and managed to have her placed on a list of artists who ‘deserved to be suppressed.’ She shared that honour with other artists including Eartha Kitt and Taj Mahal. That suppression continued under the Nixon administration.
But far from destroying her career, Sainte-Marie’s independence from the mainstream has only enhanced her creativity and longevity as a performer and songwriter.
“I’m not in the business, never have been,” said Sainte-Marie in a recent Windsor Star interview. “The beauty of having a long career like mine is that you realize that great music stays great and that’s true of life … no matter what new thing comes along.”
And there always seems to be something new coming along. After a lengthy hiatus from recording, Sainte-Marie returned to the music scene in 2008 with the critically acclaimed album, Running for the Drum. That work won her a third Juno award.
In 2010 she released The Pathfinder – Buried Treasures.
But the magic that makes Sainte-Marie’s performances so special may lie in the breadth of her experience.
Besides the 19 albums that she has to her name, Buffy Sainte-Marie has been the subject of three television specials, has written the scores for several movies, helped found the Music of Aboriginal Canada Juno category, raised a son, taught the art of digital music at a variety of colleges and earned a Ph.D. in Fine Arts.
She also appeared regularly on Sesame Street and was chosen to speak at the opening of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights.
Incidentally, she’s also managed to win both a Golden Globe and Academy Award.
At age 73, Sainte Marie maintains a gruelling schedule of recording, performing, creating her renowned digital art, and speaking engagements.
“I feel better than when I was 22,” said Sainte-Marie. “And I listen to all the music … from then to now. I have a voracious appetite for great music.”
It’s a love that she’ll share with her Sidney audience. It’s a performance not to be missed.
For details, call the Mary Winspear Cenre box office: 250-656-0275.
— Tim Collins/News Contributor