SUMMERSIDE, P.E.I. – Harbourfront Theatre will welcome renowned Cree singer-songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie for one night only, Wednesday, Nov. 1.
Sainte-Marie is an activist, educator, visual artist, and winner of countless awards - Oscar, Juno, and Golden Globe among them. She’s known for her 1960s protest anthems like “Universal Soldier,” open-hearted love songs like “Until It’s Time for You to Go,” incendiary powwow rock like “Starwalker,” and the pop hit “Up Where We Belong,” which Sainte-Marie co-wrote for the soundtrack to “An Officer and a Gentleman.” One of her earliest classics, “Cod’ine,” was covered by everyone from Janis Joplin to Donovan to Courtney Love.
Her latest album, “Power in the Blood” is only her fourth studio release in more than 20 years, but just because you don’t hear from her for long stretches doesn’t mean she's not playing. Quite the opposite. Sainte-Marie’s creativity is always in motion, and her passport is always in hand, touring for lectures and performances around the world with her high-octane backing band.
She records only when she feels like touring, and currently Sainte-Marie is taking centre stage around the world, including North America, Europe and Australia.
Producer Chris Birkett has worked with Sainte-Marie on four albums, and recognized from the start that Sainte-Marie was a singular force.
“She pays a lot of attention to her lyrics,” Birkett says, “and when Buffy says something, she actually means something.”
“I love words, I love thinking, and I recognize and value the core of a universal idea simplified into a three-minute song,” she says. “What appealed to me in folk music were the songs that have lasted for generations, but I wasn’t trying to be one of those guys. I wanted to give people something original.”
The tour that brings Sainte-Marie to Summerside is part of the Atlantic Presenters Association and RADARTS' Canada 150 Performance Series. Tickets for the 7:30 p.m. Harbourfront Theatre show are available at the theatre box office.
All about Buffy
Facts about Buffy Sainte-Marie:
- Born in 1941
- Born on Piapot Plains Cree First Nation Reserve in the Qu'Appelle Valley, Saskatchewan
- Adopted by Albert and Winifred Sainte-Marie and grew up in Massachusetts
- Attended the University of Massachusetts Amherst, earning degrees in teaching and Oriental philosophy and graduating in the top 10 of her class
- Earned a Ph.D in Fine Art from the University of Massachusetts
- Played piano and guitar, self-taught, in her childhood and teen years
- By 1962, in her early 20s, she was performing in concert halls, folk music festivals and Native Americans reservations across the United States, Canada and abroad.