Yaqui classical guitarist Gabriel Ayala was honoured at the 2011 Native American Music Awards as Artist of the Year. Ceremonies were held at the Seneca Casino in Niagara Falls, New York on October 7th, 2011.
The "Nammys" boasts over 20 different award categories in numerous genres, as well as the Jim Thorpe Sports Award that was received this year by Ted Nolan, a well known Ojibway NHL hockey player and coach, who was also master of ceremonies for this year's event.
Legendary blues-rock guitarist Keith Secola, best known for his tune NDN Car, was inducted into the Native Music Hall of Fame this year along side Nokie Edwards, a renowned Cherokee guitarist out of Lahoma, Oklahoma. Other winners include Don Amero and his album The Long Way Home for Best Folk Recording, Scars and Bars by Nake Nula Waun for Best Rap/Hiphop Recording and Vince Fontaine for his album Songs For Turtle Island, taking home the Best Instrumental Recording award.
Gabriel Ayala out of Tuscon, Arizona, is an accomplished classical guitar player that has been touring extensively in the last year throughout Canada, the United States and South America. His newest release, Passion, Fire & Grace was his submission into the 2011 Nammys that awarded him the coveted title of Artist Of The Year. Past recipients of this award include Litefoot, John Trudell, Keith Secola and Joanne Shenandoah, to name a few.
For a complete list of this year's winners of the Native American Music Awards as well as press releases, biographies and music streams, check out our post 2011 NAMMY Award Winners: Native American Music Award Winners Announced.
Here's a video from Artist of the Year, Gabriel Ayala's of his performance at this year's NAMA event.