Reibach wins best video performance at Native American Music Awards

Tribal member Jan Looking Wolf Reibach ended his six-year drought at the 17th annual Native American Music Awards on Saturday, Oct. 14, when he won the award for best performance in a music video for his song “Ascension.”

Reibach won over some tough competition in the category, including Josh Halverson, a Mdewankanton Tribal member who was a finalist on “The Voice,” and Kelly Derrickson, a First Nations country singer from Kelowna, British Columbia.

Reibach also was nominated for Flutist of the Year and Duo-Group of the Year for “Ascension,” a contemplative compact disc released in early 2017 by High Spirits Music that marked the end of his retirement from the music industry.

Jan Michael Looking Wolf Reibach won best performance in a music video for “Ascension” at the 17th annual Native American Music Awards held at the Seneca Niagara Events Center in Niagara Falls, N.Y., on Saturday, Oct. 14. Reibach dedicated the “Ascension” compact disc to Tribal Council member Denise Harvey’s son Ryan Kelly Beauchamp, who walked on in April 2000. He gifted the medallion that accompanied the award statuette to Harvey at the Tuesday, Oct. 17, Legislative Action Committee meeting. (Photo by Michelle Alaimo)

The win for best performance in a music video marks Reibach’s fifth win out of 27 nominations at the Native American Music Awards, which were held this year at the Seneca Niagara Events Center in Niagara Falls, N.Y.

“My heart is full of gratitude to receive this award,” Reibach said. “It’s really an honor to be among such talented artists. Hayu masi to everyone for their love and support. I’ve been doing this a long time and more than ever our world needs love, compassion and connection. I can’t take credit for the music. I’m just an empty vessel. The beauty comes from inspiration that others provide. My heart is full of gratitude.”

Reibach gifted the medallion that accompanied the award statuette to Tribal Council member Denise Harvey at the Tuesday, Oct. 17, Legislative Action Committee meeting. He dedicated the “Ascension” compact disc to Ryan Kelly Beauchamp, who is Harvey’s son who walked on in April 2000.

“What caused this CD, the reason why Denise gets the medal, the original inspiration for the album was when I heard her speak about losing her son in the drowning accident,” Reibach said. “I became inspired to just write her a song, not for commercial release. I just wanted to write her family a song, which I have done for many people. …

“In the process of writing her a song, my empty cup just became full of inspiration and all of a sudden my artistry was reconnected in a much different way than before because my cup was completely empty. I can’t claim credit for all this stuff I write because the good stuff is always when I make myself empty and then I become inspired and connected, and then it fills up. If you have beauty in your cup, then that’s what you can share.”

The award-winning video, which is on YouTube at www.youtube.com/watch?v=SRSESqSQA1U, features Reibach and his Band of Brothers – guitarist Nathan Myers, percussionist George Bobnett and violinist Mark Babson – performing the song in a room surrounded by candles.

The video was filmed during a six-hour session in Reibach’s Dallas home with three high-definition cameras.

“We moved all of the furniture out and it was perfect because it had those hardwood floors in a brand new house,” Reibach said.

The Native American Music Awards & Association is the largest professional membership-based organization committed to honoring contemporary and traditional Native American music.

Nominees were selected by the national NAMA Advisory Board Committee and winners were determined by a public vote.

Reibach said his next compact disc, “Flute Medicine,” will be released in November on High Spirits and it is in the same vein as “Ascension.” He also recently released a Native flute version of Sarah MacLachlan’s “Arms of An Angel” and all of his music is now available on ITunes.

“The Tribe remains my main priority,” Reibach said. “I’m just grateful to be able to be that vessel and share music. That’s awesome.”