Joe Tohonnie, Jr.

1 Nomination

Hand DrumApache

Joe Tohonnie, Jr. is an enrolled member of the White Mountain Apache Tribe and is half Navajo (Diné). Joe is of the Eagle Clan (Tenadolzhage) of the Apache and the Tobacco People (Nat’ oh Dine'e) of the Navajo. Raised in Whiteriver, Arizona, Joe is the only child of his mother Verbena Classay Tohonnie who is of the Eagle Clan (Tenadolzhage), Butterfly Clan (Biszaaha) and Bear Clan. His father, Joe Tohonnie, Sr., passed on in the year 2001. His grandmother was the late Dora Gass Classay of East Fork, Arizona of the Eagle Clan (Tenadolzhage). Dora’s mother was Laura Bonito and her father was Dewey Gass. His grandfather was the late Stacy Classay of Seven Mile, Arizona of the Butterfly Clan (Biszaaha) and Bear Clan. His grandfather Stacy’s mother was Minnie Burnette Classay and his father was Nathan Classay. Stacy Classay was a holy man in his time. He would conduct and participate in the ceremony that is called “Holy Ground.” This ceremony helps those in need of healing, provides them with protection, and can bring health and good things in life. Joe’s father, the late Joe Tohonnie, Sr., was Navajo from Rocky Ridge, Arizona of the Nat'oh Dine'e Clan (Tobacco People) and Chiricahua Apache Clan (Chishi Dine'e). Joe, Sr.’s mother was the late Zonnie Teasaytoh Tohonnie of the Tobacco people (Nat'toh Dine'e) and his father the late Ned Tohonnie of the Chiricahua Apache Clan (Chishi Dine'e). Ned Tohonnie was a Navajo medicine man who conducted ceremonies like the Lightning Way, the Snake Way and the Ghost Way ceremony that is connected to the Blacking Way. When Joe was a young boy, he witnessed Ned doing five days of ceremony and a short singing ceremony. These names are the line of healers that Joe has taken into his heart with good prayers as he moves about the earth.

The Apache way of singing was given to Joe Tohonnie, Jr. by his grandfather Stacy Classay at the age of 6 years old. As the years went by, his grandfather showed him the Holy Ground ceremony to him. In his teenage years, Joe traveled with a few medicine men to Sunrise Dance and Holy Ground ceremonies. In 2002, Joe was invited to the Salt Lake City Winter Olympic Games. There, he performed with the Apache Crown Dance group that he has to this day. In 2003, Joe released his first album Good Ol’ Times. The album was received warmly and helped share the beauty of Joe’s singing with those who did not have the fortune to see him perform in person. Since that time, Joe has released 30 albums to date. In 2015, Joe won a Native American Music Award (NAMMYS) for Best Native American Church Album. Joe has received two Grammy nominations, the first in 2014 and then again in 2015. He and his music have been featured in films. Joe has been very active with law enforcement in support of anti-bullying initiatives. He continually sends a message to the youth to stand up and be strong against bullying, encouraging young people to respect one another. Today, Joe is known throughout the world with fans of all ages and backgrounds. In particular, he is well known to the people of the Navajo Nation, a place that he is happy to call home too.

Nominations

  • 2019 Best Hand Drum Album for Journey Into a New Direction

Albums

Journey Into a New Direction

Journey Into a New Direction Joe Tohonnie, Jr.

Released: October 19th, 2018

Songs

Journey Into a New Direction

0:00

0:00

"The Good Journey" from Journey Into a New Direction

Journey Into a New Direction

0:00

0:00

"Let Us All Come Together" from Journey Into a New Direction

Journey Into a New Direction

0:00

0:00

"Happiness Song" from Journey Into a New Direction