Native American Artist Wade Fernandez to perform

Wade Fernandez
Wade Fernandez

Wisconsin-born Native American musician and storyteller Wade Fernandez, Wiciwen Apis-Mahwaew, will perform Wednesday, October 15 at 7 p.m. in Morphy Hall, 2330 Humanities Building.  Sponsored by the First-Year Interest Groups Program, admission is free.  A reception with light refreshments will follow his performance.

Fernandez performs internationally and has won a number of   awards, including “Best Male Artist” from the Native American Music Awards in  2006. A reception with light refreshments will follow his performance. On the following day, Wade will be a guest lecturer at several classeson campus, including Larry Nesper’s American Indian Studies 314,”Indians of North America,” class as well as Hedi Baxter-Lauffer’s and Roberta Hill’s FIGs classes.

Born on the Menominee Indian Reservation in Wisconsin. Wade grew up in a house surrounded by dense forest. “I could walk through the trees for maybe 6 miles behind the house and not see another human being. After crossing the road in front of the house, I could probably walk another 10 miles and once again, see only forest and animals.” The Menominee Reservation is over 95% forest and the roots of Wade’s inspiration.

Wade’s first attempt at playing music came at the age of 5. His dad sat him down in front of a record player, handed over a “huge” acoustic guitar and said try to figure out this song. It was “Apache” by the Shadows. Young Wade thought cool an Indian song, but after 10 minutes of having no clue, he decided to give it up. But then at 11 years old, Wade decided to pick up the guitar and started a band on the rez with his cousin Quint.

Since then he has won several national/international awards and scholarships for music and other forms of artistic expression (including video and writing). Wade toured Europe several times, played and produced CDs, and played many styles of music before he decided to go to college and further his study of music. Currently, Wade has a degree in Music Education with a teacher’s certification, manages an active music career, works a GEAR UP job for students on the Menominee Indian Reservation, is a member of the Menominee Indian School Board, working on several film projects, writing a play, teaches native flute/guitar/bass/rock band classes, and is raising a beautiful family of 5 children with his wife on the reservation.