Jana is a member of the Lumbee Tribe, lives in North Carolina
and has been entertaining professionally for seven years.
is 25, single and as she said to a question from her fans. "No I'm
not with anyone right now." Jana is busy building her career, which
takes up most of her time.
comes from a musical family. She started singing when she was three
and her brother and father both are drummers and singers. Although
the music industry was not her first choice. She was attending,
a university in North Carolina studying pre-med. She was thinking
of becoming a physician.
as things happen she also likes to sing. A music producer asked
her to do back up song tracks for another well-known singer. But
when the producer heard her sing, he signed her instead of the original
three years ago Jana, incorporated dance choreography into her performance
as a pop singer and her audience appeal sky rocketed. She has not
made any CDs yet, but she is working on one for future distribution.
try to incorporate Native moves into my routine as much as possible
and at times I bring in Native American dancers for my shows. Here
at Boise State University, it is not possible due to the small stage
area I have to work with," she said.
is working on a movie that will be filmed in Mexico titled, "Pocket
Angel" where she plays the part of the angel. It is modeled from
the "Touched by an Angel" series but done in a Native American fashion.
will model faith, family and testing your faith," she said. She
is considering a move into movie production.
her presentation to tribal youth, she talked about her growing up
in an urban area, where she knew she was different but didn't have
many problems with the community. She learned early to stand up
for herself and continues to do so not only for herself but for
her people, the Native Americans.
asked why she had white girls dancing with her, she came back with,
"Its not a problem for me, is there an issue?" At one time she had
her dancers wear wigs, but now they dance as who they are.
Galfas her manager, also a Lumbee tribal member said that Jana walks
her talk and has from the beginning. She started a special program
for youth named "Jana's Kids." "She funds it entirely on her own
refusing assistance from the Bureau of Indian Affairs and Indian
Health Service, which have shown interest in it. Her belief is that
she doesn't want anything to take it and ruin it like so many good
programs have been damaged in the past. No thanks she will pay for
dancers, who also sing, are Alexandria Sawyer and Tabatha Arocho
say that Jana is a joy to work with. They have a lot of respect
for her in such a difficult profession.
Weber, retired firefighter and video production manager said, "Where
does she get so much energy. I get tired from just watching her
dance." He and his partner were filming the youth program activities
and the Jana concert for the ICWA organizers.
told the youth, "Success might not be immediate, but your hard work
may have an impact later in life. You have to have commitment, put
some effort into it."
is a hard business, especially for a Native American woman, but
I believe that I can make a difference in people's lives by showing
them that anyone can get ahead.
commented on the "crabs in the bucket story." She said, "Oh yes,
there have been Indians who have tried to pull me down. But I don't
looked over the assembled youth and told them, "People don't realize
how special you are. There are so few of us in the world. You have
to have respect for other people and have pride in who you are."
is the single most important thing you can do for yourself. Then
set your goals, have ambition, adjust your attitude, continue with
school and never forget your cultural integrity."
night before, Jana had a concert for anyone who wished to attend.
Tribal youth crowded the stage and adults either mingled with them
or sat toward the back of the room and rode herd on the tiny children
playing together in a clear spot on the carpet.
and her dancers wore bright outfits daringly cut to show off as
much as they covered.
cheered for the entertainers and waved arms and hands in the air
and enjoyed the attention they got when Jana looked at them and
talked between songs as she caught her breath.
the concert ended, several of the Sho-Ban High School student begged
for a group photo of them with Hovia Edwards, Robert "Tree' Cody
and Jana. How that got started was when the students saw the flutists
sitting quietly in a shadowed area near the stage. The youths charged,
and surrounded the smiling and laughing couple then began calling
for Jana to get in the action.
was busy wiping off the perspiration and looked around at all the
waving excited youths then walked over to join them. It became clear
that Tree and Jana are long time friends. Sitting down, Tree, who
is close to seven feet tall, was still about the same height as
Jana standing beside him.
has a web site, it is. www.jananation.com
and it holds information on her "Jana's Kids" program plus many
interesting things about her including photos.