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Ty Defoe
Grammy Award Winning Native American Performer


Ty Defoe Flutes at NMAI


Two Spirit (Eagle Dance by Ty Defoe)







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Ty Defoe (Giizhig), is from the Oneida and Ojibwe tribes of Wisconsin.

He is a Grammy Award winner for work on Come to Me Great Mystery: Native American Healing Songs. Ty is an apprentice of honorable teachers and is known for his Native American cultural education, percussion, flute playing, hoop and eagle dancing.

As a multidisciplinary cultural artist, Ty has gained recognition in circles around the world. Among current highlights, Ty received an Indigenous Heritage Festival Award. This award is given to artists who have made a major positive impact on indigenous people and issues of the world. A NEA award grant for work on "Drum is Thunder, Flute is the Wind."

Frequently Ty can be seen as an artist in residence at the Museum of the American Indian in DC and New York City. Most recently, working at the Seattle Museum of Contemporary Art during the Indigenous Beauty exhibition, Heather Henson's FLIGHT: a Crane's Story, and Born To Explore, a educational Skype TV show coming out this fall 2015 for Native American education in classrooms.

Wherever Ty is, he creates living cultural art pieces for various communities, universities, and schools. Ty is a devoted mentor at the Alaskan Cultural Heritage Center & Hawaiian Theatre Initiative. He is a member of the East Coast Two-Spirit Society youth council.

He received degrees from California Institute of the Arts, Goddard College, and recently from NYU's Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program at Tisch School of the Arts. Ty is TCG's Leading the Charge: equity, diversity, and inclusion fellow. ASCAP and Dramatist Guild member. 

“Bold, provocative, and highly experimental, Cache Girl Saves the World introduces a new medium for literary fiction: the “novel in visions”.
The Chicago Reader

“The singing was thrilling, suggesting the wild cry of big high-flying birds!”
J. Dunning
The New York Times