July 12, 2007

Pure Faith of the Tuscarora

Pura FéHer name translates as “pure faith”, and it reflects Pura Fe’s devotion to her multiple identity. She was born in New York of a Puerto Rican father and a mother who mixed roots in the Tuscarora tribe of North Carolina with those of Africa and Ireland. Pura’s has devoted a blossoming career to the music of the Tuscaroran people. But she has modernised it with the sounds of the blues and folk music. She co-founded the a cappella trio Ulali before striking out on a solo career. This has done honour to her soulful voice and the acoustic lap steel guitar she plays. In 2007 Pura released her second solo album Hold the Rain.

Born in New York, Pura Fe inherited the mixed backgrounds of her Puerto Rican and Tuscaroran parents. The indigenous Tuscarora population was part of an Iroquois nation decimated by the European and American powers. They have since been forced onto reservations in North Carolina, New York State and Ontario, Canada. Fe has been struggling all her life to keep her people’s traditions alive through a painstaking career in music and theatre. But she also worked on Broadway as part of the Mercer Ellington Orchestra and a version of Hair. The multi-talented artist also studied and performed with the American Ballet Theatre company.

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