The late song-carrier and storyteller Judy Trejo, from the Summit Lake Paiute tribe of Nevada, has sung traditional songs since infancy. Trejo was a member of the Native American Church, and was a retired school teacher. She had a Master’s in Counseling, and has taught the Paiute language at the college level. She has published a book about medicinal herbs and edible plants.
Trejo’s albums Circle Dance Songs of the Paiute and Shoshone (1997) and Stick Game Songs of the Paiute (1999) are available through Canyon Records. Judy has been honored with the highest award available to a Native American musician, the INDIE Award presented by the Association of Independent Music Producers, which she received in 1988 in the Native American category for her recording, Tubvan dau ya (Pinenut Blessing Song).
Trejo was one of the last remaining singers of Paiute Circle Dance songs, also known as Ghost Dance songs. Wanting to preserve the traditional music in it’s truest form, she conferred with elders from Owyhee, Elko, McDermitt, Walker River, Battle Mountain, Nixon and Fort Hall before making her recordings. The legacy of traditional music that Judy Trejo has left us is of immeasurable value – we are fortunate indeed to have shared time on Earth Mother with her very special spirit.