Sayani moved from Hawaii to Texas in 2006 .
We are Cherokee, Creek, Choctaw, Irish and English…..a
blend, just like our music ........an original blend of Native sounds and harmonies with the influence of the islands
that we love.
We've sung in a variety of venues across the United
States, Europe, Austraila and New Zealand which includes Powwow's, Concerts, Schools, Reservations, Missions,
and churches......wherever God leads.
We were amazed to learn that there are people who are
not aware that “real Indians” still exist. It is no wonder that many
First Nations people feel forgotten. Our schools teach the history of the Native
American but do not teach much about the Indians of today. We are spread all
over the world now, and those who do not live on Resevations tend to blend in with mainstream society
so well that hardly anyone would notice that they have Indian blood.
There is a "politically correct" expectation when it
comes to people who came to America from other Nations.
Americans are encouraged to be respectful of foreign
cultures but give little or no thought to America’s own First Nations people.
We’ve protested sport logos and had minor disputes over promises made and broken but nothing has really gained
the attention of America when it comes
to recognizing the importance of the American Indian and appreciating their contribution to this great country. Many
When we look at this wonderful planet, we see a variety
of colors, shapes, sounds, textures and flavors that make it a magnificent place to live.
With that in mind, we must believe that Creator God
looks down on us with great pleasure as we honor Him with our dance and song.
The music of First Nations people comes from the heart
of those who seek to express themselves in a way to which others can relate.
We find our identity in our music. It tells our stories and perpetuates our culture.
Music moves us.
It makes us cry…..it makes us laugh. It stirs our soul and lifts
our spirit. When we hear the sound of the drum it connects with the beat of our
music has its own sound and attracts people from all over the world.
When we honor God with the songs and dances of our
culture, we believe that He is blessed as His people worship Him from the depths of their being. There is nothing more important
than being who we were created to be and doing what we were created to do. To
know what that is, we must first connect with Unelanvhi….Creator God.
We do that by reading and studying His Word, The Holy
Bible…..or “Talking Leaves” as our people call it.
Indians are deeply spiritual and understand the concept
of the two worlds......the planet that we live on and the afterlife to which we look forward.
Our desire is to show others how to walk in love
and forgiveness…..to forget about the past and press toward the mark of the high calling of God. To make the world around us a better place in whatever way we can.
Our hope is that those who hear our music, and connect
with it, will spread the word to others that may appreciate something familiar but different at the same time.....and be blessed.
love to meet new people and share what God has taught us as we travel the world, sing our songs and share what God has
put into our hearts. We are all related in that we came from one man and one woman but the deepest sense of belonging comes
from the DNA of Tsisa Golanedv (Jesus Christ) as we make Him our source and the reason that we sing.
More about Sayani~
Jorie and Christie West, make up this award winning duo and are known
for their unique blend of rich, beautiful harmonies. Jorie and Christie West are mother and daughter who, after
working for many years as studio musicians and backup vocalists on the mainland and in Hawaii, began singing together as Sayani
(Cherokee word meaning Zion). The Sacred Fire album was written to share their family stories,
both past and present, of life as an Indian through language and music.
Sayani is the Native American arm of Aloha
Ke Akua Ministries, a ministry to Indigenous peoples all over the world. While living in Hawaii they sang with
the Hawaiian group Na Kahu and sang back up vocals on various albums throughout the state. They are members
of Eagle Mountain International Church in Fort Worth, Texas and enjoy singing on the worship team when they are not singing
or ministering elsewhere.
Jorie has two more daughters, Rachelle and Carrie-Anna.
Rachelle, Jorie's firstborn, is the inspiration for the song Nvda Sunalei
(Morning Sun) and is pictured below with her husband, Aaron Wilson, and children, Hayley and Tristan.
Rachelle could have been the third harmony voice in Sayani, but chose to answer
a greater calling....... that of wife and mother. Nevertheless, she remains in their hearts everyday and is a vital part of
who they are.
Carrie-Anna, Jorie's youngest daughter, lives with Jorie and Christie
along with her daughter, Grace Kahealani aka
was raised in a musical home. Jorie's father, E.V. Medley was born in a Cherokee town called Catoosa
in Oklahoma. He later moved to Arkansas where he met and married Jorie's mother, MaryAnn Ford.
Mary, a Cherokee/Creek, had moved around quite a bit in her life because of the difficulties her family encountered from
folks that did not want an Indian family in the community. After they married, they moved on to California
where Mary gave birth to JoAnn, TurtleBear, and Jorie. She raised her little family in Riverside and
San Bernardino Counties and spent the rest of her life there. The Medley family sang in local churches
for many years and Jorie's first singing "gig", at the age of three, was standing on top of an orange crate box
at a radio station (KPRO) in Riverside, California. Her brother, John Medley aka TurtleBear, now resides in Mentone,
California and is also still singing. They sing together, ocassionally, when their schedules allow.
Jorie moved to Hawaii with her father
and daughter, Carrie, in 1995 while Christie was attending college in California. Christie, who developed an exceptional ear
for harmony at a very early age, moved to Hawaii in 1997 and joined her mother as a studio musician. They
began singing together in Hawaiian bands and worship teams and traveled as Ambassadors of the Aloha Spirit to Australia,
New Zealand and the West Coast of Mainland, USA. In August of 2006, they moved to Texas to begin their
DonaJoe Productions is named in honor of Dona
and Joe Ford, Jorie's Cherokee/Creek grandparents.