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Wade Fernandez / Wiciwen Apis-Mahwaew

Soaring around the world with Menominee Indian Reservation roots, Wade Fernandez (Walks With The Black Wolf) is a “deeply authentic” multi-award winning international touring artist from the Menominee Nation. Winning numerous awards in many genres, Fernandez's musical style knows no bounds. Beginning his solo career joining Jackson Browne & the Indigo Girls onstage has led to a long career with over 60 international tours. Both his music and his message is firmly grounded in his Menominee Reservation roots and love for the land, animals, and people.  His passion to educate, share music, culture and honor Grandmother Earth is reflected in his international presentations and work in schools (k-college), workshops, with the elderly, the mentally disabled, elders, youth and concerts both rocking and soothing stages from Woodstock 94 to Honor The Earth.

Sample Of Musical Performances  

Woodstock ’94, Reebok Human Rights Awards (2002 Winter Olympics), Ed McMahon’s Next Big Star, Chicago’s World Music Festival, Native American Music Awards, Aboriginal People’s Choice Awards, Indian Summer Festival, Germany’s Tollwood Festival, and 60+ international tours. Performed with Jackson Browne and The Indigo Girls & shared stages with dignitaries such as Robert Redford & Bishop Desmond Tutu.  

Sample Of Commissions Native Radio Theatre, Milwaukee Choral Artists, Menominee Casino, Tobacco Cessation project, Potawatomi Gathering theme song, various movie & television soundtracks  

Acting: Native Radio Theatre, Theatre Of Color at University Wisconsin-Milwaukee  

Sample of Teaching Arts; Rhinelander School Of The Arts, Artist Residencies, presentations and workshops in U.S. & Europe teaching Native American Flute Playing and Menominee Culture, Songwriting, Performance, Artist Trainer, etc.  

other arts dabbled with; Native American Flute making, Photographer, Film Making, Traditional Canoe Building, Organic Gardening, published author.  

Sample of Awards & Honors  

2019 NAMMY finalist Artist Of The Year, Flutist OF the Year, Best Instrumental Recording

2017 Won ISMA award for best Blues and was finalist for 5 categories/genres including Native Flute  

2016 WAMI finalist Guitarist of the Year  

2014 NAMMY Finalist for Artist Of The Year & Album Of The Year  

2013 ISMA winner for both Folk and Pop songs of the year  

finalist for Rock, Blues & Country recording of the year.  

Produced/Engineered Mitch Walking Elk’s NAMMY winning CD  

2010 First Peoples Fund - Community Spirit Award  

2007 ISMA winner for Contemporary Instrumental & Best Country  

finalist for Best Blues, Pop, Classic Rock, Native Flute  

NAMMY finalist Artist of the Year & Pop/Rock  

2006 NAMMY winner Best Male Artist (finalist Pop/Rock & Best Music Video)  

2005 Best Music Video at Indian Summer Film & Video Awards  

Best Music Video Cherokee International Film Festival  

2002 NAMMY finalist  

Best Blues/Jazz, Male Artist of the Year, Songwriter of the Year  

2001 “Storyteller/Writer of the Year” (CD category) from Wordcraft Warriors  

1997 Tomorrow's Leaders Today Award (Milwaukee, WI)  

1996 Dean's Award of Excellence (UW-Milwaukee)  

1995 Medal of Honor from Menominee Indian Nation  



“World class.. Phenomenal… hard to forget after one listen…. a unique style as both a musician and songwriter …blessed with talent that can’t be learned, and with a gracious and inspiring soul that can’t be tainted by the pitfalls of the music industry.”   

Indian Country Today   

“what beauty and respect you brought to all of us fortunate to have been in your presence. We were honored and blessed, and forever changed.”   

Sharon A. Hansen, Music Director The Milwaukee Choral Artists   

“.. an artistic and spiritual force that has just begun to gather steam.”   

The Massachusetts Daily Collegian   

“Speaks to the heart of all native people.. Your jam session with Jackson Browne was phenomenal.”

Oneida Nation Arts Program   

“Soaring beyond the invisible culture of the corporate music industry.” Vital Source   

“guitar and songwriting skills are incredibly sharp, …remarkable in range, quality and sincerity.. soars with beauty and power.” Post Gazette   

“All that one would think was lost with the great guitar legends of the early-twentieth century are now alive and touring with Wade Fernandez and his band the Black Wolf Group.

The Leader   

“ …an artist in his own right who deserves to be heard on his own terms”   

Peter Buffet – Emmy Award winner & producer   

“able to transcend all cultural stylistic and technical boundaries to communicate a powerful message” Strandgut (Frankfurt, Germany magazine)   

“..surprising diversity... swings effortlessly from blues, folk-rock, flamenco and jazz, with traditional singing and drumming… a sincerity and integrity which is reflected not only in his lyrics but in his expressive use of guitar...”   

Indigenous Links (London, England magazine)   

“Wade Fernandez is an incredibly talented performer, motivational speaker and instructor with the special ability to connect with and inspire others.  He is also a gifted teacher who brings out the best in everyone.”   

  Lynn Tarnoff, MA, Director, School of the Arts Rhinelander, UW-Madison   

“ accomplished musician/composer/producer/engineer/guitarist with spicy chops, that deliver a beautiful performance, live, filmed or recorded!! He is a wonderful teacher/father that works very closely with the youth from his reservation. … labor of love for the people and tradition on a profound level… clever, patient and inspirational, with the youth… a community spirit man and a professional artist that has a beautiful show and message!”   

Pura Fe – award winning recording/touring artist   

“Wade Fernandez is more than an extremely accomplished musician, a superb songwriter and a great performer, his house concert with us was like being held spellbound by a close friend who told stories, played wonderfully evocative melodies and sang songs that gave an insight into the Native American culture of the Menominee tribe. It was a bridge to an ancient history, yet it was as relevant and contemporary as some of the best song writing coming out of America today; a bridge that also crossed over into our own Celtic culture, history and music. It was, quite simply, a wonder shared."   

Tom Fairnie, Fairnie House Concerts & Tom Fairnie Show (Radio Saltire), Scotland.


I am deeply grateful for the beautiful class and performance that you gave to my students and the Lawrence and Appleton communities last winter!  You are always so centered, and you speak and play from a place deep within you that reaches all of us in a truly extraordinary way.  In the class meeting following your visit, my students spoke rapturously about their time with you -- they spoke of the experience as being transformative and profound.  They talked at length about all of the wise insights that they had learned from you, and I could tell that they were reflecting on how to bring those into their own lives.  

Karen Hoffmann, Associate Professor of English at Lawrence University


Press Photos

Live in Vienna, Austria

Live in Vienna, Austria

Live Indian Summer Festival, USA

Live Indian Summer Festival, USA

Live Dresden, Germany

Live Dresden, Germany