About the Group
Toh’ Di’ Neesh Zhee – Navajo name for the town of Kayenta, AZ
Tó is water – The very essence of life.
Dí Néésh Zhéé means “it is branching out” or “going in different directions”
Award winning TNZ was formed in 1980 inspired by a group of Navajos (Paul Boone, Albert Nelson Sr., Cecil Boone Jr., Elliott Greyeyes, Evrett Greyeyes, Albert Nelson Jr., Alger Greyeyes and Lorenzo Parrish) who envisioned a singing group to put their talents to another level. Paul and some others wanted to depart from an already existing group since it was getting a bad reputation as trouble makers as it was starting fights at ceremonies and anywhere singing occurred. They wanted nothing to do with such reputation – they just wanted to sing and promote peace instead.
The current members consist of: Alger Greyeyes (lead singer), Gary Nelson, Albert Nelson Jr., Paul Boone, Dennis Sullivan, Ezra Graymountain, Danny Sullivan, Henry Sullivan, Dustin Sullivan, Ashley Holiday, Ricky Thomas as well as others who jump into the mix every chance they can. Over all the group has about twenty five to thirty members.
Depending on the style being initiated at the ceremonies there are: Two Step Dancing, Skip Dancing, Spin Dancing, Round Dancing or Line Dancing. (More)
The Native American population is losing all of its traditional culture. We want to hang on to our Navajo ways as long as we have air to breathe and water to give life to all living things. We believe that we live in a parallel universe consisting of spirits from all living beings. We believe that the earth is our mother and the sun is our father and that together they created life for all man to coexist with nature.
The role of music in Navajo is prayer. It is sent out to all the Higher Powers in the universe as a form of self renewal in much the same way as a person who repents at a church.
Water drum is the heart beat of TNZ . For the ceremonies the water in the drum cools and soothes whatever is causing sickness and pain to the patient of the ceremony.