Pura Fé, whose name means “Pure Faith,” was born in New York City and an heir to the Tuscarora Indian Nation.
She is an artist, an activist, and much more.
by DALE RICARDO SHIELDS
~Singer, songwriter, musician, poet, artist, dancer, actor, teacher, and activist.~
This “Renaissance woman” is the founding member of the internationally renowned native woman’s a capella trio, ‘Ulali’, and is recognized for creating a new genre, bringing Native contemporary music to the forefront of the “mainstream” music industry.
“When you have many lineages, all that stuff is alive, it’s in you, it’s in your veins, you know? The way your hair curls, it’s in your thought, it’s what you’re made of, your memory. So, all of that, it’s old, it goes back to the beginning of everything. So, whatever codes are in you usually come out.”
“With her voice soaring, foot stomping, this beautiful songbird
transcends time and brings the message of our Ancestors who
have sewn this beautiful seed, that makes powerful music”.
People you Love — Pura Fe et and Éric Bibb
“Fabulous … astonishing … playing searing, slicing, lap-style bottleneck guitar, Tuscarora tribe descendant Pura Fé blends world beat rythms with Southern blues and her own powerful vocals.”
— Joel Selvin, San Francisco Chronicle
Pura Fe – My people My Land
Pura Fé is perhaps the greatest teacher of how the lives and musical traditions of African and Native peoples in America were deeply intertwined.
Pura Fé (born: Pura Fé Antonia (“Toni”) Crescioni) is a singer-songwriter, poet, musician, artist, and social activist. She created a style and genre that blends traditional Native American music with contemporary musical styles. She currently resides in Durham, North Carolina, and performs internationally with the Pura Fé Trio. She was born in New York City and raised by her mother and family of female singers who are descendants of the Tuscarora Nation that had migrated from North Carolina to New York in the early 1900s.
Her mother, Nanice Lund, whose parents are mixed-blood Indian, was a classically trained opera singer who toured with Duke Ellington and his Sacred Concert Series.
Her father, the late Juan Antonio Crescioni-Collazo was from Puerto Rico, of Taino Indian and Corsican ancestry. He named her Pura Fé which translates from Spanish as “Pure Faith.”
Pura Fe and the Music Maker Blues Revue perform Summertime Live in Germany
As an adolescent, Pura Fé studied and performed with the American Ballet Theatre company, briefly trained at Martha Graham school, and performed in several Broadway musicals, including The Me Nobody Knows, Ari, and Via Galactica. She also sang with the Mercer Ellington Orchestra.
She attended a small professional school, Lincoln Square Academy, along with classmates Laurence Fishburne, Ben Stiller, Robbie Benson, Stephanie Mills, Gion Carlo Esposito, Pia Zadora, Scott Jacoby, and her childhood friend, Irene Cara. In the late 1970s, she worked as a waitress at the famous club Max’s Kansas City in New York. It was soon after that she began singing in bands and began working as a studio singer. She recorded jingles, commercials, backup vocals, and lead on demos and recordings such as Good Enough written by James McBride, and recorded soon after by Anita Baker.