Navajo mariachi star performs at Texas awards show


Navajo mariachi music sensation Nizhoni Camille Begay performed at the 2017 Texas Medal of Arts Awards in Austin, Texas on Feb. 22.

Navajo Mariachi singer Nizhoni Camille Begay performed at a Texas awards show.

“Everything went well. They had my bio in the program and the performance went great,” said Begay in a phone interview with the Times from Palo Alto, California. “Being in this event means a lot.”

The Texas Medal of Arts Awards was created in 2001 and has awarded around 99 medals to 105 Texas luminaries and leaders who have achieved greatness through their talents and have set the stage for Texans to follow, according to the website.

Begay is no stranger to the Texas Medal of Arts, as she was invited to perform the event in 2015 alongside actor and singer Jamie Fox, who was honored at the awards show.

“She has been involved with music all her life,” said Tommy K. Begay, Begay’s father.

This performance is the last performance for Begay as a ‘young master,’ a title given to young performers by the Texas Commission of the Arts and the Texas Cultural Trust for two years.

Notable honorees include actress Eva Longoria, musician Steve Miller, news anchor Walter Cronkite, musician Willie Nelson, actor Tommy Lee Jones, former first lady Laura Bush and late actor Bill Paxton.

This years honorees include Kenny Rogers, Kris Kristofferson and Lauren Anderson.

“To be a part of the event with those big names was great,” said Begay. She was particularly excited to see and meet Texas Medal of Arts honoree actress Renee Elise Goldsberry, who starred in Broadway musical “Hamilton.”

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