The documentary Trudell (2005) was made about him and his life as an activist and artist. Trudell was born in Omaha, Nebraska on February 15, 1946, as the son of a Santee Sioux father and a Mexican mother. He grew up in small towns near the Santee Sioux Reservation in northern Nebraska near the southeast corner of South Dakota. He was educated in local schools and also in Santee Sioux culture. In 1979, Trudell met Jackson Browne and became interested in the musical world. Trudell recorded an album, A.K.A Graffiti Man, with the Kiowa guitarist Jesse Ed Davis.
It was first available only on cassette tape. In 1992 Trudell remade A.K.A Graffiti Man. In 1990, John Trudell took part in Tony Hymas Oyaté project. His greatest success came with the 1994 album "Johnny Damas & Me" described as "a culmination of years of poetic work, and an example of a process of fusing traditional sounds, values, and sensibilities with thought-provoking lyrics, this time with urgent rock and roll." More recent releases include Blue Indians (1999), Descendant Now Ancestor (2001), Bone Days (2001), Madness and Moremes (2007) and CRAZIER THAN HELL (2010). One critic said of Trudell's live performances that: "This isn't simply pop rock with Indian drums and chants added. It's integrated rock and roll by an American Indian with a multicultural band directed to anyone who will listen.
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