Jana Maria Mashonee, (born Jana Maria Sampson; May 11, 1980), better known by her stage name, Jana, is an American singer, songwriter, actress, author and philanthropist. She is originally from Robeson County, North Carolina. Jana is a two-time Grammy nominee and nine-time Nammy winner. Her music is steeped in R&B and gospel roots, which introduced her to the mainstream. She is currently releasing her music through Miss Molly Records available on iTunes and Amazon.
Exploring her cultural roots, Jana then released American Indian Story, a concept album that garnered her a second Grammy nomination. The video for the single, The Enlightened Time, won awards at film festivals around the world as well as a Nammy for Best Short Form Music Video. Music from the album is featured on the Discovery Channel’s series, Flying Wild Alaska.
Her first book, American Indian Story – The Adventures of Sha’kona, based on the Grammy nominated album of the same was also recently completed. The fantasy filled mystery-adventure young adult novel is the uplifting story of the young heroine, Sha’kona, and her journey of self-discovery and courage.
Jana continued to pay tribute to her heritage with American Indian Christmas, featuring ten classic Christmas songs sung in ten different Native American languages accompanied by a full orchestra and traditional Native American instruments. A critical and commercial success, the album won her another Nammy award. On December 16, 2011 she featured some of these songs in an emotional and intimate performance at Carnegie Hall in New York.
New Moon Born took Jana in a new direction, steeped in R&B and gospel roots, which brought her back to mainstream attention. She debuted the featured track, an emotional cover of Sam Cooke’s classic, "A Change Is Gonna Come," at the American Indian Inaugural Ball for President Obama. This was her second performance for a First Family. A year earlier she sang at the First Lady’s Luncheon for Laura Bush. The song went on to win her an eighth Nammy for Song of the Year and the video took the Best Music Video prizes at the Indie Film Festival and at the American Indian Film Festival.
Jana's tour schedule has brought her to forty nine of the fifty states as well as overseas.
Jana is also an actress. In 2012, Jana starred in her first movie Raptor Ranch, which debuted at the Israel Film Festival. In 2014, it was released on HD-DVD, Redbox, and to select streaming networks under the name The Dinosaur Experiment.