Born and raised in the river valley of Agusan, Northeastern Mindanao, Southern Philippines, Grace Nono is a multi-awarded Philippine music performing and recording artist, author, and cultural worker. Grace received her Bachelor's in Humanities and Masters in Philippine Studies from the University of the Philippines. At present, she is a doctoral candidate in ethnomusicology at the New York University. A fellow of the Asian Cultural Council in New York and the Asia-Pacific Performance Exchange program in Los Angeles, she also received training from the Asia-Pacific Cultural Center for UNESCO in Kyoto, and the Asian Institute of Management's Managing the Arts Program in Manila.
As music artist, Grace specializes in the contemporary performance of Philippine sung oral/aural traditions-with special focus on songs with sacred themes-taught to her by oralists/auralists from different parts of the Philippines. She has been featured in concerts at Cultural Center of the Philippines in Manila, the House of World Cultures in Berlin, the Circulo de Bellas Artes in Madrid, the Lincoln Center's La Casita Festival and the Asian American Arts Alliance's Locating the Sacred Festival in New York, the Asia Society-Hong Kong Center in Hong Kong, the Singapore Arts Festival and the National Museum of Singapore, the Music Village Festival in London, the Gathering of Drummers in Prague, concerts in Paris and Monte Carlo, WOMAD in Yokohama, the World Exposition on Nature's Wisdom in Nagoya, the Penang World Music Festival in Malaysia, the Asian Fantasy Orchestra tours of New Delhi, Bombay, Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka, Miyazaki, Bangkok, Vientiane, Yangon, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh, various presentations in Huairou, Bangkok, Jakarta, Nanning, Shanghai, Seoul, Penang, Taipei, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Chicago, Butuan, Bunawan, Davao, Ilo-ilo, Palawan, Mindoro, Bicol, Baguio, and Sagada. She has published six award-winning solo albums and has contributed tracks to around fifteen recording compilations. She also co-produced and co-published together with composer Bob Aves, five recordings of Philippine oral/aural music traditions.
As author, Grace has published two books (with accompanying recordings): The Shared Voice: Chanted and Spoken Narratives from the Philippines (ANVIL Publishing and Fundacion Santiago, 2008), winner in the 2009 Book Awards, and the newly launched Song of the Babaylan: Living Voices, Medicines, Spiritualities of Philippine Ritualist-Oralist-Healers (Institute of Spirituality in Asia, 2013). She has also contributed an essay, "Audible Travels: Oral/Aural Traditional Performances and the Global Dispersal of a Philippine Indigenous Religion," to Back from the Crocodile's Belly: Philippine babaylan Studies and the Struggle for Indigenous Memory (Center for Babaylan Studies, 2013).
As cultural worker, Grace founded the Tao Foundation for Culture and Arts, a Philippine non-government organization engaged in cultural regeneration and grassroots development initiatives, for which she has received support from the Toyota Foundation, UNESCO, Advocates of Philippine Fair Trade, Australia-Philippines Community Cooperation Program, local communities and institutions.
To date, Grace has won over 40 awards, including three Album of the Year awards, three Best World Music Album awards, a National Book Award, The Outstanding Women Award in the Nation's Service TOWNS award, the Ten Outstanding Young Men TOYM award, the University of the Philippines Distinguished Alumni award, several Catholic Mass Media, Katha, Awit, National Press Club, and other awards for her artistic and cultural contributions.