May means music month
May strikes the right note with Kiwi musicians each year - they are the focus of the annual New Zealand Music Month. And there's plenty to hear and appreciate in North Taranaki during the promotion.
The event is run by the NZ Music Commission and takes place each May, with other organisations including NZ On Air, RIANZ, APRA, Independent Music NZ, and the Radio Broadcasters Association also closely involved.
Puke Ariki and the surrounding district libraries are coming alive with sound during the period.
This Friday and on May 20 there will be lunchtime performances by a whole line-up of musicians with gigs in Puke Ariki, Bell Block, Inglewood, Waitara, Urenui and Oakura libraries.
Among these are some stars, including singer-songwriter Jae'l Warbrick, who was the opening act for Stan Walker in February. She played in the Oakura Library last Friday as part of the Taste of Music lunchtime series and will be at Waitara High School this Friday.
The musical workshops include drum-based bookings with beat poet and singer Mariemaka.
All of these performances are made possible thanks to the generosity of MusicWorks in New Plymouth.
Those artists with upcoming performances are:
Marfell singer-songwriter Jae'l Myka Warbrick has been singing as long as she can remember and started playing guitar at age 15. In February, the 22-year-old opened for Stan Walker at his sold-out concert in New Plymouth. She performs a mixture of folk, soul and religious music and says she's fan of Frank Sinatra, Brooke Fraser, Ellie Goulding and Israel Houghton.
New Plymouth sisters Hannah and Simone Willmann will be performing light classical and traditional music. Simone, a violinist, is the co-leader of the Taranaki Youth Orchestra and Hannah is principal flute player Last year, Hannah (19), who plays flute, and Simone (17), a violinist, performed in over 30 events. Their musical repertoire includes pieces by well-known composers such as Bach, Elgar, and Mozart.
Singer-songwriter Simon Willis will be easy on the ear. The Englishman, who has been living in New Zealand for the past year, will be playing the guitar and singing a range of easy-listening music from Chris Isaak, U2, Mavericks and John Denver through to his own songs. Simon has been making music since age 13, is a semi-professional musician and has recorded an album in his home country.
Expect an eclectic acoustic mix of styles and songs from veteran Kiwi "rock chick" Penni Bousfield. She has performed and recorded with many of New Zealand's best-known musicians, worked as a theatre director and, up until last year, was head of UCOL Palmerston North's Performing Arts programme. She now lives in New Plymouth.
Sonic Delusion is the stage and project name of Andre Manella. The singer-songwriter creates layers of sound using electronic effects on the guitar and with vocals, recording i live into a loop pedal. Andre is originally from Switzerland, but is now a New Zealand resident living in Okato with his Kiwi wife and two small children. "I love it here in Aotearoa," Andre says.
Missie Moffat is a singer-songwriter with a voice of raw beauty. She has recorded one live EP, features on all five of the singer-songwriter albums and has contributed to other Taranaki collective albums. Missie can often be found behind the scenes - at Puke Ariki working on exhibitions and also at music festivals doing stage and sound work.
Faithless Fairytale are Sam Parli, Shae Trowson, Toban Sutton and Adele Parli. These Waitara High School students have been making pop-rock music together for nearly three years and hope to continue in the music industry after leaving school. The girls sing a mixture of original compositions and cover songs. They entered the Smoke free Rockquest for the first time last year and will be entering again this year.
Kiwi vocal percussionist Mariemaka has learnt rhythms from masters around the world. Now based in Taranaki, this global traveller has experienced the cultures of Mexico, America, Australia, Asia, Europe and few tropical islands, learning about drums along the way. She has now formed the Drumrise Drummers with musicians who were originally her students. They accompany Mariemaka's original worldly lyrics and soulful vocals.
Pianist Cameron Curd will be singing songs and playing themes from beloved films of the past. The New Plymouth man began learning the piano at age six and has since clocked up thousands of piano performances, numerous competitions, master classes and choral accompaniments. He is an active member of the New Plymouth Operatic Society, teaches piano to adults and is working towards his A.T.C.L. piano performance with Trinity Guildhall in London. There's also a film score and album on the horizon.
Classical guitar duet Dominique Blatti and Paul Goodsell will be playing music and songs from South America and Europe. The pair, both members of the Classical Guitar Society of New Plymouth, will also add their own voices into the mix at times. Dominique is a full-time classical guitar teacher who conducts a classical guitar orchestra and performs regularly with Ross Townsend in their duet called Guitarra.
Music month programme schedule:
Friday: Puke Ariki: Sonic Delusion, 12.30-1.15, Inglewood: Inglewood High group, 1.30-2pm, Oakura: Dominique Blatti & Paul Goodsell, 12.30-1.15, Waitara: Jae'l Warbrick, 12.30-1.15, Bell Block: Simon Willis. 12.30-1.15, Urenui: Hannah and Simone, 12.30-1.15.
Saturday: Puke Ariki: Cameron Curd, 11.30-12.30.
Wednesday 18: Puke Ariki: Mariemaka- Crackerjacks bucket drums 10.30am.
Friday May 20: Puke Ariki: Missie Moffat 12.30-1.15, Inglewood: Inglewood High group 1.30-2pm, Oakura: Devon Int Choir, 12.30- 1.15, Waitara: Sonic Delusion, 12.30-1.15, Bell Block: Meredith Morell 12.30-1.15, Urenui: Penni Bousfield 12.30-1.15.
Saturday May 21: Puke Ariki: Mariemaka Performance 11.30-12.30. Mariemaka Children's Drum workshop 1-2pm.
Friday May 27: Puke Ariki: Hannah, Simone and Mum 12.30-1.30.