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Te Tairāwhiti Arts Festival Programme Announced

Clare Martin

Te Tairāwhiti Arts Festival returns in 2020, once again celebrating and illuminating the unique and vast creativity of the East Coast and its people. From 2 to 11 October, Tūranganui-a-Kiwa locals and visitors to the region will be given over 40 unique opportunities to spend quality time with the arts and performance. In a very difficult year for people across Aotearoa and the world, the Festival is a place for reflection, uplift and joy.

Te Tairāwhiti Arts Festival CEO and Artistic Director Tama Waipara says, “Our inaugural Festival was abundant with artistic experiences for people of all ages. Life has changed quite dramatically since then and the role of the Festival has subsequently changed, too. ...  we all share a deeper need to connect than ever before. We take our role in helping facilitate connection and collaboration very seriously. But we don’t take everything seriously - that’s something which is proudly Te Tairāwhiti, too, and certainly reflected in this year’s programme”.

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Witi's Wāhine (Image supplied)

The Festival opens with the first of a number of very special performances in a return season of Nancy Brunning’s "Witi’s Wāhine" based on Witi Ihaemaera's writings and continuing the bold, beautiful legacy Brunning left behind.  Also taking place on opening night is a brilliant solo performance by a beloved Te Tairāwhiti export. Opening the spanking new Festival Club at The Marina Restaurant, Jackie Clarke will bring all the sequins, show-stoppers and sass to her one-woman tour-de-force, "Jackie Goes Prima Diva". Other theatre performances include the world premiere of the Silo Theatre production of "Every Brilliant Thing", starring Anapela Polatai’vao.

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Maisey Rika (image supplied)

Music performance artists include award-winning local musician Maisey Rika singing waiata she composed with visual artworks created by artist Erena Koopu. And a stunning immersive experience, presented in association with Auckland Arts Festival created by Warren Maxwell, Teina Moetara, Tama Waipara, Whirimako Black, Horomona Horo and Waimihi Hōtere.

Touring for the first time together as Reid & Ruins, Nadia Reid and Hollie Fullbrook (Tiny Ruins) will present an intimate evening of acoustic mastery, while Gitbox Rebellion - an innovative and exciting eight-piece, multicultural Guitar ensemble - will perform intricate and clever original compositions and a few much-loved guitar hero covers.  Taite Prize finalists, Hopetoun Brown, will take their audience on a boot-stomping journey through blues, soul, funk, jazz and Americana at Smash Palace on 7 October.

 More information HERE

Tickets available HERE


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Written By: Clare Martin Clare has performed as an opera, recital and oratorio artist in UK most notably the Queen Elizabeth Hall, South Bank, London. In NZ she has performed with NZ Opera and with the NZ Symphony Orchestra but more recently she has moved into a wider range of contemporary genres including jazz and even Leonard Cohen. Since 2008 Clare has been teaching from her own music studio working with professional and beginner singers. In 2017 she was a mentor on TVNZ’s The Naked Choir working with a cappella choirs and she currently coaches barbershop and a woman’s ensemble.