Top line-up for Ngāi Tahu Hui-ā-Iwi Showcase

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Some of the country’s best known contemporary Māori performers will top the bill at the family-friendly Ngāi Tahu Hui-ā-Iwi Showcase on Saturday 21 November.

He Waka Kōtuia, Maisey Rika, Ria Hall, Troy Kingi, Rob Ruha, the Modern Māori Quartet and Beau Monga & Crew will all take to the stage for the evening showcase, which kicks off at 6.30pm.

This will be the best line-up of Māori musicians in one place, on one night and the audience can expect a series of Polyfunk, haka-inspired soul and R&B solo performances before the guest artists all come together for a final act.

Māori singer/songwriter Maisey Rika has one of Aotearoa’s most impressive and engaging lead vocalist styles. Now in her twenties, she has been performing since she was thirteen, has won Best Female Vocalist at the NZ Music Awards and has released three albums, all charting in the NZ Top 40.

Ria Hall sang at the opening of the 2011 Rugby World Cup and released her self-titled debut EP in 2011, which won Best Māori Album at the 2012 NZ Music Awards.

Singer Troy Kingi took up his first major acting role in the coming-of-age Kiwi movie, “Mt Zion” in 2013 starring alongside Stan Walker and Temuera Morrison; and East Coast singer/songwriter Rob Ruha is a highly regarded Māori performing arts exponent, who is well known for his contribution to recorded Māori music.

X-Factor New Zealand 2015 winner Beau Monga will bring his beat-boxing talents south for Hui-ā-Iwi. Beau grew up on music with his parents, well-known musicians Betty-Anne and Ryan Monga of the well-loved Polyfunk band, Ardijah. The Modern Māori Quartet have also been making a big name for themselves with their new take on the classic Māori show band, delivering a mix of new hits and old-time favourites in te reo Māori and English.

Rounding out the star-studded line-up will be local favourites, He Waka Kōtuia, the combined kapa haka group from Kings’ and Queen’s high schools. This group of talented and passionate young people has performed regionally and nationally and they have welcomed both the All Blacks and the Dalai Lama to Dunedin.

The Saturday of Hui-ā-Iwi is open to members of the public, who will be able to enjoy a wide range of activities starting with Te Atakura , which showcases around a dozen Ngāi Tahu kapa haka groups.

Athol Anderson, Tahu Pōtiki and widely-known voyaging waka expert Hoturoa Barclay Kerr then discuss traditional migration; and the afternoon section of the Hui-ā-Iwi Showcase begins at 2pm with performances in dance, taiaha, R&B, barber shop and singing in English and te reo Māori.

The John Broughton play, “Hell and Bullets: The WWI diary of Private Hohepa Teihoka”, about a Ngāi Tahu soldier at Gallipoli, runs late afternoon. This is a theatrical commemorative performance featuring the Dunedin RSA choir, local rōpu waiata and performers. Whānau are encouraged to wear tīpuna medals and bring photographs.

Performances by the Dunedin Ukelele Orchestra and Ngāi Tahu reggae singer, Jules Ryland follow, then visitors can then ready themselves for the special guests to ‘lift off the roof’ with a four-hour session of polished performances.

The three-day Ngāi Tahu Cultural festival will be held at the Dunedin Town Hall from 20-22 November and members of the public are welcome to attend all the Saturday events.