NZSO charts new mu­si­cal ter­ri­tory

The Tribune (NZ) - - ENJOY -

The New Zealand Sym­phony Orches­tra has a long his­tory of col­lab­o­rat­ing with a wide va­ri­ety of mu­si­cians and singers from dif­fer­ent gen­res, in­clud­ing rock, blues, dub and elec­tron­ica.

Now it’s about to ven­ture into new mu­si­cal ter­ri­tory with the award-win­ning Mod­ern Maori Quar­tet.

The four­some, founded in 2012, is known for their fresh take on the mu­sic and magic of Maori show­bands.

The 12-date Sum­mer Pops tour, which in­cludes one per­for­mance at the Re­gent on Broadway on March 9, will fea­ture new ar­range­ments in English and Te Reo Maori of show­band classics and pop hits. It in­cludes the rous­ing Haere Mai and Pakanga med­leys, sin­ga­long favourite Ten Gui­tars and 70s R&B hit Float On.

Au­di­ences will also recog­nise sev­eral pop hits fea­tured in the Aroha med­ley, in­clud­ing I Don’t

Want to Talk About It and All By

My­self.

The quar­tet has also writ­ten new songs to be per­formed with ar­range­ments by seven New Zealand com­posers.

The quar­tet’s James Tito, Maaka Po­hatu, Matariki Whata­rau and Fran­cis Kora have been ea­ger to work with the NZSO.

"We’ve been for­tu­nate enough to work with some awe­some peo­ple thus far," says Tito.

"None of us ex­pected to be ap­proached by the NZSO, so we are all pretty chuffed and rear­ing to share the aroha. Pretty flash too, might I add.

"One of the things I’m ex­cited for the most is work­ing along­side some of Aotearoa’s best mu­si­cians and play­ers. The NZSO are masters at what they do mu­si­cally - peo­ple who have ded­i­cated their lives to per­fect­ing what they do."

NZSO As­so­ciate Con­duc­tor Hamish McKe­ich will lead the orches­tra on the tour, from Whangarei to In­ver­cargill.

"Com­bin­ing two quite dis­tinct mu­si­cal gen­res, the NZSO and the Mod­ern Maori Quar­tet, presents ex­cit­ing chal­lenges and some­thing that I’m look­ing for­ward to shar­ing all over the coun­try," says McKe­ich.

The quar­tet has also been im­pressed with the ar­range­ments to their orig­i­nal songs by com­posers Chris Gen­dall, Mahuia Bridg­man-Cooper, Anony­mouz, Claire Cowan, Mark Dennison, Rob­bie El­lis and fre­quent NZSO col­lab­o­ra­tor Gareth Farr.

"The process so far has been smooth and amaz­ing," says Tito. "These su­per tal­ented com­posers have ar­ranged our orig­i­nal songs beyond ex­pec­ta­tion and I can’t wait to tour around the coun­try shar­ing our songs with the best orches­tra this coun­try has to of­fer."

NZSO’s Sum­mer Pops with the Mod­ern Maori Quar­tet fea­tures at the Re­gent on Broadway on March 9, Book­ings At Tick­et­Di­rect.

The Mod­ern Maori Quar­tet

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