NZSO charts new musical territory
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
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.