Top country star to headline festival
One of New Zealand’s top country stars Jody Direen will be the headline performer at next January’s Wairarapa Country Music Festival at Tauherenikau Racecourse.
Direen, who has been described as The Queen of Country will bring her fresh, contemporary take on country music to the family-friendly three-day festival being held from Friday, January 12 to Sunday January 14.
Event organiser Matthew Sherry is thrilled to have Direen headline the festival and says the audience will be in for an evening of pure entertainment.
‘‘Jody has been wowing audiences for the last five years with her modern take on country music and her stage presence is amazing,’’ Sherry said.
‘‘To have her perform alongside other top kiwi musicians who bring their traditional take on country music will be marvellous. Together they will entertain festival-goers at Tauherenikau with a range of country music styles and help create a weekend to remember.’’
Direen was born in Mosgiel, raised in Wanaka and first took up playing guitar at the age of nine, after being introduced to it by her grandmother. She has since gone on to have an exciting career in New Zealand, Australia and the United States after signing with major record label, ABC Music. Her current album Shake Up won a Tui Award for Best Country Album at the 2017 NZ Country Music Awards and in 2015 she was won Country Music Female Artist of the Year as well as Best Vocalist of the Year.
She says her contemporary take on country music is some- thing new to New Zealand and she hopes she can help change Kiwis attitude to country music.
‘‘I think some New Zealanders still have a stereotypical view of country music shaped by the greats like Johnny Cash and Kenny Rogers.
‘‘I see myself as part of a new wave coming through globally with my own songs and performances having a more pop and rock influence,’’ she said.
‘‘I encourage people who are new to this style to come along to the Wairarapa Country Music Festival and listen as I am sure they will love it. My performance will be high energy, with a few intimate acoustic guitar tracks, but with the support of my band I will rev it up so people can get up and dance and have an amazing night.’’
Direen’s headlining performance will be in the evening on Saturday, January 13.
Jody Direen will headline the 2018 Wairarapa Country Music Festival in January.