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Titirangi Iwi supports Music Festival

Titirangi Iwi supports Music Festival

Titirangi comes alive with culture for the upcoming Titirangi Festival of Music, held between March 29 and April 5.

The music is hard to miss, as it's everywhere: in streets, cafes and community halls all over Titirangi. Amazing Maori musicians and events are a feature of this year's festival, and there are heaps of opportunities to be involved - from watching a gig to attending a workshop.

The Festival will begin with the official blessing at Tangiwai Reserve by the local iwi, Te Kawerau a Maki, who have opened the Festival since its inception in 2005.

Titirangi is within Te Kawerau a Maki boundary, which is part of the Tainui waka confederation of tribes and a territory that stretches from Otaki in the south of the North Island through to the Waitakere Ranges, ancestrally known as "Te Wao nui a Tiriiwa".

Te Kawerau a Maki is part of the Kingitanga and the Kingitanga Movement, which was founded in 1858 and along with the Titirangi Festival of Music celebrations, wishes to acknowledge the 150 years of Kingitanga celebrations from 1st May 2008 to the 1st May 2009.

Kaumatua Eru Thompson also adds that the 150 years of the Kingitana celebrations will also participate in the Annual Waka Ama Portage Crossing celebrations to be held later this year, in which the traditional and original portage crossing of the Tainui waka from the Waitemata Harbour to the Manukau Harbour will be commemorated.

David Parker, the Festival Director, is hugely appreciative of Te Kawerau a Maki's involvement in the Festival. "There are large parts of the West Auckland community who are unaware of the Tainui connection to the northern Manukau. We're aiming to raise community awareness and continue building our relationship with the iwi and working together in order for this awareness to grow".

The formal Festival opening and blessing at midday, Saturday 29th March includes a haka powhiri by Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Hoani Waititi, followed by a free concert featuring Mahinarangi Tocker, the Mamaku Project, the 3 Tenors Ukulele group, One million Dollars and a selection of local DJs.

The Festival is delighted to have some award-winning Maori performers playing at events throughout the week. Highlight artists include: Andrea Tunks, winner of the APRA Maioha Award for Maori songwriting last year, and Mahinarangi Tocker, Waitakere City Laureate and recent recipient of the Order of Merit for services to music.

Of particular note is the Tama Waipara concert on Thursday 3rd April. An accomplished singer-songwriter, Tama is a Maori musician of international acclaim who is fast becoming a hot commodity in the Kiwi music scene. Tama won high praise from contemporary jazz musician, Nathan Haines, who claims he is one of the most powerful and moving singers he has heard.

Recently returned to our shores from New York where he has been living for the past 8 years, Tama is a Masters graduate of the prestigious Manhattan School of Music. His music infuses jazz, funk, r&b, classical and samba to produce a unique sound that is inspired by his homeland.

Tama returned to Aotearoa last year to release his EP 'Leaving Paradise' which features collaborations from heavy-weights such as Nathan Haines, Godfrey de Grut (ex-SuperGroove) and emerging artist, Emily King.

Cat Tunks is hosting a Jazz Club at the Toolroom (under the Hardware Café), featuring hot new jazz talent, and all musicians are invited to take part.

There are also two fantastic music workshops: Rewi Spraggon and Rikki Bennett teach the making and playing of taonga puoro (traditional Maori musical instruments) and the father of Andrea and Cat, Chris Tunks (Ngati Pakeha), is taking a beginners Ukulele session for kids and adults.

Some events will sell out, so make sure you secure your place today by visiting Ticketmaster, Real Groovy Records, or phoning the Festival info line on 09 817 2797.

For more information, visit www.tfm2008.co.nz

Ends

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