Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search


Maori Promoter Marks Barry White’s Birthday Today

Maori Promoter Marks Barry White’s Birthday Today

The late soul legend Barry White would have turned 61 today had he still been alive. White died in 2003 after suffering years of high blood pressure which led to kidney failure.

The music icon will be the focus of four NZ concerts next month, spearheaded by kaumatua entrepreneur, 71 year old Sam Pehi Snr. His company Aotearoa Promotions is the latest venture for Sam, a musician, entertainer and tennis champ who has owned hotels, taxis, nightclubs and casinos for the past forty years.

During the 1980s Sam was one of the first to introduce karaoke in Auckland and says he enjoyed singing Tom Jones and Barry White because it suited his voice.

Earlier this year though he was blown away when he saw a Barry White performer of a different kind in a Gold Coast casino – Australian based Maori musician Ash Puriri. New Zealand born Ash wowed 12 million Aussie viewers of the top rating Australian show Star Struck this year with his perfect impersonation of Barry White. Even musician George Benson called him the “real deal”, giving him a standing ovation at Conrad Jupiter’s Casino on Australia’s Gold Coast.

“When he was in full makeup and costume Ash looked and sounded exactly like Barry White,” says Sam, “but he could also do John Rowles and Prince Tui Teka songs just as good. And then when he sang some of Pavarotti’s opera songs, I knew this man had something extra special.”

Seizing the opportunity, Sam got on the phone to Ash and his agent to propose a series of NZ concerts. After several meetings, the deal was finalised over a meal of pork bones and watercress at Sam’s house with Ash and his father.

The four concerts will be held in Wellington (October 5), Palmerston North (October 6), Hamilton (October 7) and Auckland (October 8).

The concerts will feature Ash’s Big Band sound and Vegas Girl Dancers with a blend of his Barry White show and Ash in Concert show. Compered by Maori actor and entertainer, Pio Terei, Ash in Concert will present a collage of contemporary smash hits songs and famous big voices of the past. He will also pay tribute to Billy T-James, Prince Tui Teka, Ricky May, John Rowles and Sir Howard Morrison and make a special dedication to Inia Te Wiata and Dame Kiri Te Kanawa.

Sam says one of the aims behind Aotearoa Promotions is promoting Maori business and success, especially international Kiwi musicians. And as a fan of Barry White, Sam says he’s glad he’s helping to keep the legend’s music alive.


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Howard Davis Review: From Free Press to Fancy Dress - Spielberg's The Post

Stephen Spielberg's The Post is an opportune newsroom drama in which a corrupt Republican president wages war against the "liberal media," as its plucky proprietor risks economic and legal ruin to bring the Pentagon Papers to public light. Its true protagonist is publisher Katharine Graham, a stringently diplomatic businesswoman, reluctantly compelled to take an overtly political stance in the interests of democracy and freedom of the press. More>>

Howard Davis Review: The Black Dog of Empire - Joe Wright's Darkest Hour'

On the eve of England's contorted efforts to negotiate its ignominious retreat from Europe and the chaotic spectacle of the Tory party ratifying its undignified departure from a union originally designed to prevent another World War, there has been a renewed appetite for movies about 1940. More>>

Howard Davis Review: Anger Begets Anger - Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

For fans of what Ricky Gervais termed "number movies" (Seven Samurai, The Magnificent Seven, Ocean's 11, Se7en), Martin McDonagh's latest offering will be a welcome addition to the roster. The Irish playwright turned screenwriter and director has produced another quirky and darkly comic tragedy that evolves around the futility of anger and grief, retribution and revenge. More>>

Howard Davis: Sexting in George Dawe's Genevieve - Part I

Te Papa's permanent collection includes an enormous oil painting by the English artist George Dawe called Genevieve (from by a poem by S.T. Coleridge entitled 'Love') that was prominently featured in the 2013 exhibition Angels & Aristocrats. Compare the massive immensity of the bard's gorgeously gilded harp with the stubby metallic handle of the Dark Knight's falchion, both suggestively positioned at crotch-level. Dawe's enormous canvas invokes a whole history of blushing that pivots around a direct connection to sexual arousal. More>>


Ethnomusicology: Malian ‘Desert Blues’ Revolutionaries To Storm WOMAD

Malian band Tinariwen (playing WOMAD NZ in March 2018) are a true musical revolutionaries in every sense. Active since 1982, these nomadic Tuareg or ‘Kel Tamashek’ (speakers of Tamashek) electric guitar legends revolutionised a traditional style to give birth to a new genre often called ‘desert blues’. They also have a history rooted deeply in revolution and fighting for the rights of their nomadic Tamashek speaking culture and people. More>>

Gordon Campbell: Best New Music Of 2017

Any ‘best of list’ has to be an exercise in wishful thinking, given the splintering of everyone’s listening habits... But maybe… it could be time for the re-discovery of the lost art of listening to an entire album, all the way through. Just putting that idea out there. More>>



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland