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Christchurch “Down Under” Diva Heads To New York

6 May 2013

“Start Spreading The News…..I’m Leaving In June”

Christchurch “Down Under” Diva Heads To New York

A “dream team” is how Christchurch singer Ali Harper describes the musicians who will support her during her upcoming New York performances next month.

World renowned musical director, Alex Rybeck – who also plays piano and has worked with Eartha Kitt, Faith Prince and Anne Hampton-Callaway (writes for Barbara Streisand), to name but a few - has gathered some of the best in the business for Ali’s shows.

Jered Egan is lined up for bass, Ray Marchica for drums and Sean Harkness on guitar.

“Jered is a wonderful bass player who also has a lovely voice for backup vocals. Ray is one of New York’s best drummers and has played for Barbra Streisand amongst others and Sean has been described as “the most in-demand guitarist in cabaret right now”, says Harper.

With shows booked for late June, Ali will arrive in Manhattan in early June, performing at Birdland Jazz Club on Monday 24th June at the famous ‘Cast Party’ where Broadway stars each sing a couple of numbers, (Liza Minnelli has been known to turn up and do a song). On Tuesday, 25th Ali will sing at *The Metropolitan Room’s ‘Show case’ night with other performers where booking agents and Broadway practitioners are invited. Then on Thursday, 27th June at 9.30pm she will perform her solo show “Naughty and Nice - A Down Under Diva” at *The Metropolitan Room.

Harper says some of her repertoire will be “tailored” for the NY audience.

“My New York director, Lina Koutrakos has been a kind of mentor to me every time I have visited New York and together we are creating a show that appeals to New Yorkers including a new spin on songs they will know; a fresh Kiwi approach if you like,” she says.

One song she is working on with Lina is ‘You Can Be A New Yorker Too’, which will take a look at the humour related to ‘New York lingo’, from a Kiwi perspective.

Harper has just released her second album “Naughty and Nice” and will perform in Christchurch and Wellington before heading to the States in June.

Naughty and Nice” was released on April 23 and appropriately highlights the sensual, feminine and complex aspects of being a woman.

As a mother of three and a wife, Ali understands the demands placed on the modern woman.

“We run our own businesses, drive the children around, prepare dinner, manage the house, make financial decisions, and while many of us are fortunate to have strong and supportive husbands and partners, sometimes it is still difficult for us to remember we are still women, that we are complex beings. I hope the songs on the album remind us how we all have our own individual stories to tell and celebrate and that being a woman is a wonderful thing,” she says.

A hand-picked group of New Zealand’s finest musicians and arrangers have worked with Ali on the album, including Fiona Pears, Richard Marrett, Michael Bell, Luke Di Somma, Gwyn Reynolds, Alex van den Broek, Cameron Pearce, John Bevin, Tim Sellars, Mike Ferrar, Richie Pickard, Scott Taitoko, Sophie Bidwell and Matthew Pike. The music is a chocolate box selection of the blues, gorgeous sultry ballads with French and Latin flavours mixed with Ali’s own deliciously cheeky slant on some of the great story-telling songs.

Acclaimed New York based producer and arranger Alex Rybeck, who has worked with some of the biggest names in the business including Eartha Kitt, and was mentored by legends such as Stephen Sondheim and Leonard Bernstein, also worked on the album with Ali.

Naughty and Nice” is now on sale and is available on iTunes, CD Baby, Amazon and Spotify, as well as and at Étagère in Elmwood on Normans Road next to French Blue (in Christchurch).

Ali Harper and band are showcasing her new album with two concerts in Wellington on 10th and 11th May, and 18th & 19th May in Christchurch.

Friday 10th Southwards Theatre, Otaihanga Road, Paraparaumu, 7.30pm
Saturday 11th Old St Paul’s, 34 Mulgrave Street, Thorndon, 7.30pm
Bar facilities available at both Wellington performances.
Book online at TicketDirect 0800 224 224
Adult $40 Group +10 $37 Snr $35 Grp +10 $32 Note: Booking fees may apply.

Saturday 18th May Rossburn Receptions, Spark Lane, Rangiora 7.30pm
BYO drink and nibbles in a Cabaret setting
Sunday 19th May The Court Theatre, Addington 7.30pm
Bar facilities available

Book online at ph 963-0870 or purchase at The Court Theatre, Bernard St, Addington Adult $40pp / Grp +10 $37pp; Snr $35pp / Grp +10 $32pp
Booking fees may apply


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