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First Fiona, then The Nukes, ‘My Name is Moana’ and more….

First Fiona, then The Nukes, ‘My Name is Moana’ and more….

Each year Arts On Tour NZ organises top musicians and actors to tour the country, performing in small halls, theatres, marae and cultural centres. From February to November these artists travel in the distinctive AOTNZ van, a different crew every month, bringing quality acts to audiences who would otherwise travel some distance to see them. AOTNZ has become a trusted brand throughout Aotearoa.

The 2017 line-up is exceptional. First up, in February, the electrifying violinist Fiona Pears is joined by her husband Ian Tilley on piano, Pete Fleming on double bass and Burke Goffe on guitar. Besides her amazing technique, Fiona knows how to enjoy herself on stage, and that enjoyment is contagious. She’s a crowd favourite.

Then in March, the innocent little uke is the instrument of choice for West Auckland performers, The Nukes. Part vaudeville, part rat pack, part musical car crash, this talented trio deliver originality and humour. They were a great hit at WOMAD - now wider audiences get the chance to enjoy them.

In April, celebrated singer songwriter Moana Maniapoto is joined by her sister Trina, Pitch Black’s Paddy Free and Karlos Tunks Saunders in performing a heartfelt tribute to the ocean in ‘My name is Maniapoto’. An Arts Laureate, Moana competed with 11,000 others to win the Grand Jury Prize of the International Songwriting Contest and has performed on stages all over the world including the Sydney Opera House – twice! A showcase of sublime singing and captivating storytelling.

Helen Moulder is no stranger to AOTNZ audiences after touring with Sir Jon Trimmer and Arts On Tour NZ in 2015. In May she tours ‘Gloria’s Handbag’, a modern magical mystery with music from The Magic Flute. Directed by Sue Rider, handbag design by Gillie Coxill.

“Helen Moulder as Gloria is a marvel – six characters, expert storytelling, opera singing and magic tricks, all performed by a cast of one” -Keeping up with NZ

Toru tours with ‘Crossing Borders’ in June, reviving a 25 year association between members of the critically acclaimed Celtic fusion band, ‘Rua’. Singer Denny Stanway-Young’s powerful expressive voice is teamed with James Wilkinson’s virtuoso guitar and fretless bass, together with master guitar and bouzouki player, Davy Stuart. All have toured with AOTNZ before – a performance to look forward to.

July brings the NZ Guitar Quartet to the attention of audiences – four uniquely accomplished guitarists who have recently returned from Australia and will tour China and India later in the year with interpretations and performances of wide audience appeal. On this tour they’ll be playing a mixture of gypsy jazz, bluegrass, Celtic and flamenco.

In August, poet and singer Hinemoana Baker teams up with singer/songwriter and recording artist, Charlotte Yates and multi-instrumentalist, Gil Eva Craig (acoustic bass/guitarlele/tenor horn) to present ‘Words and Music’. Hinemoa begins with readings of her poetry which then morph into haunting song, sharing the stage with Charlotte. Charlotte and Eva head up the second half with their latest releases as well as much loved favourites, until they are joined on stage by Hinemoana for a rousing finale.

‘Bill Massey’s Tourists’, written and performed by Jan Bolwell, takes to the stage in September. Bolwell plays her adolescent self, trying to encourage her grandfather Arthur to talk about the war. What follows is a gripping, painful and sometime hilarious tale of a young Kiwi soldier from the Otago Mounted Rifles (one of Bill Massey’s tourists) and his survival from the tragedy of Passchendaele. The play includes dance sequences, set to amusing and original soldiers’ ditties and WWI poems.

“A terrific script. A great performance…knocked me for six”- Raymond Hawthorne

The much loved Andrew London Trio tours in October, performing ‘…subtle and occasionally subversive satirical songs about the trivia and minutiae of middle aged, middle class Middle Earthers, delivered in a 1940s swing style with occasional forays into blues, country and hip-hop.” Andrew’s Beatle-esque harmonies are enhanced by Kirsten London on bass and Nils Olsen on saxophone/clarinet.

The AOTNZ 2017 Menu ends in November with Arts Laureate Delaney Davidson presenting ‘Manos del Chango’ with Los Angeles based Mexican singer, Nicole Isobel Garcia in a mix of live music with projected image. This is LA Noir – expect Spanish sagas of love and betrayal, Swiss parables of adoration and revenge, Southern Gothic blues and 40’s Mexican bolero cabaret trash.….

Arts On Tour New Zealand (AOTNZ) organises tours of outstanding New Zealand performers to rural and smaller centres in New Zealand. The trust receives funding from Creative New Zealand, support from Interislander, and liaises with local arts councils, repertory theatres and community groups to bring the best of musical and theatrical talent to country districts. The AOTNZ programme is environmentally sustainable – artists travel to their audiences rather than the reverse.


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