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Whitireia School of Music hosts international blues artist

Whitireia School of Music hosts international blues artist

International blues/RnB/jazz artist Chris Cain will be Artist in Residence at the Whitireia School of Music for three days from 12 October, and will perform with a Whitireia student and staff band at San Fran on 14 October.

Cain is in New Zealand promoting his new album, ‘King of the Blues’, and is touring with The Rodger Fox Big Band. He will be working with students and staff over the three days, running masterclasses for guitar, vocals and band.

An award-winning master blues guitarist and vocalist, Cain also plays bass, piano, clarinet and alto saxophone. He has played with many of the greats, including BB King, Ray Charles and Albert King, and is described by Robben Ford as ‘one of the best blues men we have today.’

Third year Bachelor of Applied Arts (Music) student Eli Ropata met Cain in 2013 when renowned NZ musician Rodger Fox first brought him out to Whitireia to hold a masterclass.

‘I hadn’t heard his music before,’ says Ropata, ‘but I’ve always been a huge fan of the blues. The first real musical memory I have is of my father playing Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee on cassette in the car.’

‘Chris has his own spin on the blues, which is new but familiar at the same time. He combines classic blues with complex jazz to create a sound that is unique to him. His passion for the blues really hits home for me as well and is something that I draw on in my own performances.’

Ropata played with Cain when he was last here and says it was one of the best moments in his musical journey so far.

‘I felt incredibly privileged to be on the stage with someone of his calibre and I’m buzzing about having the chance to play with him again,’ said Ropata. ‘Having these opportunities is amazing and serves as great motivation to keep playing and to finish my studies.’

San Fran gig 8pm Wednesday 14th October

Featuring Chris Cain, with Whitireia staff members John O’Connor on guitar, Johnny Lawrence on bass, Phil Hornblow on keys and Rick Cranson on drums. The show will also feature current music students.

Tickets $20 at or $25 door sales.


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