Orchestrating the show band

Modern Maori Quartet performs for the first time with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, in Gisborne

Modern Maori Quartet performs for the first time with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, in Gisborne

The Modern Maori Quartet performs with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra at the War Memorial Theatre on March 17.

The “flash side” of Maori music will be showcased when the Modern Maori Quartet performs for the first time with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra.

The two musical dimensions will come together to perform in Gisborne for the first time next month as part of a Summer Pops national tour.

“It will take our music into a whole new stratosphere,” says quartet founder James Tito. “The energy, our performance, it will really showcase the flash side of Maori music.”

The orchestral accompaniment will be a change for the contemporary Maori showband who usually accompany themselves with guitar, bass and a box drum.

“We like to think we bring the garage to the stage. I guess this is like a really flash garage.”

The quartet will perform 12 original Modern Maori Quartet songs with orchestration, as well as a handful of classics including Mareikura, a Haere Mai Medley and Ten Guitars.

“We all wrote the songs for this tour,” says Tito. “We went away for two weeks to a farm on the Coromandel and wrote the material. We had a lot of say in the creative control. We put our heads together and thought of five amazing composers we knew.”

Those composers, including the legendary percussionist and NZSO collaborator Gareth Farr, Chris Gendall and Mahuia Bridgman-Cooper wrote the orchestral arrangements.

“They’ve definitely made our songs a lot more beautiful,” says Tito, who describes the music as hearty, beautiful and epic with great stories.

Associate conductor to the NZSO Hamish McKeich will lead the orchestra on the 12-date tour from Whangarei to Invercargill.

“Combining two quite distinct musical genres, the NZSO and the Modern Maori Quartet, presents exciting challenges and something that I’m looking forward to sharing all over the country,” he says. “Incorporating the quartet’s wit and singing with all the colour of an orchestra should provide a great vehicle for making magic happen on stage.”

One of the the Modern Maori Quartet’s ambitions is to continue to take Maori music and culture to the world.

“The tours have all been very successful. The Hawaiians put us in very high esteem,” Tito says. “They see us as the benchmark for indigenous people leading the way in terms of our relationship with the government.”

The Modern Maori Quartet will visit Gisborne for the first time as part of their Summer Pops tour.

“We’ve been meaning to come for a while but the opportunity never came through,” says Tito. “Now we will be coming with 62 other musicians.”

The “flash side” of Maori music will be showcased when the Modern Maori Quartet performs for the first time with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra.

The two musical dimensions will come together to perform in Gisborne for the first time next month as part of a Summer Pops national tour.

“It will take our music into a whole new stratosphere,” says quartet founder James Tito. “The energy, our performance, it will really showcase the flash side of Maori music.”

The orchestral accompaniment will be a change for the contemporary Maori showband who usually accompany themselves with guitar, bass and a box drum.

“We like to think we bring the garage to the stage. I guess this is like a really flash garage.”

The quartet will perform 12 original Modern Maori Quartet songs with orchestration, as well as a handful of classics including Mareikura, a Haere Mai Medley and Ten Guitars.

“We all wrote the songs for this tour,” says Tito. “We went away for two weeks to a farm on the Coromandel and wrote the material. We had a lot of say in the creative control. We put our heads together and thought of five amazing composers we knew.”

Those composers, including the legendary percussionist and NZSO collaborator Gareth Farr, Chris Gendall and Mahuia Bridgman-Cooper wrote the orchestral arrangements.

“They’ve definitely made our songs a lot more beautiful,” says Tito, who describes the music as hearty, beautiful and epic with great stories.

Associate conductor to the NZSO Hamish McKeich will lead the orchestra on the 12-date tour from Whangarei to Invercargill.

“Combining two quite distinct musical genres, the NZSO and the Modern Maori Quartet, presents exciting challenges and something that I’m looking forward to sharing all over the country,” he says. “Incorporating the quartet’s wit and singing with all the colour of an orchestra should provide a great vehicle for making magic happen on stage.”

One of the the Modern Maori Quartet’s ambitions is to continue to take Maori music and culture to the world.

“The tours have all been very successful. The Hawaiians put us in very high esteem,” Tito says. “They see us as the benchmark for indigenous people leading the way in terms of our relationship with the government.”

The Modern Maori Quartet will visit Gisborne for the first time as part of their Summer Pops tour.

“We’ve been meaning to come for a while but the opportunity never came through,” says Tito. “Now we will be coming with 62 other musicians.”

Summer Pops with the Modern Maori Quartet at the Gisborne War Memorial Theatre, 7pm, March 17.

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