A huge part of the festival is the great line up of local musical talent we feature each year, and this year is no exception. Without further ado, we present this year’s line up.
STRANGELY AROUSING are national winners of Battle of the Bands 2014 and Smokefree Pacifica Beats 2013, and are a five piece Progressive Ska/Reggae band that incorporate an open minded approach to different genres and styles into their music.
The band has won a guitar case full of accolades and prizes, opening Raggamuffin 2014 where they shared the stage with the likes of House of Shem, Morgan Heritage and Damian Marley, and playing with Fat Freddy’s Drop at their concert in Rotorua in January of this year.
The bands exclusive sound comes from the soulful voice and epic riffage of Lukas Wharekura on lead vocals and guitar, complemented by the punchy bass from Shaun Loper and driven by the dynamic drums of Oliver Prendergast. The sound would not be complete without the bright and vibrant sound of Forrest Thorp’s trumpet and Liam Rolfe on trombone and vocals.
This well respected duo Julian Brady (guitar) and Margaret Umbers, aka Makareta (vocal & percussion), produce a polished and smooth sound which is perfect for Sunday afternoon listening or as a lovely complement to your evening. You’ll hear some smooth jazz, latin and soul numbers, which will have you singing along and tapping your feet, whilst the more serious jazz buffs will appreciate the duo’s accomplished musicianship. Bringing the duo to a trio is the hugely accomplished Matt Watson on brass.
Taylah & JayD are a dynamic duo who have a funky vibe. Although there are only two of them, they make a sound to get your toes tapping and hips moving. The vocalist, Taylah, has a strong soulful voice while the guitarist, JayD, adds groove with his intricate licks and riffs.
Performing songs from the 70’s through to modern pop, this duo is becoming increasingly popular in Northland.
Thelonious Punk plays the modern jazz of Sonny Rollins, Herbie Hancock, Miles Davis and the occasional Monk tune, in addition to original material and developing a free jazz improvisation style within their live set. During their five years, Thelonious Punk have regularly played at festivals and events throughout greater Northland.
Current core members are: Bevan O’Brien (drums), Warwick Smith (saxophone) Victoria Landgraf (bass guitar), Reuben Topzand (keyboard). We use other local jazz talent according to availability, and our performers’ ages range from 15 to 76!
RockSalad has been playing around Northland for the last nine years. They have performed at a range of functions from 21st birthdays, corporate celebrations to full outdoor festivals including last year’s Ocean and Orchard Festival. RockSalad is a six piece band of experienced musicians that over the years has gathered together a large repertoire of classic rock music. The driving rhythm section combined with intricate guitar work and soulful vocals is what gives RockSalad it’s distinctive tight sound.
Local singer/song-writer Matene Dixon is an impressive young talent opening this year’s event for us. She will perform a combination of covers and her own songs.