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Thursday, December 31, 2020

Dave Dobbyn to be knighted

The 2020 New Year's Honours list includes Musician Dave Dobbyn, Epidemeologist Professor Michael Baker and  Pofessor Juliet Gerrard, the prime minister's chief science adviser. 

Dobbyn, with a career spanning 40 years, has been knighted for his services to music. This is his official entry:
"David Joseph (Dave) Dobbyn, ONZM, for services to music. Dobbyn received a record number of music awards and Silver Scrolls for his work across nine studio albums over a 40-year career.

Dobbyn came to prominence in 1979 with Th'Dudes, who undertook a reunion tour in 2006, and in the 1980s with DD Smash, before going solo.

He performed free concerts for residents of Matata after the floods, spent time at community centres following the Christchurch earthquakes, and has an ongoing connection to the families of the Pike River Mine tragedy after writing This Love in honour of the 29 men who lost their lives. In 2017, he recorded his anthem Welcome Home - Nau Mai Ra in te reo Māori. He was inducted into the New Zealand Music Hall of Fame in 2013."

The list also includes public health academic Cynthia Kiro, businessman and former television presenter Ian Taylor, Māori academic William Temara, economist Suzanne Snively, Māori academic leader Sir Mason Durie, and social scientist Dame Mary Anne Salmond.

Tony Randerson and Lyn Stevens QCs were appointed Companions of the New Zealand Order of Merit.

Randerson has chaired two government reviews into resource management in New Zealand.  Stevens headed 2016's inquiry into Havelock North's water contamination incident.

You can see the full list here:

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Merry Xmas, Groovers!

Thank you, Groovers for tuning in to us all year. And what a year it's been. Who'd thought the phrase 'turn your mic on' would ever apply outside the studio?

Anyway, we wish everyone around the country and the world a great Christmas 🎄 No matter how you celebrate it, in your bubble,  in isolation or in a crowd. 

Stay strong, Kia kaha. Blessing you all! 

Don't forget you can find us under 'tune in radio' app and online at 

Wednesday, December 09, 2020

Remember Whakaari today

At 2.11pm, it will be exactly one year since Whakaari/White Island erupted.

Of the 47 people on the island at the time, 22 were killed.

Nearly all were brought home eventually, except for two who remain missing: an Australian tourist Winona Langford and a loca tour guide Hayden Marshall-Inman.

Today, at 2.11PM, we remember everyone involved and thank all the first responders and medical staff who helped. And we salute their bravery. 

Whakataka te hau ki te uru
Whakataka te hau ki te tonga
Kia mākinakina ki uta
Kia mātaratara ki tai
E hī ake ana te atakura
He tio, he huka, he hau hū
Tīhei mauri ora!

Monday, November 30, 2020

Taranaki Arts Festival Trust will not present WOMAD NZ 2021 but there may still be a reprieve!

Photo by Mckenzie Jennings-Gruar

Two conflicting messages were release today from the teams behind WOMAD 2020.   The current organisers of WOMAD New Zealand, The Taranaki Arts Festival (TAFT) said in a press release today that it had little choice but to pull out of the upcoming 2021 event.  They said the decision was 'gut wrenching' but given that it stood to lose millions of dollars and risked being declared bankrupt if Covid-19 disrupted the festival. 

In their own accompanying statement WOMAD UK, which oversees the event internationally, however said it was pushing on with plans for a New Zealand festival in March, drawing on Kiwi talent. 

For two decades sounds from around the world have rung around the Bowl of Brooklands in New Plymouth, attracting tens of thousands of people from around the country to the three-day WOMAD festival. 

The Taranaki Arts Festival Trust (TAFT) has until now held the contract to put on the event, but, sadly this wont happen next year.  At a press conference Chief executive Suzanne Porter said there had been a difference of opinion between TAFT and WOMAD UK about the risk Covid-19 posed to events in New Zealand. 

"Our government will close things down," she said, "as we've just seen recently in Auckland with just two days' notice.  We analysed what that financial risk was, modelled it right through.  We could carry that risk through until about February and in February we start going over the $2 million mark and I need to be very clear here - TAFT carries the loss, so we couldn't take that risk." 

My Baby at WOMAD 2019 - Photo Tim Gruar

Suzanne also said it would only take Auckland going into lockdown for WOMAD to fall over completely. If that occurred in the final week leading into the festival the charitable trust's exposure would have been closer to $3.5 million. "We would be committed to paying the artists. They'd be in town. We'd be committed to paying for the hotel rooms because they'd be in the hotel rooms. Our site would be set up...we wouldn't be able to honour our debts which is not the way TAFT works. We are not people who would simply not pay our debts and close up shop, it's just not kaupapa." 

Porter said the trust had looked at every avenue and even made a plea to the government for it to underwrite the event.  Howver that was not successful. 

An so, she said in the press release "that really is the essence of the decision. It has been gut-wrenching. TAFT has been here since the beginning, it took risks, it took losses for a number of years.  We were happy to take a rest year in 2021 and come back in 2022 when hopefully our borders were open at least to some countries and promote the full WOMAD experience again." 

Although TAFT has recently had to let two full-time staff go and reduce contractors' hours they were not sitting on their hands and are already planning a new international event for 2022. 

So what of WOMAD?  WOMAD UK director Chris Smith, however, thinks that New Zealand's risk to Covid is much less than the UK and the rest of the world.  "We have looked at what is happening in New Zealand and certainly we can see there are a lot of events that are still happening and selling very well and there's clearly a demand.   The situation in New Zealand is very positive regarding the pandemic and the advice we received was that there was good reason to carry on." 

Reb Fountain -WOMAD 2020 - Photo Tim Gruar

According to their press statement WOMAD UK was now working with multinational concert producer Live Nation on the New Zealand event. 

Porter told Radio New Zealand today that she believed that TAFT had lost its hosting rights indefinitely.  She suspected that Live Nation had swooped in and would call for a multi-year deal in return for carrying the festival. 

Smith, however, says WOMAD UK was open to working with TAFT again.  The press release he issued today said WOMAD New Zealand 2021 would be different and feature an almost exclusively Kiwi line-up. "There's a very rich range of artists from different cultures resident in New Zealand playing creatively and to a high standard and that's the model we've developed in Australia and we are looking to use in Spain and the UK. So we're very much moving during this difficult period to actually trying to keep the spirit of the event alive and to keep the spirit of cultural exchange alive, but mining the resources that are within the countries we are working in." 

"Not surprisingly," he continued, "the format for 2021 will be somewhat different but will present the usual diverse programme of artists with all or most of them based in New Zealand.  This is possible because of New Zealand’s richly diverse population and cultural heritage."  

New Zealand, he said, has had fantastic and enviable success in controlling the pandemic, and whilst this means it’s all but impossible for artists to attend from overseas it means a a local all Kiwi WOMAD festival could go ahead in its place - "with all the features we know and love."   "By promoting WOMAD in New Plymouth for another year, we will be able to offer employment opportunities to many of our longstanding crew and supporters in the toughest of years for our industry, and to continue to support local business with a festival that injects millions of dollars into the economy in a region we now call home." 

So, Groovers.  Watch this space!

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Wellington Jazz Festival 2020 - Review

"Finally, after months of waiting, the rescheduled Wellington Jazz Festival kicked off on Wednesday 18 November. I was lucky enough to attend three flagship events while soaking up some of the awesome vibes from the ‘Coolest Little Capital’."  

Read on

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Wellington Jazz Festival

 The Wellington Jazz Festival wraps up today.  We took in some fantastic music including 4 new commissioned works from Kevin Field, Anita Schwabe, Riki Gooch and Blair Latham and the Noveltones.  There were gigs all over town but the most memorable were at St. Peters Church in Willis St. which  was converted into a magical Jazz club amongst the pews.

Over at the Opera House, Tom Scott's Avant Bowling Club rocked the show with a packed out gig.

Below are a few photographic highlights, taken by Festival photographer Stephen A'Court.

Monday, November 16, 2020

BENEE and the Beths score big at the Aotearoa Music Awards


For the second time this year, and the second year running, BENEE has cleaned up. After doing super well at the APRA awards earlier this year, she took home anothe four Tui at last night's Aotearoa Music Awards. 

Auckland alt-pop quartet The Beths  also scored big with three awards, including the much coveted 'Album of the Year' for 'Jump Rope Gazers'. Our own CoffeeBar Kid reviewed this for earlier this year and raved about it. He was right!

The Beths

Hot off a national tour and defying all the pain and frustrations Covid-19 has caused for local musicians,  BENEE scored a quinella, winning Best Solo Artist, Best Pop Artist, an International Achievement award, and Single of the Year for her smash hit ‘Superlonely’.

The Beths won deserving praise for their sophomore effort ollowing 'Jump Rope Gazers', released earlier this year scooping up a raft of accolades, including 'Album of the Year', 'Best Group', and 'Best Alternative Artist' - also for the second year in a row.

Jawsh 685

If you haven't heard of viral sensation Jawsh 685  you will now. He featured at Laneway earlier this year as the one to watch.  His track ‘Laxed – Siren Beat’ topped the charts globally and got reworked by Jason Durillo into the mega-smash 'Savage Love' charts globally. He’s the first Pasifika person, and only the third Kiwi ever get on the top of  the UK Singles Chart.
Jawsh took out 'Breakthrough Artist of the Year' and was the 'second recipient' of an 'International Achievement' award.

Mōhau, the supergroup collective (featuring some of our best;  Rob Ruha, Ria Hall, Troy Kingi, Bella Kalolo, Majic Paora, Kaaterama Pou, Ka Hao, and The Witch Doctor & Friends) received honours with two awards - Best Worship Artist and the Te Māngai Pāho Mana Reo Tui.

Winners of the 'Best Pacific Group' at the Pacific Music Awards earlier this year, hip hop duo Church & AP also took out 'Best Hip Hop Artist'.

Maimoa, who are a collective of ten young musicians, scooped the 'Best Māori Artist' gong for' Rongomaiwhiti'.

Lisa Tomlins (BV's on 'In The Air') poses with L.A.B's Roots Award

WOMAD heroes and summer festival fans L.A.B won 'Best Roots Artist'; Haz & Miloux picked up the tui for 'Best Soul/RnB Artist'; and 'City of Souls' grabbed 'Best Rock Artist'.

Here are all the Aotearoa Music Awards 2020 winners:

1. Te Pukaemi o te Tau | Album of the Year​

WINNER: The Beths - Jump Rope GazersL.A.B - L.A.B III
Nadia Reid - Out Of My Province
Reb Fountain - Reb Fountain
Six60 - Six60
Tami Neilson - Chickaboom!

2. Te Waiata Tōtahi o te Tau | Single of the Year​

WINNER: BENEE - ‘Supalonely’
Drax Project ft Six60 - ‘Catching Feelings’
Jawsh685 - ‘Savage Love’
L.A.B - ‘In The Air’
Six60 - ‘Please Don’t Go’
Troy Kingi - ‘All Your Ships Have Sailed

3. Te Roopu Toa | Best Group

WINNER: The Beths - Jump Rope Gazers 
L.A.B. - L.A.B. III
Miss June - Bad Luck Party
Six60 - Six60

4. Te Kaipuoro Takitahi Toa | Best Solo Artist​

WINNER: BENEE - Stella & SteveJessB - New Views
Nadia Reid - Out Of My Province
Reb Fountain - Reb Fountain

5. Te Kaituhura Puoro Toa o te Tau | Breakthrough Artist of the Year


6. Te Māngai Pāho Te Kaipuoro Māori Toa | Best Māori Artist

WINNER: Maimoa
Ria Hall
Stan Walker

7. Te Kaipuoro Arotini Toa | Best Pop Artist​


8. Te Kaipuoro Manohi Toa | Best Alternative Artist​

WINNER: The Beths Mermaidens
Reb Fountain

9. Te Kaipuoro Awe Toa | Best Soul/RnB Artist

WINNER: Haz & Miloux
Stan Walker

10. Te Kaipuoro Hipihope Toa | Best Hip Hop Artist

WINNER: Church & AP choice
Raiza Biza

11. Te Kaipuoro Taketake Toa | Best Roots Artist

Lomez Brown
Ria Hall

12. Te Māngai Pāho Mana Reo Award

WINNER: MōhauMaimoaSix60

13. Te Kaipuoro Tāhiko Toa | Best Electronic Artist

WINNER: Lee Mvtthews
State of Mind

14. Te Kaipuoro Rakapioi Toa | Best Rock Artist

WINNER: City of Souls

15. Te Kaipuoro Kairangi Toa | Best Worship Artist

WINNER: MōhauKane AdamsTe Rautini

16. Te Kaipuoro Inamata Toa | Best Classical Artist

WINNER: Andrew Beer & Sarah Watkins
Klara Kollektiv
Matthew Marshall

17. Te Kōwhiri o te Nuinga | People’s Choice Award


18. Tohu Whakareretanga | Recorded Music NZ Legacy Award

Johnny CooperMax Merritt
Peter Posa, Dinah Lee
The Chicks and Larry’s Rebels

19. Te Toa Hoko Teitei | Highest Selling Artist

Drax Project ft. Six60

20. Te Rikoata Marakerake o te Tau | NZ On Air Radio Airplay Record of the Year

Drax Project

21. Tohu Tutuki o te Ao | Recorded Music NZ International Achievement


Additional Tuis presented in 2019

22. Te Kaipuoro Taketake Toa | Best Folk Artist

Winner: Mel Parsons - Glass Heart
Victoria Vigenser & Lindsay Martin - The Gap
Paper Cranes - Voices

23. Te Pukaemi Toa o Te Moana Nui a Kiwa | Best Pacific Music Album

Winner: Olivia Foa’I - Candid
Church & AP - Teeth

24. Te Kaipuoro Tuawhenua Toa | Best Country Artist

Winner: Delaney Davidson & Barry Saunders - Word Gets Around
Katie Thompson - Bittersweet
Kendall Elise - Red Earth

25. Recorded Music NZ Te Kaipuoro Tautito Toa | Best Jazz Artist

Winner: Dixon Nacey - The Edge Of Chaos
ALCHEMY - ALCHEMYMichal Martyniuk - Resonate

26. Te Kaipuoro Waiata Tamariki Toa | Best Children’s Artist

Winner: Anika Moa - Songs For Bubbas 3
Captain Festus McBoyle
Chris Sanders

Friday, November 13, 2020

Wellington Jazz Festival is ready to go!

With less than a week to go until the Wellington Jazz Festival we're super excited to see Wellington enlivened with more than 100 gigs across the city! 

Don't know where to start with the programme? We've got some inspo for you, with tributes to the classics and jazz for the film buffs among us to world premieres. 

To get you in the mood check out this playlist.

Here are a few highlights you need to note:

World Premieres

If you haven't booked yet for our amazing Jazz Premiere Series, get in quick. Riki Gooch's Ngā Tuone has already sold out and we wouldn't want you to miss out on the others! These performances will all feature brand new compositions commissioned by the Festival from some of Aotearoa's top performers.

Read Tim Gruar's interview with Riki on this amazing project.

Book now for the time-travelling tunes of Karla and The Divide by Blair Latham and the Noveltones, which will feature visual accompaniment created live on the night. 

For a celebration of resilience and coming together in the face of adversity from pianist Kevin Field and NYC-based bassist Matt Penman, make sure to check out the Kevin Field Quintet

In a performance for all the senses, join Anita Schwabe for a composition that will transport you from Cuba Street to Otari-Wilton's Bush alongside artistic photography. 

Classic Album Make Overs

Ol' King Cole

An ode to the great drum-less trio of Nat King Cole, featuring Louis Thompson-Munn. The formidable Ol' King Cole was born out of a love of the great music of Nat King Cole's early drum-less trio, which was active 1943-1950. Humour and a lively sense of banter is the essence of what makes this band a great enjoyment to behold.

Sat 21 Nov, 4pm | Southern Cross Garden Bar and Restaurant

Festival Big Band Play Sinatra/Basie

The annual All Stars Big Band takes on two iconic albums; The Atomic Mr Basie and Sinatra at the Sands featuring rising vocal star Eugine Wolfin. The All Star Big Band is led by the incomparable John Rae on Drums along with Ben Wilcock playing the part of The Count on piano.

Thurs 19 Nov, 7:45pm | Meow

Rogue Classic Albums Live: Ella and Louis

Local singer Ella Dunbar-Wilcox presents Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong’s 1956 masterpiece Ella and Louis with full band as The Rogue and Vagabond hosts five nights of classic albums played live by top local musicians.

Fri 20 Nov, 7pm | The Rogue and Vagabond

Jazz On Film

The Vincent Vega Four

 Hard-hitting mix of surf, soul & rock'n'roll.  These real pipe-hittin' muthas plus Wellington's very own soul diva Lisa Tomlins bring a raucous mix of Tarantino tunes. Grab your hunny bunny and bring out the gimp for a night of banging awesomeness full of great vengeance and furious anger!

Also featuring Chris Armour on guitar, Nick Lissette on bass and Richard TeOne on drums.

Fri 20 Nov, 10:30pm |  Hashigo Zake

Pandora's Box (Germany - 1929)

Jazz-age cinema classic with live improvised accompaniment.  The iconic Louise Brooks stars as free-spirited Lulu in G.W. Pabst's bold, lurid, dazzlingly ahead-of-its-time journey through the eroticism and desperation of Weimar Berlin. Long hailed as a silent masterpiece, Pandora's Box is now brought to you with a live-in-the-room musical score from Leonardo Coghini on suitably period keys and Frank Talbot on slinkily sexy sax!

Sun 22 Nov, 7pm | Hashigo Zake

Callum Allardice's Cinematic Light Orchestra

An Arthur Street Loft Orchestra special: new works for jazz orchestra inspired by music for film.

In 2016 Callum Allardice’s "Sons of Thunder" (from The Jac’s 2015 album The Green Hour) won the inaugural APRA Best Jazz Composition Award at the NZ Jazz Awards. He won it again the following year with "Deep Thought" from the 2018 Antipodes album Good Winter, and in 2019 was a finalist for his piece "Chungin."

Fri 20 Nov, 10pm | The Third Eye

Sunday, November 08, 2020

Former NZIFF Director Bill Gosden Dies

We at Groove champion unique heroes in the arts world.  Bill was like no other.  From his earliest days as a Director, he chose films that we'd never considered or heard of.  Taika Waititi, Gaylene Preston and many other Kiwi directors owe him their very lives as film makers for promoting their work and flying their flags.  He really did make the NZIFF what it was and we have spent many hours in the dark enjoying the great movies he personally selected and curated for us - especially, Groovers, those that featured musicians.  We can not express how deep our sadness is for losing Bill.  May he rest in peace.  Aroha a nui to all his friends and whanau.   

We received this note from the NZIFF yesterday:  

The New Zealand International Film Festival is deeply saddened at the passing of former Director Bill Gosden (ONZM). Bill died peacefully early yesterday (Friday 6 November), five days shy of his 67th birthday.

Bill helmed the film festival for almost 40 years before retiring last year due to ill health. His promotion of, and commitment to, New Zealand film and filmmakers is one of his enduring legacies.

New Zealand Film Festival Trust Chair Catherine Fitzgerald said Bill’s contribution to New Zealand’s film culture through film festivals is indelible. “Bill lived and breathed film from his earliest years, working tirelessly to create a demand from New Zealand audiences for the highest quality films from around the world.”

Film Festival Director Marten Rabarts said the news of Bill’s passing was a sad day for the film industry in New Zealand and worldwide. “The film festival and film community in New Zealand owes Bill a huge debt of gratitude for the decades of work and passion he committed to develop and champion a world-class festival experience for audiences and filmmakers alike.”

The New Zealand Film Festival Trust and the New Zealand International Film Festival extend their condolences to Bill’s wide circle of friends, family and colleagues. 


Q & A with Blair Latham

They often say that music is the universal language, that it has a special power and place in society, but can jazz take you back in time? For the upcoming Wellington Jazz Festival musician Blair Latham has created Karla and the Divide is a two-part suite of original music that will envelop the audience in the highs and lows of the modern day, presented by the chamber jazz group The Noveltones. Portrayed through sound and visuals created live on the night, this experience will unsettle yet exhilarate. 

To find out more about this exciting project, the CoffeeBar Kid, obeying all the conditions of Level 2, emailed Blair to find out more:

Kia ora, Blair, welcome to the hot seat. Tell me a little about yourself?   

"I'm a professional musician of over 20 years experience, born and bred in Wellington. 
I went through jazz school studying jazz saxophone plus composition and arranging, then like many others went overseas to get some flying time in various musical groupings and styles in the US and eventually in Mexico.  I've been back in Wellington for about six or so years, enjoying the energy that emanates from our live music scene."      

Have you always been a bass clarinet player?   

"No, I started playing Bass Clarinet after forming an all sax trio around 2003, but had always admired it from afar as I was and am a big fan of Eric Dolphy, probably the best bass clarinetist in jazz that has ever touched foot on our planet."     

Tell me about your youngest memory with music and what inspired you to be a musician? 

"Like many others my earliest memory of music was from playing the recorder, in this instance with my Mum on my parents bed (she is a trained teacher so had that skill set there). An inspiration to really delve deep into music and it's possibilities was from listening to John Coltrane's Impression (live in '65) and feeling drawn to the message he seemed to be transmitting." 

We all agree that the Covid-19 lockdown has been a pretty tough time for musicians. What have you been up to? What have you learned about yourself? 

"It was definitely hard, I've learned that my main goal is to play live music to people in the same room. Like many of us I was involved in remote musical projects, and taking a bit of time to relax in the evenings for a change."        

Let's talk about the Noveltones, your partners in crime for the Jazz Festival.  Tell me about soprano saxophonist Jasmine Lovell-Smith, bassist Tom Callwood and violinist Tristan Carter. How did you get together?  

"I've known Tom since I was 13, he and I learnt music together through the years. Noveltones really is Jasmine's project that she started a few years ago, and I am very happy that I was able to nab the Bass Clarinet chair as it's an exciting and unique group."

You mentioned time in Mexico earlier. What did you learn about music there and how does it influence your work?

"Mexico really is something else, and is a daily lesson just being there. Musically I learnt that music is as important to humans as food. Over there that seems to be accepted more as the norm than here. A big part of my family is Mexican, so everything I do is touched by Mexico's history, culture and present."     

Karla and The Divide is a two part suite – tell me about it. What will the audience hear? 

"It's definitely a cliche but I do try to tell a story with the music that I put together, so people can expect to hear something that could take them for a ride, if they're willing to give it a chance. There'll be many, many moods to traverse.   I believe there are visuals, too. What will we see and how do they work with the music? I'm in for a surprise as much as anyone else. Andy Wright creates beautiful images, but for this he has taken his own path based upon the sounds that we've created and sent to him, so we'll see!"

Karla and the Divide by Blair Latham: Wednesday 18 November 8PM @ St. Peters 

Blair Latham (Bass Clarinet) 
Tristan Carter (Violin) 
Jasmine Lovell-Smith (Soprano Sax) 
Tom Callwood (Upright Bass) 
Dan Beban (Sound Effects) 
Andy Wright (Visual Effects)

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Winners of the 2020 APRA Silver Scroll Awards Announced

Stella Bennett (Benee), Joshua Fountain, and Djeisan Suskov have won the 2020 APRA Silver Scroll Award for their hit song Glitter (published by Sony/ATV Publishing and Universal Music Publishing).

Following on from Soaked in 2019, this is the second consecutive nomination for the trio of songwriters and Stella Bennett was thrilled to win the Silver Scroll for the first time.

“This is nuts. Thank you very much. This is crazy. I just want to say to all the other finalists, you guys are insane.

 “Thank you so much to everyone who has listened to my music and supported the music that I’m making and the kind of music that I want to be making…the support that I’ve received over the past couple of years now has been insane, and I feel like everyone in New Zealand is so welcoming and supportive of new artists, which I think is very important, and it’s been a very great time for me, so thank you very much.”

Bennett and Fountain have worked together since Benee’s 2017 debut single Lonely Guy, through to the chart dominating Supalonely and have now teamed up with Suskov on the double platinum hit Soaked, as well as Glitter and a number of other hits that have seen Benee become a worldwide phenomenon. Suskov and Fountain have also found success with their laid-back pop group Leisure, and Fountain winning the Tui for Best Producer in 2019.


The Silver Scroll Award, which is voted for by APRA members, is a delightful acknowledgment from Bennett, Fountain, and Suskov’s fellow songwriters on the impact their songwriting has. It recognises their memorable work on Glitter, and will see their names engraved alongside other Aotearoa musical luminaries like Aldous Harding, Marlon Williams, Bic Runga, Ruban and Kody Nielson, Scribe and P Money, Chris Knox, Dave Dobbyn, and Shona Laing.


Fur Patrol pop punk star turned folk songstress Julia Deans was the music director of tonight’s 55th APRA Silver Scroll ceremony, which saw a host of other Aotearoa songwriters collect awards.

Rob Ruha was presented with the APRA Maioha Award. The APRA Maioha Award recognises exceptional waiata featuring te reo Māori, and the Ruha was celebrated for his song Ka Mānu.


Rob Ruha (Te Whānau a Apanui, Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Rongowhakaata, Tainui, Te Arawa, Ngā Ariki-kaipūtahi, Ngā Puhi) has been a finalist multiple times, and also won the Maioha Award first in 2014, and again in 2016. The winning song Ka Mānu is a waiata written in response to the dispute around Ihumātao, speaking of unity and peaceful resistance, and highlighting the issues of oppression for indigenous people around the world. In continuing the theme of unity, the song brings together musicians from across Aotearoa for a stirring performance full of aroha and hope.


Wellington composer Michael Norris won the SOUNZ Contemporary Award – Te Tohu Auaha for the fourth time for his latest composition, Mātauranga (Rerenga). He previously won in 2014 for Inner Phases, 2018 for Sygyt, and 2019 for Sama Violin Concerto.


Commissioned by the NZSO, Michael Norris’ Mātauranga (Rerenga) is a work for orchestra, taonga puoro and live electronics which reflects on Captain Cook’s first voyage to the South Pacific and his arrival in Aotearoa. Norris (who has been a finalist six times and won the award three times) recognised the many issues surrounding Cook's arrival in New Zealand, and the piece is not so much a celebration as an evocation of a moment in time.


Karl Steven won Best Original Music in a Feature Film for his score on the cult-horror film Come To Daddy. This was his third Screen Award win at the Silver Scrolls and seventh nomination and his work on Come To Daddy has been applauded for its characterful chamber orchestra score which balances intrigue, knife-edge tension, and mayhem, enhancing the unpredictable storyline that unfolds as a son reunites with his estranged father in a remote location.


And David Long (also a former finalist and winner), took home Best Original Music in a Series for his work on the sumptuous international co-production The Luminaries (published by Native Tongue Music Publishing). Based on Eleanor Catton’s acclaimed historical novel, the series unravels an incredible tale of star-crossed love bound up in a gold-rush mystery, and Long’s score carefully intertwines the spiritual with the gritty, building drama while also delineating the many characters who cross paths.


This year amidst the uncertainties of COVID-19, APRA made the decision to move the awards ceremony to an online streaming platform for the first time in what was an incredible opportunity to capture the much-treasured performances of each Scroll nominee in a studio environment.


This year’s cover performances included:

- Benee, Glitter – performed by Delaney Davidson and The All Girl Big Band

- Troy Kingi, Mighty Invader – performed by Alien Weaponry

- Nadia Reid, Get The Devil Out – performed by Neil MacLeod

- Reb Fountain, Don’t You Know Who I Am – performed by Disciple Pati

- L.A.B., In The Air – performed by Mousey

- Michael Norris, Mātauranga (Rerenga) – performed by Sam Trevethick, Darren Matthiassen, and Nick Robinson (members of Shapeshifter) with Tiki Taane

- Rob Ruha, Ka Mānu – performed by Tomorrow People


The ceremony also included a very special performance of the Weta song Calling On performed by Julia Deans, Anika Moa, Anna Coddington, Hollie Smith, Lauren Barus and Natalia Sheppard in tribute to Aaron Tokona and in memoriam to members of the music community who were lost this year.


The night was rounded off with a tribute to Max Merritt, with an ensemble performance of his soulful classic Slipping Away, by all 2020 Silver Scroll performers around Aotearoa, and led by Marlon Williams.

The winners of all awards were:

- APRA Silver Scroll Award: Stella Bennett, Joshua Fountain and Djeisan Suskov – Glitter – performed by Benee (published by Sony/ATV Publishing and Universal Music Publishing)

- APRA Maioha Award: Rob Ruha – Ka Mānu

- SOUNZ Contemporary Award – Te Tohu Auaha: Michael Norris – Mātauranga (Rerenga)

- APRA Best Original Music in a Feature Film Award: Karl Steven – Come To Daddy

- APRA Best Original Music in a Series Award: David Long – The Luminaries (published by Native Tongue Music Publishing)

The awards are proudly supported by NZ On Air and Te Māngai Pāho

For more info: APRA Website


Sunday, October 25, 2020

Six pioneering Rock'n'Roll legends are to be inducted into the NZ Music Hall of Fame

Johnny Cooper, Max Merritt, Peter Posa, Dinah Lee, The Chicks and Larry’s Rebels will be inducted into the NZ Music Hall of Fame at the Aotearoa Music Awards on 15 November.

Johnny Cooper recorded the first home grown Kiwi Rock'n'Roll record 65 years ago with his self-penned track ‘Pie Cart Rock ‘n’ Roll’.

The hardest working man in rock, Max Merritt who became a local legend and a spokesperson for the new music generation. Max and The Meteors toured and played on singles by their fellow Cantabrian, and our most successful female artist of the 60’s (both here and in Australia), the ‘Queen of the Mods’ Dinah Lee.  She is the most successful New Zealand female pop artist of the 1960s and one of the shiniest stars to emerge from the pool of talent in this small nation. A child of the south, Christchurch raised and launched her, and the ties remain strong, but work was the imperative and it took her away (see her bio at

With C'Mon and other great TV shows and on local stages Dinah joined guitar impresario Peter Posa, whose albums of instrumental guitar inspired a whole generation of players and sold by the truckload all over the world. There is a really good interview with the late Peter Posa at:

It turns out that Peter Posa discovered sisters, Suzanne and Judy Donaldson, and their up-tempo harmonies, and grabbed them to go on tour, making them household names - as The Chicks.  Check out their two part interview at

Finally, we had our own answer to the Beatles and The Rolling Stones, just in time for moptop fever -  Larry’s Rebels were perfect for the time with the swagger of Jagger and the growl of the Animals to set teen hearts a'flutter with their wild live shows.  See the 2 part interview at:

Sadly, this year’s inductions are bittersweet, with Johnny Cooper, Max Merritt and Peter Posa no longer with us.  Presented by NZ Music Hall of Fame Trust, the inductions are undertaken in a private ceremony whereupon inductees are gifted a tapu taonga, in accordance with tikanga Māori.

All six artists inducted this year will be acknowledged with video tributes and live performances at the 2020 Aotearoa Music Awards, which take place in Auckland on November 15.

The event will be broadcast live on The Edge TV from 7pm and continue on Three from 8.30pm. The entire broadcast will be streamed on ThreeNow.

You can check it all out at:

You can check out full bios at:

Saturday, October 17, 2020

NZ General Election

 Preliminary Results - 98.8% of votes counted:

Labour: 49.0%

National: 26.8%

Act: 8.0%

Green: 7.6%

NZ First: 2.7%

NCP: 1.5%

Congratulations to Jacinda and the Labour team for winning the Election with the biggest majority for Labour since 1938!

Friday, October 16, 2020

Fat Freddie's Drop get Locked-In (New Album)

Fat Freddy's Drop present the Lock-In album, a sonic moment in time as the band jam conscious songs of freedom and hope for a generation.
The studio session was captured at the iconic Michael Fowler Centre in the band’s hometown of Wellington during the pandemic lockdown. Devoid of audience, it’s a reflection of the surreal times that have halted tour life in 2020. 
The Lock-In release is Freddy’s way of giving back to fans worldwide. The band re-located their BAYS studio to the MFC and set up in a circle on the MFC stage for the recording, providing a unique space to jam slow burn classics such as ‘Soldier’, ‘Hope’ and ‘This Room’ as well as test drive ‘Avengers’ a brand new track in the making. The other tracks recorded are 'Special Edition', ‘Six-Eight' ‘OneFourteen’ and 'Trickle Down’ from ‘Special Edition Part 1’ the band’s most recent album.
The crisp multi-track production was recorded by Western Audio, remixed by DJ Fitchie, Freddy’s beat master and producer back at Freddy’s BAYS studio and shipped for final mastering at Calyx studio in Berlin. 
The LOCK-IN session melds Freddy’s fastidious studio chops and love of freewheeling jams with a tautness that comes from 21 years in the business and a reputation as one of the finest live draws in the world. Fat Freddy’s Drop ‘LOCK-IN’ will be accompanied by an online video of the jam session, adding another dynamic dimension to the special documentation. ‘Lock-In’ sit back, relax and enjoy the show.
The album is currently on most digital platforms. Vinyl will be available soon. 

Sunday, October 11, 2020

Julie Lamb Launches New Album

At exactly 20:20 10/10/2020 the Julie Lamb Outfit released their new album 'How Humans Think' at the Eva Beva in Wellington. 

A packed crowd jammed in to enjoy some funk and good vibes and celebrate along with this very dynamic 8 piece band.
Photos below taken by Tim Gruar










And here's the single, 'Hair Power'

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

The Wellington Jazz Festival is ON! 18-22 November 2020

You may have noticed our cool little Capital coming back to life over the last two weeks.  As we come out of Lockdown our music festivals are also waking up. 

 The annual Wellington Jazz Festival is the highlight of Aotearoa’s mid-winter music calendar, featuring some of the finest musicians from across New Zealand and around the globe. For 2020, the Festival has reshaped its planned programme, shifted to spring and is putting all its resources into the sounds and talents of Aotearoa NZ. Jazz aficionados and intrepid newcomers can explore more than 100 gigs across the city, with five days to #lovelocal, spreading the magic of jazz throughout the capital’s streets, cafes, bars and live music venues. 

The festival features a whole range of artists including award winning performers like Kevin Field, Avantdale Bowling Club, Anita Schwabe and Rikki Gooch.  More artists and events are being announced all the time so watch this space! 

For gigs and bookings go to

Thursday, September 17, 2020

This just in: Laneway 2021 Canceled

From the Laneway Festival folks:

"After much deliberation, we are very disappointed to announce that Laneway Festival Auckland will not be taking place in Summer 2021. The current circumstances surrounding border closures and the unpredictability of future Covid-19 outbreaks have created an extremely tough environment for festivals.

We take pride in delivering an absolutely premium event year after year but in these conditions we do not believe we can operate to our full capabilities. We have decided that it would be best to take a year off so that we're in a strong position to come back bigger and better than ever.

Sending our love and support to all our loyal crew and suppliers who we hope to see again, along with all the punters, in summer 2022.

Keep an eye on our socials for an update on Laneway Festival's Australian events in the coming months."

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Record Store Day 2020

Sure Covid has hit us all hard but when the opportunity arises music lovers grab the opportunity to celebrate. Under level 2/3 conditions NZ will be buying up large on the vinyl.

Whether bands will be playing in store is yet to be determined. We'll let you know what our friends at Slowboat and Rough Peel are up to. So stay tuned in.

In the meantime check out the world wide releases here

Saturday, August 22, 2020

Top Five Silver Scroll Nominees Announced today!

The top five nominations for the APRA 2020 Silver Scroll songwriting award have been decided. 
The Silver Scroll Award recognises excellence in songwriting.  

They are: Reb Fountain - ‘Don’t You Know Who I Am’, written by Reb Fountain Nadia Reid - ‘Get The Devil Out’, written by Nadia Reid BENEE - ‘Glitter’, written by Stella Bennett, Joshua Fountain and Djesian Suskov L.A.B. - ‘In The Air’, written by Ara Adams-Tamatea, Brad Kora, Stu Kora, Joel Shadbolt, and Miharo Gregory Troy Kingi - ‘Mighty Invader’, written by Troy Kingi. 

The top five Silver Scroll song nominations were voted on by members of APRA (the Australasian Performing Rights Association), which represents songwriters in New Zealand. They chose from a long list of 20 songs, which was compiled from more than 200 entries by a judging panel of 10 songwriters. 

The APRA Silver Scroll Award will (hopefully, Covid-willing) be presented at the Auckland Town Hall on Wednesday 14 October.  That award will be one of five awards, which includes the APRA Maioha Award (celebrating exceptional waiata featuring te reo);  SOUNZ Contemporary Award (which honours contemporary compositions); the APRA Best Original Music in a Feature Film Award and the APRA Best Original Music in a Series Award.   

Reb Fountain
Photo by Tim Gruar

Reb Fountain - ‘Don’t You Know Who I Am’ 

Reb’s been in the Aotearoa music scene for many years, but the release of her third, self-titled album earlier this year has seen her sultry voice and alt-folk sensibilities reach a whole new audience. ‘Don’t You Know Who I Am’ is an intimate, but bold ballad, that explores identity, and calls on the listener to “dig deep, wake up, open your eyes and beat your own drum.” - according to Reb Fountain. 

Photo by Tim Gruar

Nadia Reid - 'Get The Devil Out’ 

Nadia was in the Scrolls the top five in 2017 for her song ‘Richard’. This year it’s for ‘Get The Devil Out’ from her third album Out Of My Province. The song covers past and present selves, looking for reconciliation. 

Benee - ‘Glitter’ 

Last year that Stella Bennett (Benee) along with co-writers Djeisan Suskov and Josh Fountain, took out a top five spot with their track ‘Soaked’. This year they are back with ‘Glitter’ from Benee’s 2019 EP Fire on Marzz, which saw huge international success. ‘Glitter’ is an easy-going pop-ode to the people you still want to party with after everyone else has left. The song pairs Benee’s mischievous and husky voice with the sunny, confident sound of Josh and Djeisan’s production to create a mellow post-party vibe. 


L.A.B. - ‘In the Air’ In March 

L.A.B became the first local independent act to have a song hit #1 in NZ since 2012, spending three weeks at the top. A laid-back reggae and blues groove, ‘In The Air’ showcases L.A.B’s talent for a catchy melody. Combining vocalist Joel Shadbolt’s crooner skills with guest vocalist, and our very good friend,  Lisa Tomlins.  The song is a real good vibe, slow-burned with heaps of nostalgic love song feels to it.  The real success of it is down to the super-tight instrumental interplay between Brad Kora (drums), Stu Kora (guitar, keys), Ara Adams-Tamatea (bass), and Miharo Gregory (keys). 

Troy Kingi
Photo by Tim Gruar

Troy Kingi - ‘Mighty Invader’ 

 In 2018, Troy Kingi was a finalist for his song ‘Aztechknowledgey’, and this year he’s back with ‘Mighty Invader’, from his 2019 reggae album Holy Colony Burning Acres. The song explores the painful legacy of colonisation, providing a visceral picture of Captain Cook’s arrival in the Pacific, and the oppression of indigenous people that followed. Marika Hodgson’s wonderfully melodic bass lines, and rousing horns from Guy Harrison are woven into Troy’s smooth vocals.

For the whole store check it out here:

Saturday, August 15, 2020

Avantdale Bowling Club to headline the 2020 Wellington Jazz Festival

West Auckland rapper and hip hop artist Tom Scott will bring his “stunning” (NPR) genre-pushing jazz, hip-hop project Avantdale Bowling Club to Wellington for “an incredible journey of jazz, rap, soul, and spoken word” (Radio13) at the Opera House on Saturday 21 November. 

Joined by some of the country’s top musicians, Scott’s “turn-on-a-pin rhythmic cadence” (Metromag) and his “brutally honest, startlingly raw” lyrics (NZ Herald) promise one of the best nights of live music you’ll experience this year. 

In 2019, his first album under the moniker Avantdale Bowling Club saw Scott win the Taite Music PrizeAlbum of the Year and Hip-hop Artist awards at the New Zealand Music Awards, as well as being named a finalist at the Silver Scrolls for the song Years Gone By. 

Influenced by the likes of Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Pharoah Sanders and Alice Coltrane, Scott describes his latest album as “a self-help book addressed to myself” that was four years in the making.   

Avantdale Bowling Club’s genre isn’t easy to pin down. Typically irreverent, Scott’s Spotify profile for the project calls it “irrelevant jazz from an island nation off the coast of Antarctica.”   

“The album’s about home and its inhabitants, with all their inadequacies and complexities. It’s about finding peace in the little piece of land you stand on,” he says. 

Scott first emerged in 2007 with Home Brew, a band that still performs live. His other projects – Average Rap Band@Peace, a new Average Man collaboration and his new label ‘Years Gone By’, ensure that he continues to influence a generation of young rappers and push boundaries across genres. 

Scott has been hard at work on ABC 2, so the Wellington Jazz Festival audience is likely to hear new material from his stellar ensemble including Tonga Vaea (vocals/keys/trumpet), Guy Harrison (keys/trumpet), JY Lee (saxophone), Ben Turua (upright bass/bass guitar) and Julien Dyne (drums). 

Wellington Jazz Festival Creative Director Marnie Karmelita says she is looking forward to Wellington Jazz Festival audiences experiencing the incredible ensemble for themselves.  

“Surrounding himself with some of the best jazz musicians in the country, Tom Scott’s latest project has been recognised for its innovation and sheer brilliance. I’m thrilled we were still able to secure them for the rescheduled Wellington Jazz Festival in November this year in a completely New Zealand focused programme.” 

Tickets for Avantdale Bowling Club will be on public sale from 1 September on Ticketmaster. There will be a Culture Club supporters pre-sale from 25 August. Head here to join and find out more.

Keep an eye out for further programme updates over the coming weeks.