National Waiata Maori Music Awards - 2012 Finalists

August 13th 2012
An album produced as a tribute to the late Dr Hirini Melbourne is among the finalists at this year’s National Waiata Maori Music Awards.

The album He Rangi Paihuarere comprises melodies composed by songwriter, music educator and author Dr Melbourne, interpreted by established and emerging Maori musicians including Ria Hall, Maisey Rika and Te Awanui Reeder.

Dr Melbourne is credited with the revival of taonga puoro, or traditional Maori musical instruments and he encouraged the tuakana-taina (older-younger) mentoring in the music industry.

He Rangi Paihuarere is one of four album finalists in the Best Maori Traditional Album category along side Kirsten Te Rito (Kainga), Whirimako Black and Richard Nunns (Te More) and Nga Tae's self-titled album.

In total, 13 artists have been selected as finalists across eight categories and the winners will be announced at the Waiata Maori Music Awards ceremony at the Hawke's Bay Opera House in Hastings on the evening of Friday, September 14, 2012.

Former Nesian Mystik lead singer Te Awanui Reeder returns to the awards as a finalist, this time as a solo artist, in the Best Song By A Maori Artist (If Things Were Different) and Best Maori Songwriter categories.

First-time finalists include Melbourne-based artist, urban singer Jess Harlen and pop singer Seth Haapu as well as Hamilton's urban roots band Knights of the Dub Table.

Awards executive director Tama Huata said he was pleased with the caliber of artists and albums put forward to contest this year's titles.

"It is of a very high standard which demonstrates the value of the awards to providing a vehicle for Maori artists to promote their music.

"I am very happy to have a number of new artists this year along with some former finalists."

Mr Huata said being nominated at the Waiata Maori Music Awards exposes Maori artists to a wider audience, both nationally and internationally, through all the mediums of television, radio, magazine, internet and newspaper.

The awards ceremony will be recorded by Maori Television and produced for delayed broadcast this year. The ceremony will also be broadcast live by Radio Kahungunu to the nation-wide iwi radio station network.

"Radio stations, especially our iwi radio network, will have a major role to play when it comes to sharing the music of our finalists and promoting waiata Maori to their audiences."

This will be the fifth birthday for the Waiata Maori Music Awards and Mr Huata said there are plans to celebrate the milestone at this year's awards ceremony.

"The opening for this years awards show is a multimedia performance piece that portrays the voyage of our ancestors from the Pacific to Aotearoa."


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