Walk A Mile In My Shoes

Press Release – New Zealand International Arts Festival

Funny, cheeky and uplifting, the songs and stories of five proud indigenous women are set to stir hearts and minds at their Wellington Town Hall gigs. Walk A Mile In My Shoes features the power and passion of the Barefoot Divas: Whirimako Black …

Walk A Mile In My Shoes - Whirimako Black (Māori), Emma Donovan (Aboriginal Australian), Merenia (Māori and Romany Gypsy), Ngaiire (Papua New Guinean) and Maisey Rika (Māori).

TOWN HALL GIGS

MUSIC: NZ/AUSTRALIA

Five fabulous women sing their truths

Funny, cheeky and uplifting, the songs and stories of five proud indigenous women are set to stir hearts and minds at their Wellington Town Hall gigs. Walk A Mile In My Shoes features the power and passion of the Barefoot Divas: Whirimako Black (Māori), Emma Donovan (Aboriginal Australian), Merenia (Māori and Romany Gypsy), Ngaiire (Papua New Guinean) and Maisey Rika (Māori).

Each a star in their own right, these women come together to form a potent vocal force that swings between reggae, roots, R&B and Latin-infused soul. More than just a marvellous musical collaboration, Walk A Mile In My Shoes is a telling and intimate experience of culture and storytelling in the lives of these inspiring musical artists. The commanding voices of the Divas are accompanied by a band of musicians from Chile, Peru, Greece and Australasia. Developed by writer Alana Valentine and New Zealand-born producer/director Vicki Gordon, Walk A Mile In My Shoes transcends borders and beliefs.

The Barefoot Divas mix spoken word and song in a concert that promises to be both inspirational and a little bit outrageous.

Whirimako Black has built up a loyal jazz and blues fan base with her distinctive sound and her use of traditional Māori musical forms and Te Reo Māori. She has performed throughout Aotearoa, Europe and Australia over the past decade.

Emma Donovan has established herself as one of Australia’s finest indigenous singer-songwriters. With the inclusion of her traditional Gumbaynggirr language in her songs, Emma is committed to educating the global community about Aboriginal culture and spirituality. She has performed internationally as a solo artist, and as part of the award-winning Black Arm Band.

Merenia is a multi-talented musician and singer-songwriter of Māori, Welsh and Romany heritage singing in five languages. A powerhouse performer on stage with instinctive vocal talents, Merenia tours extensively as a live performer and studio musician throughout Australia and Asia. Ngaiire spent a lot of her life living in the jungles of Papua New Guinea in a little grass hut with no electricity, television or internet. The Sydney-based indie soul singer’s eclectic sound draws from influences as diverse as Sarah Vaughan, Rufus Wainwright, Jeff Buckley and the enigmatic Erykah Badu.

Maisey Rika is a multi award-winning New Zealand singer-songwriter, whose strong Māori heritage and eclectic songs have rapidly earnt her a loyal following. Her mix of folk, acoustic and soul, combined with her effortless fusing of English and Te Reo Māori, produces a vibrant musical palette.

The 2012 Town Hall Gigs include music from Tinariwen (Mali), Barefoot Divas (New Zealand, Australia and international) with Walk A Mile In My Shoes, Bon Iver (USA), Sharon Shannon Big Band (Ireland) and Poncho Sanchez and his Latin Jazz Band (USA) with Cubano Be! Cubano Bop!

Barefoot Divas, Walk A Mile In My Shoes is at the Wellington Town Hall on 10 & 11 March for the 2012 New Zealand International Arts Festival, Wellington, 24 February – 18 March. Tickets $38 – $78 available from Ticketek.

Barefoot Divas, Walk A Mile In My Shoes is also part of Art on the Move and will be performed at Pataka Museum, Porirua on 8 March and Southward Theatre, Paraparaumu on 9 March. GA adult tickets $36, GA child tickets $15 available from Ticketek.

ENDS

With support from Australia Council, Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and Creative New Zealand

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