Luke Whaanga is known for his powerhouse voice and stage presence on all stages, big or small. You may remember him from his debut on New Zealand television screens in 2004 as a NZ Idol finalist or as the lead singer for hit singles Irie Music, Souljah Feeling and more recently his hit single Home/Ukaipo, a New Zealand anthem favourite and season theme song for the Warriors epic season last year.
Luke’s happy place will always be reggae roots but now as an independent artist, entertainer and songwriter is relishing the ability to try out other genres. His recent album “Home” draws from his life experiences and is a unique blend of roots reggae, soul, blues, funk and R&B.
Get ready to be mesmerized by Luke’s powerhouse notes at this year’s Lakeside.
If you’re a fan of soulful music, you won’t want to miss Whirimako Black’s performance at the Rotorua Lakeside Concert 2024. One of New Zealand’s most distinctive singers, Whirimako has carved out a musical pathway leading from the mists of the Urewera to the world.
With melodies caressed into shape by the language of her ancestors, Whirimako’s music is a beautiful fusion of tradition and modernity.
Whirimako has collaborated with numerous highly regarded musical artists. Her enviable list of awards wins and nominations include Best Māori Album, Best Jazz Album, and a Silver Scroll award for Best Māori Composition.
In 2006, Whirimako was made a member of the NZ Order of Merit (MNZM) for services to Māori Music, and she received an Arts Foundation Laureate Award in 2011. Her soulful voice and mesmerizing melodies have won her fans worldwide, and her unforgettable performance at the Rotorua Lakeside Concert 2024 promises to be no exception. Don’t miss your chance to experience the magic of Whirimako Black.
From being cradled as a baby in the arms of Roy Orbison, to performing a duet with Willie Nelson, you would think that Tami Neilson lived a country music fantasy life.
However, in between these monumental occurrences, The Neilson Family Band, with Tami’s parents, and two brothers, were having to busk in the streets of small town Ontario in order to put food on the table, performing gospel concerts to prisoners, and roaring down the Trans Canada Highway in an exploding RV on her way to open for Johnny Cash, which she managed to do, at 18 years old, in her pyjamas.
And then Tami left to start her own family on the other side of the world in New Zealand, where she now resides. Her busking chops served her well, as she took to the streets of Auckland looking for her big break. From open mic nights to clubs, to then headlining theatres and major festivals across New Zealand, Tami has now won almost every music award possible.
2022 now brings Tami’s 5th album, Kingmaker. Recorded at Neil Finn’s Roundhead Studios, Kingmaker was born of the pandemic. A moment when women were struggling. Frontline workers fighting for human lives. Essential services providers. Disproportionately affected by furlough: a “she-cession,” analysts termed it. Women put their dreams and careers on hold to care for their families and homeschool children. They mobilised online to bring awareness to domestic abuse and systemic inequalities. They marched in the streets for the lives of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor, and the remains of more than 1,700 indigenous children found in mass graves of former residential schools in Canada.
Bio: Supplied | Photo:
Aside from his music, Troy is also a well-respected actor, with notable roles in various Kiwi films, including Taika Waititi’s ‘Hunt for the Wilderpeople’. As a musician, Troy has released several award-winning albums, such as ‘Guitar Party at Uncles Bach’ and ‘Shake That Skinny Ass All the Way to Zygertron’. In 2020, Troy won the prestigious Taite Music Prize for his album ‘Holy Colony Burning Acres’. He is currently working on his 10 10 10 Series.
In addition to his successful career, Troy is also a mentor to young musicians, having served as a New Zealand Music Commission mentor since 2015.
Photo: Abe Mora
In addition to her impressive performance skills, Krissie is also known for creating and leading her own stage show, “Behind the door with Krissie Knap”, and for her role as lead cast for two seasons of “8 Scott Ave” the musical. She has performed at numerous events and festivals, including the Lakesides and the Seafood Festival.
Krissie is a proud supporter of Smear Your Mea events, promoting the late Talei Morrison’s anti-cancer message. Her education began at Otonga Primary and continued on to Rotorua Intermediate, Girls’ High, and Waiariki Polytech.
Nikau, of Te Arawa, Ngati Tuwharetoa, and Te Whānau a Apanui descent, has won over audiences with her powerful voice, captivating stage presence, and heartfelt lyrics.
Nikau’s songwriting skills have also gained recognition, with her song “Sunflower” winning the Best Lyrics award at the Regional Smokefree Rockquest.
Her song “Tōku Tuakiri” won her a Waiata Takitahi grant, and she has performed at several events, including the Lakeside Rotorua concert and the Howard Morrison Tribute Concert. Waiata Anthems is a group that supports her release and has created a short documentary about her waiata and journey to Te Reo Māori.
He’s the BIG man with the BIG voice and he’s become one of the most recognised entertainers in his homeland
of New Zealand. With credits that include Film, Stage, Radio & television get ready to be entertained.
“Literally the biggest soul voice ever to come out of New Zealand”
Please welcome – Russell Harrison.
A versatile musician with a long list of achievements, Antony began with piano, moved on to guitar and bass, and started singing with his first rock band at fifteen.
In 1988, he won the Wellington Choral Festival Award and the first-ever ‘N.Z. Rock Quest.’ He graduated from the CPIT Christchurch Jazz School in 1991 with a “Certificate in Jazz Performance”.
Following the success of corporate rock giant band “Kick,” Antony began a hectic schedule of studio and recording sessions with big names like McDonald’s, KFC, and Les Mills.
He is based in Christchurch, New Zealand, and has a busy schedule performing for corporate clients, private functions, weddings, and live events, with a long career of playing live in some of New Zealand’s best bars, restaurants, and hotels.
His versatility and talent make him a perfect addition to the Rotorua Lakeside Concert 2024 lineup of performers.
Eden is a talented singer-songwriter with years of experience. He draws his music inspiration from his whānau and life experiences. Eden first hit the stage as a teen at Smoke-Free Rock Quest, winning best song. He then had his own band in his 20s, with whom he toured Aotearoa. Now he’s on a solo journey writing and performing original music, which he has performed in front of King Tuheitia. Eden has been in the studio working on his first album, which he plans to release this year.
He quotes, “If you don’t give it a go, you’ll never gonna know”
Lavina Williams – Singer, songwriter and musical actress. She is the winner of the prestigious 2017 Benny Award – “Pacific Entertainment Award for Top Female Vocalist” in New Zealand.
Lavina’s career highlights started in 2004 Playing lead roles such as Shenzi, Rafiki and Sarabi in the world-renowned Broadway musical “The Lion King” in Australia, Germany and Singapore, came in 8th place in the Australian Idol 2006 Talent Show, then moved to Germany to write and produce music for Germany’s hit show “pop stars” while on a mini tour in France playing Deena Jones in the Dream Girls Musical.
She was also opening act for Ms.Tina Turner, played Motormouth Maybelle in Broadway’s hit musical “Hairspray” at Auckland’s Sky City Theatre, played the lead role “Deloris Van Cartier” in Sister Act Musical in NZ, vocal coach for the Top 13 contestants of Season 2 “The X-Factor” New Zealand. She is a Vocal/ Songwriting Mentor for NZMC travelling to Various Colleges around NZ.
She is the “Good Will Ambassador” for St. John Ambulance PNG and is now on her fifth year as Vocal coach, Judge, Creative Director and Manager of the biggest television show in the Pacific “Vocal Fusion” based in Papua New Guinea
*Lavina is the oldest of a super talented family, brother top of the charts NZ Music Artist J.Williams, sister Emily Williams 2nd place winner of 2005 Australian Idol, and
youngest sister chart topping artist RAZÉ winner of PMAs “Best female artist” “Best Soul and Rnb artist in 2019.
Rawiri has been honing his craft for years, and his music is a perfect blend of soulful melodies and infectious rhythms that will have you tapping your feet and swaying to the beat.
Whether you’re a fan of Rhythm and blues, soul or love great music, Rawiri Waru is a performer you won’t want to miss at the Rotorua Lakeside Concert 2024.
Zoe Hunter is a rising star in the New Zealand music scene. With her soulful voice and emotive lyrics, she’s sure to leave a lasting impression on the audience at the Rotorua Lakeside Concert 2024.
Zoe has accomplished some impressive feats in her music career. For instance, she has collaborated with Tiki Taane and Dillistrate for Waiata Anthems, performed at the Silver Scroll Awards alongside Marley Sola, and participated in Parris Goebel’s ‘Voice of Youth’ show at the 2020 World Expo in Dubai.
In addition to these achievements, Zoe has also been featured in other collaborations, such as ‘Anthem,’ which won the APRA 2022 Best Pacific Gospel Artist award. Currently, she is working on a new album with young creatives in ‘Thursday Collective’ from Mellow Studios.
Hannah Rees is a session vocalist and vocal tutor based in South Auckland. Her love for and dedication to her craft led Hannah from her hometown of Masterton to Hamilton, where she studied a Bachelor of Music and then on to New York, to experience and learn from the world of underground R&B’s finest. In 2012, Hannah returned to New Zealand where she established herself in Auckland to teach singing privately and at South Auckland High Schools. Here she shares her love for music and vocal technique expertise. Hannah has performed on numerous stages throughout New Zealand and around the world for a variety of events and festivals. She is very much looking forward to returning to Lakeside as a backing vocalist in 2024.
Anna Grahame (Te Rarawa) and her soulful sound has taken her around the world from London to Papua New Guinea, performing backing vocals with some of NZ’s most talented artists including TEEKS, Tami Neilson and Lavina Williams.
Nelson-bred Anna grew up on the stage, with regular performances in choirs, musical theatre productions and local events.
Now based in Auckland, Anna shares her love for music and harmony by performing at events including Coca Cola Christmas in the Park, Electric Avenue and in 2023, Lakeside Concert Rotorua! She looks forward to joining the stage again for Lakeside 2024.
With a career spanning over 20 years, Turanga Merito has established himself as a prominent figure in the entertainment industry.
He has played the lead role of Simba in Disney’s The Lion King across various cities in Australia and China, opened for Beyonce alongside Stan Walker, and served as the Vocal Coach for NZ’s X Factor Season One.
As the Head Choreographer for Coca-Cola’s Christmas in the Park since 2012, Turanga has been instrumental in bringing New Zealand’s dance community together to celebrate the festive season.
We warmly welcome Turanga to Rotorua Lakeside Concert 2024 ‘Re-Imagine’.
Dixon has become a sought-after artist with his vast experience performing with top musicians worldwide.
He has won the prestigious Tui award for Best NZ Jazz Artist 2020 for his first album as a leader, ‘The Edge of Chaos’, and his ‘Disney Guitar’ recordings have been streamed over 10 million times.
Dixon’s expertise in music has also landed him teaching positions at various universities, and The New Zealand Rockshop endorses him.
With Dixon as the Artistic Director, the Rotorua Lakeside Concert 2024 ‘Re-Imagine’ is set to be a memorable night.
Jonathan Tan is a trombonist and brass teacher based in Tamaki Makaurau. Jono completed a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Performance at the NZ School of Music and has worked with a number of notable Kiwi acts, including Auckland Jazz Orchestra, Rodger Fox Big Band, Katchafire, Aaradhna, Sons of Zion and Tahuna Breaks.
Steve Sherriff began playing music professionally at age sixteen, signing up to join the Royal New Zealand Navy Band in 1978. He received an excellent education in musicianship, clarinet and saxophone technique and bandstand etiquette. The jazz big band was an especially good ensemble in which Steve played lead alto for the better part of ten years. On departing the navy band, Steve started teaching and playing around the Auckland area. Over the years, he has played in many established jazz big bands, notably Rodger Fox and the Auckland Jazz Orchestra to name a few. Steve has contributed to smaller groups also, notably Bluetrain, a jazz funk five piece. It’s in this band that he began composing and contributed many tunes to the band’s albums. Bluetrain picked up a Tui at the NZ Music Awards for their album “No Free Lunch” back in 1997. These days, Steve fronts his own five-piece band, the SS5tet, performing recently at the Tauranga Jazz Festival in 2022.
The Black Quartet
Eclectic and diverse, The Black Quartet draw on their love and experience of a vast sea of musical influences from blues, rock, roots, folk, jazz and pop to create their own signature take on this classic ensemble. The quartet has featured in the WOMAD and Auckland Arts Festivals, and collaborates with international and NZ-based artists.
Huntly-born musician Andrew Hall is a performer, composer, arranger and producer based in Auckland. Proficient on Saxophone, Clarinet, Flute and Vocals. Sharing the stage with recognised artists including Eric Marienthal, Chris Thompson, Georgie Fame, Rodger Fox and Dave Matthews, Andrew has performed at festivals such as the Monterey Jazz Festival and Melbourne Fringe Festival.
Andrew leads his own band, Spiral Collective, composes, arranges and holds the chair of lead alto with the Auckland Jazz Orchestra, and is a session player around Auckland. He was formally a member of dDub on Saxophone and Trumpet, and Musical Director of the Hamilton Big Band. Andrew holds Bachelor of Music, and a PhD in Engineering specialising in Acoustic metamaterials.