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Saturday, 23 March 2019 02:16 am

Maori and Brazilian ‘chucked in a pot’ for Cuba Dupa festival

Mar 23rd, 2015 | By | Category: Editor's Picks, Latest News, Most Popular, News

THE HOOK: Matiu Te Huki is a Wellington musician and a performer in Tutakitaki, a collaboration of Maori and Brazilian music. IMAGE: Paddy Riley

THE HOOK: Matiu Te Huki is a Wellington musician and a performer in Tutakitaki, a collaboration of Maori and Brazilian music. IMAGE: Paddy Riley

MAORI and Brazilian music will be “chucked in a pot” and “blended” together for Tutakitaki, a music collaboration and project for Cuba Dupa festival this weekend.

Cuba Dupa is a street festival that will feature a range of acts and performing groups on Saturday and Sunday on Wellington’s historical Cuba Street.

Tutakitaki is one of the many acts involved in Cuba Dupa and features Wellington musicians and singers Matiu Te Huki and Alda Rezende.

Mr Te Huki, aka “The Hook”, believes making music is all about conveying a powerful message and creating a “hook” for the audience.

“I have a desire to make a difference and music is such a powerful way to make a difference,” he says.

He has been in the performance industry for most of his life, started in a Kapa Haka group as a child and in a band at 19. He has been writing and performing music for 10 years.

Performing in the kapa haka helped Mr Te Huki to gain more confidence to be on stage and gave him voice control and projection.

He says his music is a soulful root and reggae music made with the intention to uplift and inspire people.

“That’s a big part of how I like to perform. “

“I like to connect to my audience so that I’m not just putting on a show but it becomes an experience andrelaxes the audience and makes them feel comfortable,” the 42-year-old says.

If he is walking back to his campsite and he can hear people singing his melody, he knows the message got through to them.

Mr Te Huki, of Ngati Kahungunu and Ngati Rangitane iwi, has two older brothers, a Maori dad and a non-Maori mum. He is from Masterton but lives in Paekakariki.

“[My Mum] was the one who wanted use to learn about our Maori culture and she pushed me down the road with my music and performing,” he says.

He plays three Maori instruments – koauau, a flute, putorino, functions like a trumpet and a flute and the porotiti, which is spun on string to create a humming sound.

Ms Rezende, 47, likes to mix Brazilian, Maori and indigenous music together and says all three have very similar elements.

“I’m inspired by the Brazilian culture and the indigenous mixture of vocal music. I like to find new ways of creating things,” she says.

Ms Rezende is from Minas Gerais, the second most popular state of Brazil with a population of more than five million.

She has been performing music for more than 20 years.

She was one of the headline acts in the Wellington International Jazz Festival with a tribute to Brazilian composer Tom Jobim last year.

She is also the creator and host of Latin Club, a unique vibe of Latin music performances, held at Meow Café in Wellington.

Ms Rezende has a 10–year-old son Peo and has been in New Zealand for seven years.

The two Tutakitaki performances will be different due to the songs the group can play at the venues Te Papa’s Te Marae and the sound restrictions at Cuba Dupa.

“It will be quite challenging and interesting to play different songs at different locations,” she says.

Cuba Dupa artistic director Drew James says Tutakitaki is a very important event for them because of its national flavour and creativity across cultures.

“Cuba Dupa is about celebrating creativity and different cultures but it’s also about celebrating collaboration and presenting it to a wider audience,” he says.

Tutakitaki, which means encounter, will show Ms Rezende weaving her Brazilian music into Mr Te Huki’s songs. He says it’s like “chucking it into the pot and stirring it up”.

The concept of Tutakitaki is bringing the similar sounds of the different instruments and rhythms and “putting it in a blender”.

The trio have performed before at the Brazilian Embassy and the Maori Market last year.

Tutakitaki will be performed on Saturday March 28 at Cuba Dupa on the Glover Street stage at 6.45 to 7pm.

They will also perform on Sunday March 29 at Te Papa’s Te Marae at 2pm and at the Cuba Dupa after party at Meow Café at 6pm.

MIX IT UP: Brazilian singer Alda Rezende finds new ways of creating sounds when she blends rhythms and elements of music. IMAGE: Marcia Chamizon

MIX IT UP: Brazilian singer Alda Rezende finds new ways of creating sounds when she blends rhythms and elements of music. IMAGE: Marcia Chamizon

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