Emeralds And GreenstoneConcert In The Great Hall - 30 April, by Hamish Wilson.
The ambitious project was the last in the "Jazz For Lunch" series , part of the Montana Jazz Festival 2006. The concept of this concert was to combine Maori and Celtic musical styles and traditions over a thread of the big issues of birth, life and death. It was never less than serious and the five musicians involved delivered a seamless performance in English, Maori, Gaelic and universal music.
Ariana Tikao and Laura Tomlin (also on flute) led the vocals, assisted by Argene Montgomery-Honger presenting traditional and original songs. Argene played whistle and bodhran, while the main underpinning was sparkling jazz-style guitar from Hanafi Machirus and the familiar richness of Jon Hooker's fingerstyle guitar.
Powerful songs, fine vocals and beautiful blending of voices and instruments made for a memorable concert; and they made it seem so easy! Ariana and Laura sang Ehoa from the Paunamu album as an encore and left a near-full house very content.
This lineup is planning a concert at the Harbour Light, probably in July.
Look out for it!