New Zealand/Pacific Islands
+44 (0)1377 219 901
Although based in Australia, the band's fusion music is inspired by the Pacific Islands, particularly the groups that comprise Tokelau,Tuvalu and Samoa, from whence the family of band leader Opetaia originally came. They were major influences on his upbringing and his songwriting. The Tokelauan community provided musical inspiration; every gathering was an opportunity for people to sing and dance, and this mood is sustained in the evocative spirit of the band. The addition of band members from many Islands in the South Pacific also helps to add flavours from all over Polynesia to the music and dance of Te Vaka.
Te Vaka is a group of musicians and dancers from Tokelau, Tuvalu, Samoa, Cook Islands and New Zealand brought together under the inspired leadership of Opetaia Foa'i. The group has been enchanting the world with their own brand of South Pacific Fusion since 1997. Using the rhythms of the log drum (pate), combined with traditional and contemporary instruments, Opetaia Foa'i and the band deliver a kaleidoscopic array of Pacific flavors in a genre all of it’s own.
Te Vaka has toured the UK, Europe, USA & other parts of the world extensively over the last 15 years, performing in such prestigious venues as London’s Royal Festival Hall and Ronnie Scott’s nightclub. The group has headlined music festivals throughout Europe and been favourites at WOMAD festivals around the world including the WOMAD Festival in Seattle, USA. They are in demand for many important world events and have represented New Zealand and the South Pacific with performances for the America’s cup events in Auckland, the Commonwealth games in Melbourne, the Rugby World Cup in Paris and the Olympic Games in Beijing, and many more such occasions.
Opetaia Foa’i is the songwriter/ lead vocalist of the group. The inspiration for his music comes from his multi-cultural upbringing - half Tokelauan, half Tuvaluan, born in Samoa and bought up in a Tokelauan community in New Zealand. Opetaia’s musical background spans both the traditional and the diverse influences of contemporary metropolitan culture. Described as “one of New Zealand’s finest songwriters” and “ a true son of the Pacific”, he won the Senior Pacific Artist award in 2005 for his contribution to the Pacific Arts.
Te Vaka has performed in 40 countries around the world and released seven internationally acclaimed albums to date. The first released in 1997 through ARC Music, a UK based record company, gained immediate worldwide success and recognition for the group and was distributed to over 80 countries. The second album, released in 1999 through Warm Earth Records created an even bigger impact going to number one on world music charts and on mainstream radio in the South Pacific. The third album, released in May 2002, was described as “Phenomenal” and gained the group a nomination in “Best Roots” category in the New Zealand music awards and nominations for BBC 3 World music awards in the UK. The 4th album Tutuki , entered the European World Music Charts at no. 4 & the USA Global Rhythm top 10 chart at No. 3. It won a Tui for “Best Pacific Music Album” in the New Zealand music awards as well as Songwriting Awards in both the USA and Australia. The fifth Te Vaka album Olatia, released in July 2007 entered the European World Music Chart at No. 4 and won a “Tui” for “Best Pacific Album” in the 2008 Pacific Music Awards. Sixth album “Haoloto” released in 2009, won 2 awards -“Best Pacific Group 2010” and Best Pacific language song” and 7th Album “Havili” released in 2011, is receiving rave reviews and international acclaim from all over the world.
Adastra, The Stables, Westwood House, Main Street, North Dalton, Driffield, E. Yorkshire, YO25 9XA, UK (+44) 0 1377 217662 (+44) 0 1377 217754