During Summer in Auckland the City hosts a number of free music gigs in our fabulous parks – click here for details … http://www.aucklandcity.govt.nz/whatson/events/mips/default.asp. On Saturday in a very spontaneous and unrehearsed fashion a friend and I dashed off to the newly refurbished Domain Wintergarden http://www.aucklandcity.govt.nz/whatson/places/parks/domain.asp#wintergardens to hear the Dame Malvina Major Emerging Artists in a two hour delight of Puccini, Verdi, Donizetti, Mozart and others. There was also an opportunity to sign up to NBR New Zealand Opera’s http://www.nzopera.com/ mailing list which I did too – their two operas this year look to be spectaular, plus there’s a couple of bonus gigs to look forward to. Watch this space!
One of the cool things about being in Auckland in the summertime is that there are so many fun things to do. This is a novel one – an evening at the zoo chilling out to your favourite local sounds and helping conservation at the same time – brilliant! http://www.aucklandzoo.co.nz/events/index.php?PHPSESSID=b55df8a4779a84496d70d46f7348af0c … at $25/person or $60 for a family pass it’s a great evening’s entertainment. Might just have to rustle up some friends and head on out to hear Greg Johnson or Nathan Haines doing their thing for some of the vital conservation projects happening around the world. Also, if you scroll down the linked page a bit further Auckland Zoo has a bunch of other neat ideas for entertaining family and friends thru’ the summer – how about checking out the Kiwis on Waitangi Day, sharing the sunset on Valentines Day or going on a Night Safari? Magic!
New Zealand produces some of the most distinctive music and, while the artists may hail from across the land, Auckland’s music scene is invariably the springboard that flips them into the international arena.
Fat Freddy’s Drop and Brooke Fraser (Wellington), Tim and Neil Finn (the Waikato), The Datsuns (Cambridge) and Bic Runga (Christchurch) represent some of the best talent currently touring the world and performing locally. Together with some longer standing New Zealand greats like Shihad (touring NZ with The Datsuns this summer), Crowded House (with Neil Finn making up the 33% Kiwi content), the dub-reggae-funk outfit The Black Seeds, Breaks Co-Op and power popsters Elemeno P, these acts are taking on the world. Check them out at your local music store, iTunes NZ or Vodafone Music.
Away from the mainstream but equally Kiwi, Auckland also has a massive hip hop scene which draws heavily on the influence of the US East Coast and LA scenes and a growing bhangra audience in the local Indian population. The cultural and artistic heritage of Auckland’s Pacific Island communities is celebrated and promoted in the thriving annual Pasifika Festival.
It is the unique mix of cultural backgrounds – the Pakeha, the Maori, the Pacific Islander, the Asian – that gives Kiwi music it’s distinctive edge and sound, setting it apart from any other.