International artists to help locals expand overseas during Aboriginal Music Week 2015
With the help of the Canada Council for the Arts, Aboriginal Music Manitoba (AMM) is bringing three international artists to Winnipeg for five days of one-on-one mentor meetings with local musicians and acts performing at Aboriginal Music Week 2015. Maisey Rika and Tama Waipara will be available for hour long meetings about the markets for performances by Indigenous artists in New Zealand while Benny Walker will do the same for the markets in Australia.
- Maisey Rika is a multi-award winning Maori singer/songwriter hailing from the golden shores of the East Coast of Aotearoa. Her Te Reo Maori Language album, entitled Whitiora, debuted at #1 on the NZ Top 40 charts, making it the highest charting original Te Reo Maori album to date.
- Tama Waipara (Ngāti Ruapani/Rongowhakaata/Ngāti Porou) is a singer/songwriter with a masters degree in classical clarinet from Manhattan School of Music in New York. His Fill Up The Silence release earned multiple nominations at the 2014 Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards along with the hardware for Best Roots Album.
- Victorian Indigenous singer/songwriter Benny Walker has five releases under his belt. In recent years he has performed at some of the Australia's best-loved festivals, including Woodford Folk Festival, Australasian Worldwide Music Expo, St Kilda Festival, and Blue Mountains Music Festival.
"The underlying assumption behind the majority of Aboriginal music events in Canada is that Aboriginal people want to see themselves reflected in the acts on stage," says AMM chairperson Alan Greyeyes. "It's an assumption that gets validated year after year at APTN's Aboriginal Day Live and at Aboriginal Music Week. Bringing Rika, Waipara, and Walker to the festival will give our performers and a lot of local artists a chance to learn if that's the case in New Zealand and Australia or if performers need to do things differently to succeed in those markets."
The mentor sessions will be completely free. First Nation, Métis, and Inuit performing artists simply have to email firstname.lastname@example.org to request a meeting with one, two, or each of the mentors on August 18, 19, 20, 21, or 22. Priority will be given to artists who are performing at Aboriginal Music Week 2015, but AMM will work hard to fulfil all requests.
Aboriginal Music Week 2015 is set for August 18 - 22 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. It will include four community celebrations at the Magnus Eliason Recreation Centre, the Turtle Island Neighbourhood Centre, the Austin Street Festival, and St. John's Park. Four lunch hour concerts, three days of music workshops, two ticketed concerts, two networking dinners, and mentor meetings with three international artists round out the festival programming this year.