Te Marama Pūoru Waiata Māori, Māori Music Month kicks off today to celebrate Māori songs and artists.
To mark its third year running, a group of high-profile Māori artists Maisey Rika, Rob Ruha, Tama Waipara and Taisha Tari will work as ambassadors to conduct workshops in schools in Aotearoa and Australia.
During the workshops, the ambassadors will mentor up-and-coming performers while focusing on taonga pūoro, songwriting, song composition and vocal training.
The workshops that are planned for each week this month starting in Wellington, Auckland, Waikato and finally the Gold Coast.
Ruha was elated when asked to be a part of the kaupapa.
"Sharing knowledge, experiences and life lessons with those who are considering a career in Māori music is another passion of mine. All these things align to what I think Māori Music Month will encourage and support.”
Rika says, “I just want to be there for anyone, to help out as much as I can. I sing and write songs so I would offer my help in those fields and if there are any pātai to do with the industry sides as well, I would endeavour to answer truthfully."
Waipara says he was excited to see the introduction of Māori Music Month.
"There are many wonderful and hard-working musicians out there who should be celebrated, and also many young, talented people coming through.
“Tama Huata created the Waiata Māori Music Awards and gave many people, including myself, an opportunity to showcase our music. I think any initiative that celebrates Māori musicians and continues that proud legacy is exciting," he says.