July 8, 2011 (All day) July 9, 2011 (All day) July 10, 2011 (All day)
Described in US magazine The Beat as a “truly inspiring performing and recording artist’, charismatic lead singer Moana Maniapoto has been credited by Songlines with “laying the foundations for the recent international exposure of New Zealand acts like Te Vaka, Fat Freddy’s Drop and Wai”.
Moana has consistently pushed the boundaries of Maori music in both her recordings and live performances, fusing taonga puoro, haka and chants with soul, reggae and classical ‘to produce her own blend of traditional and contemporary styles without compromising either.’ (The New Zealand Herald, 2003). She draws on her identity as a Maori woman, with a background in traditional performing arts, to write songs that still manage to resonate with global audiences.
Moana & The Tribe coalesced in 2002, quickly cementing a reputation as one of the most successful indigenous groups to emerge from Aotearoa (New Zealand). The band’s debut CD “Toru” entered the European World Music Charts at 17, paving the way for the DVD “Live & Proud” (Pirate / SONY Records.). In 2004, Moana became the first non-American to win a major U.S.A based songwriting contest (the Grand Jury Prize of the International Songwriting Competition) when her song “Moko” triumphed over 11,000 other compositions.
To date, Moana & The Tribe have played nearly 150 international concerts. The most recent ranged from Kanak villages in the islands of New Caledonia to sell out dates in Russia. Moana cites meeting and singing for Nelson Mandela during his Auckland visit as a personal highlight.
Moana is a recipient of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM) and several other prestigious honors, in recognition of her outstanding leadership and contribution to the development of new directions in Maori art. Offstage, Moana is one half of an award-winning film documentary team led by her partner and fellow band member Toby Mills.