Te Vaka (“The Canoe”) Launches First Major North American Tour;
Recently Awarded “Best Pacific Group” –2010 Pacific Music Awards
Te Vaka, which means “The Canoe”, is due to embark on its first major tour of the United States in August 2010. Hailed by critics as "the finest South Pacific roots band" (World Music Central) and “one of the greatest South Pacific bands of all time” (Fiji Times), Te Vaka is an original voice in the contemporary music of the Pacific. Led by award-winning singer-songwriter Opetaia Foa‘i, [Pronounced oh-peh-tie-ya foh-aye], Te Vaka’s infectious melodies, Polynesian drums, and world beat rhythms draw on its roots in the cultures of Tokelau, Samoa, Cook Islands, and New Zealand Maori as well as today’s funk, pop, and rock sensibilities.
The result is "adrenaline-powered, bare-midriffed, percussion-pulsed, infectiously happy, beautiful people bringing ancient traditions into the modern world", as Rick Chatenever, The Maui News, noted. With Opetaia on vocals and lead guitar, using open tunings often associated with slack key techniques, the band brings its lively energy to a mix of traditional and modern instruments, from log drums to electric guitar, bass, and keyboards. The beauty of the rich vocal harmonies, dancing that evokes Pacific traditions, and the poetry of lyrics in Tokelauan and Samoan languages belie the serious intent of many of the songs, which address current issues in the Pacific including climate change, family and cultural displacement, as well as the more recent tolls of the tsunami in Samoa and drug culture among indigenous youth. Yet, the band delivers up a rocking, joyful evening as the multi-talented musicians and singers double as dancers and chanters (Pacific-style). The music is life-affirming, every concert a celebration.
Te Vaka has performed in 37 countries around the world, including Europe, Asia, and the Pacific, and released six albums and one live performance DVD to date. Boasting an international following, Te Vaka has appeared at London’s Royal Albert Hall, at the Beijing Olympics, headlined music festivals throughout Europe, and been favorites at WOMAD festivals around the world. They have received numerous awards, including Best Pacific Group (for the second time) at the 2010 Pacific Music Awards (first in 2008), as well as awards for Best Pacific Language Song for their newest CD Haoloto (2010) and Best Pacific Album for Tutuki (2008).
Opetaia voiced his sentiments at the release of Te Vaka’s newest CD "Haoloto", which can easily serve as the motto for the band: "Once the canoe got rolling with all on board, there was a feeling that we were heading for somewhere special". And now North American audiences can hop on board.
<< release: 08/01/10 >>