This year marks the 50th Anniversary of our foremost Māori performing arts festival and national kapa haka competitions. The first one was held in Rotorua in 1972.
To celebrate this significant half-century Te Matatini organisation has released recordings of 50 waiata, many made available for the first time.
Half of them are archival recordings from the actual competitions across the decades - some recorded by RNZ (under various names). These are collected together in a group called Te Matatoa.
A further 13 songs have been re-recorded by a select group of kapa haka singers representing areas from around the country. This collection called Te Matakāinga.
And the remaining 12 have been given to contemporary artists such as Ria Hall, Louis Baker, Maisey Rika, and Troy Kingi among others to re-imagine and reinvigorate. These are in the collection called Te Matakōkiri.
The Music Director for this mammoth project is Rob Ruha and he joins Julian Wilcox in three programmes to introduce some of the songs.
Highlights from the Te Matatoa collection thread the historical timeline of the festival through the series, the selections from Te Matakāinga reflect the breadth of current performance, and each episode closes with a nod to the future with new interpretations of music from the Te Matakōkiri collection.
The series features the Music Director of the Te Matatini 50 project Rob Ruha talking to Julian Wilcox. Tēnā kōrua. Ngā mihi aroha ki a kōrua.
The producer for RNZ Concert was Tim Dodd.
Kia ora to RNZ Tumu Maori Shannon Haunui-Thompson for her support.
The next Te Matatini Herenga Waka Herenga Tangata National Kapa Haka Festival 2023, will take place at Ngā Ana Wai (Eden Park) in Tāmaki Makaurau:
• Pōhiri: Tuesday 21st February 2023
• Competition Days: Wednesday 22nd – Friday 24th February 2023
• Te Matangirua (Finals Day): Saturday 25th February 2023