"A stereotype-smashing glimpse into the soul of the South seas" (Wired Magazine)
"Adrenaline-powered, bare-midriffed, percussion-pulsed, infectiously happy, beautiful people bringing ancient traditions into the modern world" (Maui News, USA)
"One of the most dynamic live experiences I have ever witnessed" (The Guardian, UK)
"one of the greatest South Pacific bands of all time" (Fiji Times)
Te Vaka (The Canoe) is a dynamite Polynesian-rock fusion band that has been called “the finest South Pacific roots band” and “the heart and soul of the Pacific”.
Opetaia Foa'i honored at the 2017 Vodafone Pacific Music Awards
Winner! 2016 Pacific Music Awards: Best Album & Best Song
Winner, Best Pacific Music Group in 2010 and 2008, Pacific Music Awards!
Winner, Best Polynesian Group 2010, Hawai'i Music Awards
Musicians and dancers from Samoa, Tokelau, Cook Islands and New Zealand Maori, under the inspired leadership of Opetaia Foa'i, create a unique sound that combines log drums with electric guitar, Polynesian dance with drum kit and bass, infusing modern rock sensibilities with the rhythms of the Pacific. They have been wowing international audiences since 1997.
Disney Animation Studios just announced that Opetaia Foa'i, Te Vaka's founder and leader, is part of the musical team creating the soundtrack for the new animated feature Moana, scheduled for November 2016 release. Tony-winner Lin-Manuel Miranda and Grammy-winning composer Mark Mancina (“Tarzan” “The Lion King”) are working together to help tell the tale of a spirited Pacific Islander teenager who sets out to prove herself a master wayfinder. In 2018, Opetaia Foa'i was nominated for a Grammy for Best Compilation Soundtrack for Moana.
Keeping the integrity of their ancient culture as they bring it into the modern age, Te Vaka songs address contemporary issues of cultural and environmental preservation.
"Te Vaka will appeal to world music fanatics, new-agers, smooth jazz listeners, and anyone else that appreciates gorgeous harmonies, infectious log drum rhythms and joyous percussion..." (LA Daily News)
Check them out on YouTube: VAKAAITU (spiritual canoes)
“A Te Vaka concert is a jolt of life force. Primitive drums meet rock guitars...sensual undercurrents running through the dancing and musical rhythms... Unifying the islands of the Pacific, the canoe is about making connections, island to island, people to people. Each song is a story...In the consciousness of Pasifika, environmental responsibility is inseparable from spiritual instinct.” (Maui News 2008)
“OMG! U hav GOT 2 C Te Vaka!” (blogger, Santa Cruz)
Te Vaka has performed in 38 countries around the world, including Europe, Asia, and the Pacific, and released 7 albums to date, with the next on its way in 2015. The group 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 from London to Seattle to Australia. The are consistently at the top of the World Music charts. Opetaia Foa’i,the songwriter/lead vocalist, has been described as “one of New Zealand’s finest songwriters. His musical background spans both the traditional and the diverse influences of contemporary metropolitan culture. The log drums (or Pate in his native language) are a key part of the sound, capturing the infectious rhythms of a Pacific groove.
The group does excellent education activities, including lecture-demonstrations, children’s programs, and music-dance workshops.
“The sustained standing ovation at the conclusion of the show…spoke volumes about the power this band has to talk across cultures. (Bay of Plenty Times, NZ)
Opetaia Foa’i is the songwriter/lead vocalist of the group. His musical background spans both the traditional and the diverse influences of contemporary metropolitan culture—percussive and melodic, powerful and warm, tribal and rock ‘n’ roll. The log drums (or Pate in his native language) are a key part of the sound, capturing the infectious rhythms of the South Seas and creating a Pacific groove. He has been described as “one of New Zealand’s finest songwriters.
Audiences everywhere have been captivated by the Te Vaka experience. On stage Te Vaka delivers more than just a musical performance. The audience is taken, with music and dance, on a journey into the Pacific Islands, into the heart of Polynesia.
The costumes are vibrant and change constantly throughout the show. The dancers are skilled in Polynesian dances from many different Islands in the South Pacific. The drummers are a seven piece force beating out the rhythms of their ancestors. This is a fantastic show of 'Tribal Power' .
The show, like the music has a contemporary edge which serves to enhance the communication of the songs and make them easy for other cultures to relate to and enjoy.
The focus is, of course, the log drums (pate) but this is varied and added to by the use of other instruments such as the acoustic and electric guitars creating within the show a great diversity - from log drum grooves which defy anyone to hold their body still, to soulful ballads that can move you to tears.
The show is unique, the performers are highly professional and talented. Audiences are left screaming for more...
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