Waiata wins and rave reviews

Hastings has just hosted the Waiata Māori Music Awards and we were excited to see Rob Ruha and Ria Hall, who will be performing at the Hawke’s Bay Arts Festival in October, both win awards: Rob Ruha scooping four awards for best male artist, best urban, best traditional album and best song for ‘Kalega’; Ria Hall for best female artist.  
We will be hosting two dates in the Aotearoa tour of their incredible two-hour show, Behind the Lines, at the Gaiety Theatre in Wairoa on 21 October and in the Spiegeltent on 22 October. Behind the Lines sees the artists merge their music to deliver powerful messages on nationhood, cultural endurance, spirituality and unity, in a performance that will be moving and uplifting. There will be joy and dancing, some tears perhaps too, and a whole heap of aroha.

This show is set to be one of NZ's musical highlights of the year. Fresh from performing it before predominantly white Australian audiences in Darwin and Brisbane, Rob and Ria are confident that their unique, thought-provoking blend of te reo and te ao Māori perspectives are encompassing of everyone. “We had that crowd rocking! They got it.”

Foldback Magazine, reporting on the most successful Darwin Arts Festival ever in its 39-year history, commented that “It will be impossible to forget Rob Ruha and Ria Hall’s dynamic performance.” They declared the sell-out show, “A simply stunning evening of soulful singing from two of New Zealand’s finest performers.”

Rob and Ria were on Radio NZ on 8 September talking to Alex Behan, it's well worth a listen here.

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