Traditional band ends Australian tour - Solomon Star News

Traditional band ends Australian tour
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30 November 2017
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The KMK Kaumaakonga band performing in Australia.

Members of local traditional and contemporary band, KMK Kaumaakonga made history for themselves after they completed a successful six weeks tour in parts of Queensland and New South Wales, Australia.

Auckland based band leader, Willie Tekatoha explained that the tour was the longest and most challenging the band had ever engaged in and it’s a wonder the group came out of it safe.

“Eight band members cramped in one vehicle, on the road for weeks on end, travelling miles on the highways for gigs was hard but certainly memorable,” the bandleader explained.

KMK Kaumaakonga’s unique music combines Avaiki (Rennell and Bellona) traditional chants with a Melanesian touch.

Three of the band members, Vincent Marita (Junior)-guitar, Mike Maefaididia-bass and Alvin Indu-drums are from Ulawa, Makira and Malaita respectively while the rest of them are from Rennell Bellona province.

“That makes our combination very special,” said Tekatoha. “Raymond Mainge and Jenny Tekatoha’s vocal work was just amazing, combine that with Kaipua Paa’ungahenua’s traditional percussion style, we were musically in safe hands.” Tekatoha added.

The tour was a combined effort of many hard working people and agencies. Solomon Islands Multicultural Arts centre (SIMAC) and Avaiki Music Association arranged the tour with Minjeribah Artist Alliance Project (MAAP), an organisation on Stradbroke Island, Brisbane.

With logistic support from Solomon Islands Music Federation and Solomon Islands Visitors Bureau (SIVB), band members worked hard to fund themselves and assistance from friends for most of the tour.

Managed by Martin Tomoana, Kaumaakonga kicked off their tour mid November with a week of cultural exchange activities between Kaumaakonga and Yuluburriba dancers, collaborating songs and dances.

They put together combined performances to open and close Island Vibe Music festival on Stradbroke Island and also had their own stage and workshop slots during the festival where they showcased their music, dances, rhythms, stories and traditional costumes.

As part of the excitement in the tour, one of the best Melbourne based producer David Bridie offered record time for Kaumaakonga during the tour and they recorded 4 tracks under Wantok Muzik label.

The project is ongoing and according the KMK leader, it is something they will work to have it completed over the next 12 months.

Kaumaakonga then moved on from studio to Byron Bay where they camped and collaborated with Ethno Australia, opening the Mullum Festival with their traditional song “Tonga Puapua”.

They continued to perform over the four days and were able to attract a huge following and picking up extra gigs.

At the Mullum festival, KMK band members had the opportunity to be part of the crowd supporting another Solomon Island traditional musician Charles Maimarosia who was performing there as well.

KMK also teamed up with Guadalcanal weavers who showcased their products during the two festivals.

“It was good to have a presence of Solomon Islands artists and we were working together,” the statement adds.

The tour was made possible through combined efforts of agencies and those close to the band, which includes Solomon’s Multicultural Arts centre (SIMAC) and Avaiki Music Association who arranged the tour with the Minjeribah Artist Alliance Project (MAAP), of Stradbroke Island, Brisbane.

With logistic support from Solomon Islands Music Federation and Solomon Islands Visitors Bureau (SIVB), band members worked hard to fund themselves and assistance from friends for most of the tour.

The band arrived back on Wednesday.
 

- KMK Media

 

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