They’re not celestial bodies but in fact seven of our most talented singers and songwriters. The 7 Sistas of Matariki is the brainchild of Betty-Anne Monga (Ngāpuhi, Ngai Te Rangi, Ngāti Ranginui, Tūwharetoa, Tainui) of Polyfonk pioneers Ardijah, who saw Matariki as the perfect opportunity to make some celebratory noise.
Monga is joined by fellow legends Whirimako Black, Annie Crummer, and Ria Hall, as well as a new generation of talented Northland vocalists, Majic Paora, Lee Morunga and Raninikura Waitai-Henare.
Monga says she’s known Annie Crummer since way back in the day—“We met at a talent quest when we were 16 years old!”—and she has also worked with Black and Hall before. Projects were already in the works with those three when a friend from Northland suggested having seven women come together across different generations.
“It’s about sharing, we learn from each other. To share the music that [the younger ones] love but also I think the audiences in the North will really savour that. They’re from kapa haka roots so they will bring that excitement.”
The concert tour will be a collaboration of new and familiar tunes from each artist’s repertoire, including contemporary takes on much-loved signature tunes and tributes to artists throughout the ages.
“We’re collaborating on songs that we love and also songs that we’re known for, our hits I guess. Songs by Majic, Raninikura and me as well. Everybody is sharing and putting in their thoughts. We’re looking after each other’s songs, and therefore we’re looking after each other on stage.”
Monga reckons the audience is in for an incredible night. The seven singers will be joined by a group of musicians led by musical director, Kaitapu Monga of Poly Fonk Productions.
“Ultimately it is about serving the audience and looking after them too. I know they will be treated to a really wonderful night. Matariki is a time for sharing and looking after each other as our old people did. Paying respect, talking about what has gone before and learning from those things as well. I’m really looking forward to it!”
15 Jun, Te Mahurehure Marae, Pt Chevalier, Auckland
16 Jun, Forum North, Whangārei
17 Jun, Te Ahu Centre, Kaitaia
18 Jun, Kaikohe Memorial Hall, Kaikohe