Kodiak Daily Mirror - South Pacific music comes to north Pacific with Te Vaka
  
South Pacific music comes to north Pacific with Te Vaka
by Daily Mirror Staff / editor@kodiakdailymirror.com
Oct 13, 2011 | 53 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
KODIAK — During a scouting trip last year in Long Beach, Calif., Kodiak Arts Council executive director Tom Quass heard music from afar and decided to bring it closer.

The Polynesian rhythms and original songs of Te Vaka reflect influences of indigenous cultures from a vast area at the other side of the Pacific. The group presents its contemporary take on their traditions at 7 p.m. Friday in the Gerald C. Wilson Auditorium.

Members of the arts council board venture off island each year looking for acts to book for the following season in Kodiak. Quass said Te Vaka stood out among the acts he heard in Long Beach because of the smooth fusion of different traditional dancing and singing with new instrumentation.

The band, which will perform next week in Anchorage at the Alaska Federation of Natives 2011 convention is using the side trip to Kodiak as a reason to extend its first tour in Alaska.

Founded in 1994, New Zealand-based Te Vaka has already been just about everywhere else, including all around the Lower 48 and Europe.

South Pacific flavor starts with the often-changing costumes and array of log drums. Their seven albums have won a long list of awards from the world music charts.

Lead vocalist Opetaia Foa’i writes songs and choreographs for the group. He has roots in Samoa, New Zealand and Tuvalu. The nine other members of Te Vaka have origins at least as varied.

Singing mostly in an old Polynesian dialect called Tokelau, Te Vaka tells stories of the famously adventurous islanders from ancient times to the present, when climate change has already led to the disappearance of some communities

Tickets for Te Vaka are available at Safeway until 6 p.m. today, and at the door. For more information, call the Kodiak Arts Council, 486-5291, or see http://kodiakartscouncil.org.
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