Topic: Entertainment

New voices join Modern Māori Quartet

By Talisa Kupenga

The Modern Māori Quartet has welcomed two new members before embarking on a month-long tour starting next week. Rutene Spooner and Tainui Kuru join the contemporary Māori showband just in time to charm crowds in Edinburgh.

The two new voices join Modern Māori Quartet for their Edinburgh debut.

Rutene Spooner says, "Three thousand shows are being played at the festival and we're there representing New Zealand."

Tainui Kuru says, "It's an incredible learning experience, not only do I get to be part of this amazing whānau and just jump in on all the work they've done on previous years - I just come in, get to go on the trip for a month sweet as, but just learning more about my culture and being immersed in it is invaluable."

They've been busy the past two weeks learning a new one-hour set in time for take-off come Monday, to stand alongside founding band members James Tito and Matariki Whatarau.

Tito says, "They are music and theater trained which none of us have been, we're all actors who pretend to sing! So to actually rehearse and work alongside real singers is really nice for us and makes us lift our game up even more."

The new additions being part of a goal to expand Modern Māori Quartet to the world. 

Tito says, "The three of us and Matariki Whatarau who isn't here will be going to Edinburgh, the other four Matu Ngaropo, Francis Kora, Maaka Pohatu and Jamie McCaskill will be in Australia for two weeks."

The group will play 45 shows in four weeks and drop their new album 'That's Us' come September.