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Jerome Kavanagh Is Victoria Uni’s Composer-In-Residence 2022

Jerome Kavanagh Is Victoria Uni’s Composer-In-Residence 2022

Taonga pūoro artist and practitioner Jerome Kavanagh (Mokai Patea, Maniapoto, Kahungunu, Irish: Caomhanach) has been announced as Te Herenga Waka Victoria University of Wellington’s 2022 Creative NZ/Te Kōkī NZ School of Music composer-in-residence, 

Jerome is part of a movement introducing Māori music, art, and culture to the world. He has performed and recorded with artists from a variety of different genres, and was a featured solo artist and lyricist on 2011 Grammy award-winning album ‘Calling All Dawns’. “

His residency begins on 28 February, and Jerome will work on five projects across the 10-month period. Among them, he aims to compose, record, and release an album with local artists Salina Fisher and Neil MacLeod called ‘Mana O Te Wai – The Power Of Water’, about Wellington’s forgotten waterways. He also aims to produce his second solo album, ‘Oro Atua: Taonga Puoro Māori Sound Healing Journey 2’.

“I’m really looking forward to having time and space to focus on composing, recording, and releasing new music. This residency gives me the ability to work among my friends and within the community of some of the greatest musicians I’ve worked alongside, something I’ve missed while travelling over the past 20 years throughout Aotearoa and the world,” says Jerome.

Victoria University staff and students will benefit from Jerome’s plan to provide fortnightly concerts focused on the healing power of taonga pūoro. 

“As I have spent decades researching the revival of taonga pūoro as rongoā māori (healing devices), I’m interested in becoming involved in the music therapy course at the university, and to able to include an indigenous perspective within this. Aotearoa seems to be a world leader in recognising indigenous knowledge and ancient wisdom, and integrating taonga pūoro into music therapy would be a world-first in terms of universities and the academic world recognising mātauranga Māori. I’m excited to potentially be able to do this at the university.”

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