The organizers of Kawerau’s annual Christmas in the Park have revealed this years stellar line up.
Kawerau’s own Sir John Rowles, joined by Dame’s Lynda and Jools Topp will headline Christmas Christmas in the Park on Saturday 15th December at Prideaux Park.
Wellington’s soul diva Bella Kalolo and former ‘Star’s in their Eyes’ finalist Cindy of Samoa have also been added to the bill. The evening show has been mastered by show producer Chris Powley and legendary musical director Carl Doy.
Festivities will kick off with the New World Santa Parade followed by the Radio 1xx Christmas Concert and ending with the evening show and a spectacular fireworks display.
For more, visit www.kawerauchristmasinthepark.co.nz
Chris Powley – Show Producer
He is one of those rare commodities you find in the music industry that can sing, dance, entertain and has that charismatic factor. Chris is a musician who’s learnt the ins and outs of the business in the glare of the spotlight.
Awarded the New Zealand Scroll of Honour for his years of dedication and contribution within the entertainment industry and even closer to date the “NZ Comedy Award & Top Male Vocalist Award”
Carl Doy – Musical Director
Moving to New Zealand in 1973, he very quickly established himself as
a session pianist and arranger for Television New Zealand. For the
next decade and a half he wrote literally thousands of arrangements
for radio and television, finding time in between to arrange and play
for such diverse occasions as the Royal Variety Performance, for HRH
Queen Elizabeth II, and the Pope’s Mass, he played for and toured
with a variety of visiting artists, including Shirley Bassey, Gladys
Knight and the Pips, The Seekers, Bob Hope and many more.
Piano By Candlelight became the first of the best selling Piano By
Candlelight series, and it entered the charts at number one in its first
Eight more albums in the series were recorded over the next twelve
years, the second establishing a record for most copies sold in New
Zealand of a locally recorded album.
In 1992, the first three albums were licenced to Time Life Music in
America. This became one of their best sellers ever, selling in excess
of one million copiesin the USA alone, and giving Carl the distinction
of being the only New Zealand solo artist to have a certified platinum
album in the USA. Besides producing his own albums, Carl has also
found time to arrange Dame Kiri Te Kanawa’s “Maori Songs”,
another platinum album. Dame Kiri sang his arrangement of “E Te
Tarakihi” Other successes include two Espresso Guitaralbums,
featuring Martin Winch, Both were platinum sellers.
Digitally re-recorded with members of the New Zealand Symphony
Orchestra, and compiled into a ten CD set entitled “together”. The
production of this collection is one of the high points of Carl’s thirtyfive
years as a professional musician.
Oprah Winfrey featured the collection nationwide in the USA on
“Oprah’s Favorite Things” in 2002. She told her TV audience
that “together” was “her favorite of all the favorites. In 2004, he was
appointed Musical Director for the first Television New Zealand
season of “Dancing With The Stars”, Currently Carl has a new doubleCD
album on release, The Very Best Of Carl Doy In 2009 he arranged
and performed two sellout concerts with the New Zealand
Symphony Orchestra, in Auckland and Wellington.
Cindy of Samoa
Featuring Cindy Of Samoa, finalist in The TVNZ Show “Stars in their Eyes” delivering a very entertaining and energetic portrayal of Tina Turner and all her big hits.
Cindy has played at major events here in NZ and throughout the South Pacific, this is an in-demand and very entertaining act.
Cindy of Samoa is simply the best! The popular diva has toured the Pacific, New Zealand, Australia and the US and is renowned for her impersonations of Shirley Bassey, Whitney Houston and Tina Turner.
At age 15, Cindy Of Samoa became the first female vocalist at Samoa’s famous nightclub, Mt. Vaea. New Zealand tours followed in 1989, Cindy of Samoa became the star attraction of many Polynesian revues, including the must-see tourist show, Cindy’s Cabaret Show. It was said no visit to Samoa is complete until you see the Cindy’s Show. It became top of the list of 10 must do things while in Samoa.
Cindy Of Samoa toured the US in 1999, performing in Carson City, Utah, San Francisco. In 2002, she won Sydney’s Poly Talent Quest, the first of many talent show triumphs. In 2008, she was a finalist in TVNZ’s Stars in their Eyes. Today, Cindy of Samoa performs regularly at SkyCity Casino and is a crowd favourite at corporate and charity events all around New Zealand.
Dame Linda and Jools Topp
Aka the Topp Twins, are New Zealand national treasures who have performed around the world as an original comedy-music duo for more than 25 years.
The twins re-invent themselves on stage, changing character, musical style and gender with ease. They have had their own award-winning prime-time TV series, most recently Topp Country (TVNZ), released many albums and children’s audiobooks, been inducted into the NZ Music Hall of Fame, received the New Zealand Order of Merit and Honorary Doctorates and featured in a documentary film about their lives, which became a worldwide hit.
They have unparalleled broad appeal, regularly performing at corporate events, theatres, stadiums, Festivals and A&P shows where they are often mobbed by adoring audiences.
Belle and Belle (the Topps original characters, first created in 1984) just love country music and a boot stompin’ good time. Belle was born in a hay barn and her sister five minutes later, between the hay barn and the cowshed. Belle’s spoon playing (New Zealand champion for 21 years) has been known to bring the house down. Sunny personalities who like to get out and meet new people, their only worry is whether the elastic holding their gingham skirts up will last the evening.
NZ Soul at its Finest! Bella Kalolo is of Samoan, Tongan and Maori (Ngati Porou) descent. She has worked extensively as a vocalist for the last ten years performing and recording with many of NZ’s top music stars: Don McGlashan, Dave Dobbyn, Hollie Smith, Fat Freddys Drop, Tina Cross, Jackie Clarke, Susan Lynch, the NZSO, Carl Doy and Nathan Haines to name a few.
Bella released her debut album Without the Paper in 2011 and more recently Time and Space in 2013. In the last year she has performed at the world-famous Glastonbury Festival, performed with Chaka Khan at the Sydney Festival, won Best Female at 2014 Pacific Music Awards, invited to perform with Angie Stone at Soulfest and toured around NZ with World Vision.
Bella is versatile: she can perform with her own 6 piece Soul Symphony, with three session musicians, or as a duo. Her velvety voice caresses you one minute then explodes the next, into a soulful, passionate vocal spectacle that will leave you astonished and longing for more. She is one of New Zealand’s most exciting artists and her star is rising.
“… she comes across like one of James Brown’s funky divas. It really might be some lost vinyl nugget from the 70s, capturing that feeling with as much authenticity as a retro-soulster like Sharon Jones.” – Nick Bollinger, Radio New Zealand Review
Sir John Rowles
Born in Whakatane and raised in Kawerau, along with five sisters and one brother, John was a typical New Zealand kid, growing up in the fifties and sixties. He used to constantly listen to the records of The Platters, Brook Benton, Elvis Presley, Little Richard and many others of that era.
Leaving school at 15 years of age, John started work as a Lumberjack in the Kaingaroa Forest and played guitar on weekends, with a band of old school mates, at local dances.
A new adventure for John at 17 years, was his arrival in Australia, working with Sydney band, The Sundowners, his talent was immediately recognized by people in the industry. Within months, John was working as a solo performer on television shows such as Bandstand and the Johnny O’Keefe Show under the name of “JR”. Creating a storm wherever he performed, it was quickly realized that the talents of John Rowles deserved to be not just local, but on the worlds’ stage.
Arriving in England in the late sixties, he recorded the smash single “If I Only Had Time”. The song reached the top of the charts in Great Britain, New Zealand and Australia. He was just 20 years of age. Following, were top ten hits. “Hush, Not a Word To Mary”, “The Pain Goes On Forever”, “One Day” and “M’lady”. Next came the success of “Cheryl Moana Marie”, which became no. 1 in Australia and New Zealand, plus a top 40 smash hit in the U.S.A.
At 22 years of age, John was the youngest performer to headline a major Las Vegas showroom. Since the mid-seventies. John had been a resident of Hawaii where He had an eight-year contract with the Royal Hawaiian Hotel’s Monarch Room, in which he won Hawaii’s highest entertainment award, “The No Ka Oi” accolade, meaning the best.
John was awarded the O.B.E. and this year the K.B.E. for his contribution to music and promotion of his country overseas. Since then, John has been a regular visitor to Australia, appearing at all major venues and television shows throughout the world.