Simon Thacker's Ritmata made their debut in New Zealand in Aug-Sep 2015, with a seven concert tour: the Taranaki and Christchurch International Arts Festivals, Meow in Wellington, Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology, Le Cafe Picton, Creative Jazz Club Auckland and a live streamed performance from the University of Waikato, as well as a workshop for the impressive music students at Auckland University.
From the Spiegeltents of the Festivals, to the beautiful concert hall in Waikato and the intimacy of CJC in Auckland, we found a uniquely New Zealand welcome from wonderful audiences across the country, who were very open to connecting with the many unique and new musical directions I am exploring with Ritmata, and seemed to particularly enjoy my distinctive brand of super dry Scottish humour...
We drove everywhere so had a fantastic opportunity to experience some of the country's breathtaking scenery, thermal springs and wildlife.
The quartet of me on classical guitar, Paul Harrison (piano), Mario Caribe (bass) and Stu Brown (drums/percussion) was also joined by Caro Manins on voice in Auckland for a spine tingling encore of my reimagining of the 13th century Cantiga de Santa Maria Madre de Deus.
The tour was made possible by the success of the group's performances as part of the Made in Scotland international showcase at the Edinburgh Festival in 2014, and the support of Creative Scotland.
We couldn't have had a better tour, were struck by the warmth of our welcome, delighted by the fantastic feedback and reviews, and hope to return sooner rather than later. Until next time "land of the long white cloud"....
"Simon Thacker is the ideal front man; funny, confident, virtuosic. His authority emanating from a force field of energy. A musical vision that engages; thriving on intimacy....warmth and exuberance captured, contained; audience and musicians sharing an experience."