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The Unsung Heroes is a show like none other. The four members performing at Whittakers Musical Museum are all keen historians, well known musicians or storytellers and award winning actors who have taken Unsung Heroes to enthusiastic audiences across the country.
Telling stories from Aotearoa New Zealand’s history in song, with newspaper clippings and poems read aloud by actor Peter Elliott (narrator and compere). A slideshow of historic images accompanies each original song. Storyteller Cameron Bennett (vocals, dobro guitar), with musicians Chris Priestley (vocals, guitar), and Nigel Gavin (7 string guitar) have created a show that brings to life some of the unsung and unusual characters of our past.
This is a fascinating musical concept, based on actual people and events that occurred in our colonial history. You won’t believe your ears – or the incredible stories contained herein. Rogues, rebels and folk heroes, and a truly valuable exercise, bringing all this history together in music.
NZ Musician Magazine.
Chris Priestley: Singer, songwriter and NZ historian. Chris has recorded eight albums, three of which were Tui Folk Music Award Finalists. As a hospitality entrepreneur he co-founded Real Groovy Records and Café, along with stalwart music venues across Auckland; Java Jive, Kerouacs, Atomic Café, and One2One. His professional life has supported his development as a fine musician, singer and song writer in a musical career spanning over 30 years.
Cameron Bennett: Storyteller. From his days as a cadet newspaper reporter to author and foreign correspondent, he’s explored the stories and news-makers behind the headlines, both here and around the world. Journalism is his day job – he currently produces a weekly current affairs programme on television, and is director/writer of the ongoing NZ Land Wars documentaries featured on RNZ online. New Zealand colonial history is in his blood. From the Wairau Affray to the Western Front, his forebears have borne witness – miners, gamblers, union organisers, shopkeepers and servicemen. Music is also in his blood. He is a singer songwriter, plays guitar and lap steel guitar.
Nigel Gavin: Multi award winning musician. Initially a visitor from Long Island, New York, now a resident, Nigel has long been a featured player in the NZ music scene. Nigel plays 7 string guitar, banjo, mandolin, bass – indeed, almost anything with strings. He’s performed with the Nairobi Trio, The Fondue Set, Jews Brothers, Blue Bottom Stompers, Lorina Harding, Wayne Gillespie, Whirimako Black, Jonathan Besser, and Bravura among others. He has also found time to create and mentor the multi–guitar, Gitbox Rebellion (look it up on YouTube!). Gavin is a guitarist with remarkable versatility who is respected by other players around the world. He continues to work both in New Zealand, Europe, Australia and the United States.
Peter Elliott: Narrator and Compere. Peter has spent over 40 years in NZ theatre, film and television, as an actor, producer, presenter, and as an advocate for actors. He trained at the Court Theatre in Christchurch and appeared in more than 60 TV dramas, over a dozen documentaries, various films, and more than 80 plays, musicals and opera throughout the country. Peter has been nominated and won Best Actor, and Best Supporting Actor several times, and nominated for Best Presenter twice. He has a passionate interest in NZ history and has been thrilled to be involved with Unsung Heroes over the last few years.
This will be a very special show.