Eric Clapton, International
Eric Clapton, the legendary British blues and rock guitarist, singer, and songwriter, was born on March 30, 1945. His love of the blues and American R&B led him to pick up a guitar at the age of 14, and he began studying the masters. He has had enormous success as a musician, topping the charts worldwide with some hits debuting at #1 in the US and UK, and plenty of worldwide sellout tours.
Clapton launched his highly successful solo career in 1970. “I Shot the Sheriff” topped the charts in 1974, with many of Clapton’s songs from that decade making it into the Top 20 charts. Beginning in 1977 with the triple-platinum album Slowhand and its smash hit single “Lay Down Sally,” Clapton began an amazing run of gold and platinum successes that continue to this day. In 1988 Clapton released the double-platinum Crossroads; his 1989 album Journeyman sold over two million copies and earned him a Grammy for his single “Bad Love”.
Clapton reached new heights in 1992 with the release of the soundtrack to the motion picture Rush and its Grammy-winning Top 5 single “Tears in Heaven.” That same year, Unplugged, recorded live on the MTV program, hit No.1 for three weeks straight, selling 15 million copies worldwide; he earned six Grammy Awards that year.
In 1994, he returned once again to the music that gave him his initial passion for playing. The all-blues double-platinum From the Cradle was a hit with both critics and fans around the world. “The blues are what I’ve turned to, what has given me inspiration and relief in all of the trials of my life” said Clapton. Next came the acclaimed Pilgrim, which captured the Grammy nomination for Best Pop Album in 1998. In 1999 he won a Grammy for his performance on “The Calling” from Santana’s Supernatural.
Throughout the ’80s and ’90s, Clapton made his presence felt in the realm of film soundtracks, with contributions to such movies as Back to the Future, The Color of Money, and the Lethal Weapon series. Yet his greatest soundtrack success came with “Change the World,” the endearing smash hit from the John Travolta film Phenomenon.
The only triple inductee into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame – as a member of both The Yardbirds, Cream, and also as a solo artist – Clapton continues to astonish and delight a vast spectrum of music lovers.
Right Said Fred, International
Right Said Fred are one of the UK’s most enduring pop exports. Since forming in 1989, brothers Fred and Richard Fairbrass, have a list of achievements as songwriters and a band that include number 1 hits in 70 countries including, two US number 1’s, three UK number 1’s, and a number 1 in Japan – they were also the first band to reach the number one slot in the US with a debut single since The Beatles. They have also played in front of the Queen, Nelson Mandela and at the Bollywood Awards and subsequently released a track for Comic Relief.
As multi-platinum award winning artists and songwriters, their global sales total 30 million and over 100 million plays on Spotify. They have writing credits on Taylor Swift’s ‘Look What You Made Me Do’ and Sofi Tukker’s ‘Batshit’, their music has been featured in over 50 films and TV Shows (Angry Birds 2, The Odd Couple,The Simpsons, West Wing, Family Guy etc etc) and in excess of 100 commercials. The boys have performed with Bob Dylan, Mick Jagger and David Bowie plus plaudits from Madonna, Jay Z, and Prince to name but a few.
They have also won two Ivor Novello’s for I’m Too Sexy and Deeply Dippy and in 1993 were nominated for Best British Group at the prestigious Brit Awards. Fred and Richard are two of the few songwriters to have two songs included in the PRS Century of Song Book.
They continue to play to thousands of people around the world; in 2019 alone, they travelled all over Europe and flew over to Canada to play to North American fans, playing twenty shows in summer alone.
Jason Kerrison, New Zealand
Jason Kerrison is a multi-platinum, multi-award winning singer-songwriter, producer, meditator, planetarian, and wannabe surfer. After many years writing and touring with OpShop and the Babysitter’s Circus, Jason has ‘come home’ to live in the beautiful hills and bush of the North Island.
He continues to write, record and perform, and in 2011, Kerrison was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours, for Services to Music.
After the first major earthquake in Canterbury in 2010, Kerrison worked with Paul Ellis to create the Band Together concert in Hagley Park, Christchurch, to raise spirits in his hometown. It drew 100,000 people and was streamed live on TV. He appeared on the “Team Ball Player Thing” single that raised money for Cure Kids (2015) and had high-profile roles on TV as a judge on New Zealand’s Got Talent (2012) and X Factor (2015).
Whether performing solo with his guitar and a loop station, as a duo, or with his band ‘The Golden Girls’, Kerrison is able to reach out to each member of the audience and take them on an extraordinary musical journey. His heartfelt love songs makes even hardened cynics swoon just a little, while the huge Opshop and Babysitters Circus tunes literally have them running up the aisles to the dance floor.
Aly Cook, New Zealand
Aly Cook is one of New Zealand’s most successful self-managed independent artists. She has built a worldwide network of devoted industry fans purely on the strength of her musical talent and her vibrant “can do” personality. Cook has performed around New Zealand and the world, playing at the prestigious Sydney Opera House on return from her European Tour, where she performed at festivals in Italy, Norway, Germany, Spain, and Poland. She has opened for artists such as Rosanne Cash, Huey Lewis & The News, and Melissa Etheridge.
Cook’s song “I Wonder” was nominated for APRA Country Song of the Year in 2005, and she has been nominated for NZ Female Country Artist of the Year on four occasions, taking the title in 2012. In both 2011 and 2016 she was a NEXT New Zealand Woman of the Year finalist for her contribution to the arts. All three of her albums have gone Top10 on the Official NZ Album Charts and her album Caught in the Middle has appeared on the ARIA album charts and the official NZ Top 40 Album Chart, with a song from this album featuring in the River of Freedom film.
Matiu Te Huki, New Zealand
The soul stirring messages in Matiu’s music are positive, inspiring and unifying. Matiu’s soulful roots music has a strong Maori flavour, using haka, chants and traditional Maori instruments, backed by grabbing grooves, with deep, beautifully crafted bass lines, funky rhythms and magical melodies that stay with you well after the show ends, all held up by a pillar of Pacific passion.
Matiu intuitively nurtures a deep connection with his audience creating the energy that opens portals of paradise.
As a musician, Matiu’s ability to lift a crowd with his powerful stage presence, whether fronting bands or as a solo show, is mesmerising.
Franko Heke, New Zealand
Franko Heke is on a mission to raise consciousness through his music and workshops. Drawing on ancient mantra in combination with his own cultural roots, Heke’s devotional sessions are bound to coax your own divine voice into the open with his distinct fresh sounds for today.
With years of touring rock music under his belt, Heke’s compass has drawn him north toward a movement, which brings people together, celebrating our unique gifts, our connection to one another and to mother earth. Sought after for yoga, meditation and transformational festival events, Franko has boundless energy for the betterment of all beings.
Having opened for Xavier Rudd, and Nahko & Medicine for The People, as well as sharing the microphone with Donavon Frankenreiter, Franko Heke is poised to have his message heard far and wide.
Coral is an exceptional singer songwriter and musical force, captivating audiences and connecting deeply with listeners through her music. Coral won Best New Artist 2016 for Face TV, and in 2018 achieved tremendous recognition by winning three Gold Medals, a Silver Medal, and a Bronze Medal, at the World Championships of the Performing Arts in Long Beach, USA.
With an intoxicating blend of reggae, dub, soul and funk, this Wellington seven-piece band are 100% organic homegrown, with sound-waves from Houghton Bay. Medicinal music for all ages.
Formed in 2001, Grand Prix began as a three-piece country song singing oddity, with no drums or bass. “…can best be described as if it were created the day Marty Robbins met Nick Cave, south of the border. Inspired” – Air New Zealand Magazine.
Luke Hurley is an independent New Zealand guitarist and singer-songwriter. Born in Kenya and based in Auckland, Hurley has toured with artists such as Michelle Shocked and Marianne Faithfull, but is more likely to be found at fringe festivals or even busking. He has self recorded the equivalent of 8 albums since the early 1980s.
Mihirangi Fleming, or Māmā Mihirangi, wows audiences at international music festivals, whether as the band’s front woman, or as a solo artist. Mihirangi plays contemporary originals and soulful dance world-roots with a rare performance style.
Plus many more Kiwi musicians!