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Tama Waipara

Composer, Māori Composer, Performer


Ngāti Ruapani, Rongowhakaata, Ngāti Porou

Opotiki-raised Tama Waipara was studying performance clarinet at New York’s Manhattan School of Music when a freak accident (a fuse box fell on his head) put studies on hold. While convalescing, he took up singing and songwriting. Three albums and a return to Auckland later, Waipara is a fixture on the NZ music scene: known for his powerful voice and eclectic style — ‘Alt/ Soul/ Indie/ Maori’ says his Facebook page — and collaborations (Nathan Haines, Annie Crummer, Maisey Rika). Fill Up the Silence won the 2014 NZ Music Award for Best Roots Album.

Tama was mad a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM) for services to Māori music in the 2024 New Year Honours List.

Recordings (1)