Hawke's Bay Music Month
Florence Charvin

[As published in May/June BayBuzz magazine.]

This year, NZ Music Month is HB Music Month, thanks to Jamie Macphail’s plan for 16 concerts around the region throughout the month. 

If you’ve had the pleasure of attending any of Jamie’s Small Hall Sessions concerts over the last couple of years, you’ll understand the unique, warm, generous vibe and the quality of live music on offer. Since the beginning of the Small Hall Sessions, we’ve been introduced to fantastic artists from outside the Bay and outside Aotearoa. So this feels like great timing, to celebrate and discover local talent and come together as community in these special community spaces, after all that the region has experienced in recent months. 

“As a community we are in a state of shock and recovery; it’s the right time to help provide income and an audience to Hawke’s Bay artists,” says Jamie. “It’s also a chance for respite and community building … music unifies and heals. 

“Small Hall Sessions are a catalyst for gathering, and these HB Music Month gigs will be too. When a community comes together it grows stronger. People find comfort in the company of others, and they can lean on one another and connect with each other on a really meaningful level,” Jamie says. 

“Live music is a panacea, a fortifier and a sanctuary.” 

Each of the 90-minute concerts, each in a different hall, will include an emerging artist, an established artist and an artist with a national profile. The line-ups have been selected and curated by Sarah Terry, Head of the School of Music at EIT; Richie Jackman, owner of Napier Music Machine; and Kevin Murphy, Events Manager for NCC and founder of The Backline Trust. 

Tickets to the gigs are being kept low at $25 each, thanks to support from Hawke’s Bay’s councils and the NZ Music Commission. 

Check out the offering at smallhallsessions.co.nz to suss out which (and how many) gigs you’re going to head on out to. From Maraekakaho to Matapiro, Pōrangahau to Puketapu, and a dozen other spots in between, these are going to be some very rewarding and enriching road trips! 

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