Mahia Blackmore Profile

John Dix
23 Sep 2014

In 1995 Mahia Blackmore appeared in the title role in an Auckland production of Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. An obvious choice, really. Who else could have taken the role of the pioneering black American performer and recording artist, billed as “Mother of the Blues”?

Mahia Blackmore is a New Zealand equivalent of Ma Rainey, born over a half century later and Māori rather than black American but also big in voice and body. Rainey’s ‘Hear Me Talking To You’ is still a staple part of Blackmore’s repertoire.

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Mahia Blackmore with Meg and the Fones, featuring Janice Leef on guitar, Mina Paikea on vocals, Jane Hooper on bass
Photo credit: Photo by Keith Newman
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Mahia Blackmore
Photo credit: Photo by Keith Newman
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Mahia Blackmore, Arnold Tihema and the Paradise Band, 2013
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Billy TK's Powerhouse with Mahia Blackmore in 1973
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Ladies sing the Blues featuring Maria Monet, Hattie St John and Mahia Blackmore
Photo credit: Photo by Keith Newman
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Mahia Blackmore
Photo credit: Photo by Keith Newman
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Mahia Blackmore in her caravan at her Bulls home
Photo credit: Photo by Keith Newman
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Mahia Blackmore in her Bulls home
Photo credit: Photo by Keith Newman
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Mahia Blackmore and the Paradise Band, 2012
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Mahia Blackmore with Billy TK Jr. in 2011
Photo credit: Photo by Gerry le Roux
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Corben Simpson and Mahia Blackmore
Photo credit: Photo by Keith Newman
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Mahia Blackmore
Photo credit: Photo by Keith Newman
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Mahia Blackmore at The Gluepot
Photo credit: Photo by Graham Hooper
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