Whirimako Black Profile

Keith Newman
10 May 2018

Whirimako Black, the shy young girl from Ruatoki Valley who persisted with her dream of singing, recording and sharing the ancient songs of Ngāi Tūhoe and the Mātaatua waka in her native Māori language, is today one of the country’s most respected singer-songwriters.

Since the 1990s, Whirimako has worked closely with the cream of New Zealand’s musicians to put her own spin on traditional waiata, along with velvety smooth renditions of jazz standards performed in te reo and English.

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Ru Uawa - New Years Eve celebration, Tolaga Bay
Photo credit: Whirimako Black collection
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Whirimako Black with the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra - Tenderly (2009, Christchurch Town Hall)
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Whirimako Black.
Photo credit: Kathrin Simon
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Early days composing reo waiata, George Nuku's house, Auckland
Photo credit: Whirimako Black collection
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Whirimako Black's great-grandmother Pihitahi Trainor with her husband Wiremu Trainor and their youngest child Kohineoha Trainor.
Photo credit: Whirimako Black collection
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Whirimako Black.
Photo credit: Kathrin Simon
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Whirimako Black. 
Photo credit: Whirimako Black collection
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Whirimako Black.
Photo credit: Kathrin Simon
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Whirimako Black.
Photo credit: Kathrin Simon
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Whirimako Black with the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra - Since I Fell For You (2009, Christchurch Town Hall)
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Whirimako Black.
Photo credit: Whirimako Black collection
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Whirimako Black.
Photo credit: Whirimako Black collection
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Whirimako Black.
Photo credit: Whirimako Black collection
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Greenfire.
Photo credit: Kathrin Simon
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Whirimako Black.
Photo credit: Kathrin Simon
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Whirimako Black.
Photo credit: Whirimako Black collection
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Ru Uawa - New Years Eve celebration, Tolaga Bay, "the day I met Renee Geyer". 
Photo credit: Whirimako Black collection
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Whirimako Black - My Funny Valentine (2007, from the album Whirimako Black Sings)
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Whirimako Black and Che Fu.
Photo credit: Kathrin Simon
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Whirimako Black.
Photo credit: Whirimako Black collection
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Making Music - Whirimako Black (2005)
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Profile on Whirimako Black, Waka Huia, TVNZ ,14 Aug 2011 (part 1 of 2)
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Whirimako Black.
Photo credit: Kathrin Simon
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Whirimako Black, Greenfire Islands.
Photo credit: Kathrin Simon
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Whirimako Black.
Photo credit: Whirimako Black collection
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Whirimako Black.
Photo credit: Whirimako Black collection
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White Lies trailer (2013)
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Whirimako Black's mother teaching her older siblings an action song in their whanau kitchen (Whirimako was present, but out of shot). 
Photo credit: Whirimako Black collection
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Whirimako Black - Late At The Museum (June 2011)
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Millie Bradfield, centre, with Whirimako Black in red. Jacqui Fitzgerald is at far left; beside her is Millie and Johnny's eldest daughter, Linda Bradfield. Taken on a Jazz and Blues Night at the Gables in Herne Bay, Auckland
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Whirimako Black with Richard Nunns
Photo credit: Whirimako Black collection
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Whirimako Black.
Photo credit: Kathrin Simon
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Whirimako Black.
Photo credit: Whirimako Black collection
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Whirimako Black, Tuahine Whakairo - "my first time back from Australia and a restart back into the music scene".
Photo credit: Whirimako Black collection
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Whirimako Black, Wellington Jazz festival, 2008
Photo credit: Whirimako Black collection
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Whirimako Black.
Photo credit: Whirimako Black collection
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Whirimako Black.
Photo credit: Whirimako Black collection
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Whirimako Black with Richard Nunns, scholar of traditional Maori instruments
Photo credit: Whirimako Black collection
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Whirimako Black talks about the album Whirimako Black Sings, 2007
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