Tama Waipara Profile

Gareth Shute
18 Mar 2021

Tama Waipara is primarily known as an outstanding vocalist, although he originally trained as a clarinettist and was pursuing a career in New York City when an accident turned him towards singing.

He released an album there before returning home and winning over local audiences. His deep musical knowledge leads him to create work that is both engaging and unique – a combination that led to his album Fill Up the Silence being awarded best roots album at the 2014 NZ Music Awards.

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Tama Waipara performing at the APRA Silver Scroll. 
Tama Waipara - East Coast Moon feat. Maisey Rika (2020)
Rob Ruha, Tama Waipara, Maisey Rika, and Seth Haapu at the APRA Silver Scroll Award, 2015.
Photo credit: Amanda Ratcliffe
Tama Waipara - Sunshine on the Water (2017)
Since 2019 Tama Waipara has been the CEO/artistic director for the Te Tairāwhiti Arts Festival in Gisborne.
Photo credit: Strike Photography
Tama Waipara with his trophy for Best Roots Album for Fill Up the Silence (2013), Vodafone NZ Music Awards 2014.
Tama Waipara - Fill Up the Silence (2013)
Maisey Rika - Haumanu (feat. Tama Waipara, 2012)
Tama Waipara.
Tama Waipara and Maisey Rika singing Under an East Coast Moon, 2014
Tama Waipara.
Photo credit: Strike Photography
Tama Waipara - Sir Plus and the Requirements (2009)
Tama Waipara.
Tama Waipara - Kiwi from He Rangi Paihuarere (A Tribute to the Late Dr Hirini Melbourne) (2006)
Tama Waipara, APRA Silver Scroll Awards.
Tama Waipara was nine months into a course at New York's Manhattan School of Music when tragedy struck. 
Tama Waipara - 'Soviet Snow' (Shona Laing Cover) for KIWI FM (2013)
Tama Waipara
Photo credit: Strike Photography
in Session: Tama Waipara - Hunter (2013)
Rob Ruha, Maisey Rika, Seth Haapu, Tama Waipara - 1981 Silver Scroll Award finalists medley (2015)
Tama Waipara wrote ‘Tangihia’ - his first song in te reo Māori - for the Fill Up the Silence album (2013). Hinewehi Mohi was invited to sing harmonies.
Photo credit: Strike Photography
Tama Waipara found that, immediately post 9/11, New York was a very inspiring place to be.
Tama Waipara - Triumph of Time (ObliqSound, 2003)
Nathan Haines feat Tama Waipara - Wait and See
Tama Waipara - 'Letter' for KIWI FM (2013)
Tama Waipara as "Sir Plus" on the cover of Metro Daily Auckland Festival 09 magazine.
Tama Waipara - Medicine Man (2013)
Tama Waipara & The University of Auckland Percussion Ensemble performing Ruaimoko by Maisey Rika at the 2013 APRA Silver Scroll Awards.
Tama Waipara.
Photo credit: Strike Photography
Tama Waipara's 2013 album Fill Up The Silence was a profound personal statement. Its power was recognised with the award for best roots album at the 2014 NZ Music Awards.
Photo credit: Strike Photography
Tama Waipara: Māori Moon (NYC, 2014)
Tama Waipara and Annie Crummer at RNZ.
Photo credit: RNZ / Claire Eastham-Farrelly
Tama Waipara with Nathan Haines (left), Waiheke 2006.
Tama Waipara (second from left) with the cast of Raising the Titanics, a 2011 tribute to the Māori Showbands of the 1950s and 1960s.
Tama Waipara.
In 2016 Tama Waipara received the APRA award for best original music in a feature film, for his work on 'Mahana' with Mahuia Bridgman-Cooper.