Ben Lemi

aka Dawn Diver, Courtesy Caller, Lorax


A skilled multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, band leader, producer and recording engineer, Ben Lemi has spent the last two decades adding musical colour and vibrant detail to countless acts from New Zealand’s avant-garde jazz, folk, country, soul, reggae, indie rock, RnB and hip-hop communities.

In more recent years, he has often been heard playing with Vera Ellen, TrinityRoots, French For Rabbits, and Bret McKenzie while fronting his own Dawn Diver group and working at Massey University’s School of Music and Creative Media Production in Wellington.

French For Rabbits, 2020. Clockwise from left: Penelope Esplin, John Fitzgerald, Ben Lemi, Hikurangi Schaverien-Kaa, Brooke Singer.
Photo credit: Lily Paris West
French For Rabbits, 2016. From left to right: Hikurangi Schaverien-Kaa, Penelope Esplin, Brooke Singer, Ben Lemi, John Fitzgerald
Photo credit: Ebony Lamb
Congress of Animals performing Burning Sun live at the Captain Cook Hotel with Ben Lemi on drums (2018)
A.U.R.A live at the Wine Cellar in Auckland, 2019.
Ben Lemi in 2021.
Photo credit: Paascalino Schaller
Johanna and the Mystery performing at Te Papa in 2012.
TrinityRoots expanded (2021). From left: Rio Hemopo, Tom Anderson, Warren Maxwell, Eilish Wilson, Kevin Whooley, Hollie Fullbrook, Deanne Krieg, Louisa Williamson, Leo Coghini, Lisa Tomlins, Kaito Walley
Hikoikoi and Mara TK in 2009.
Ben Lemi with Hikoikoi
Myele Manzanza, Peter Hill, Hannah Howes, Ben Lemi and Maz Hermon in 2009.
Newtown Rocksteady - Something to Say official music video (2013)
Vera Ellen, Reb Fountain and Voom at the Powerstation in 2024.
Congress of Animals - Shine performed for RNZ (2018)
Ben Lemi
Photo credit: Lily Paris West
Glass Vaults - Mindreader live for RNZ (2017)
Age Pryor, Nigel Collins, Bret McKenzie, Justin "Firefly" Clarke and Ben Lemi as the Congress of Animals for the Strange Caravan Tour in 2018.
Photo credit: Lee Gingold
Trinity Roots performing at James Cabaret in Wellington, 2014.
Hikoikoi: Paul Wickham, Jessie Moss, Maz Hermon, James Coyle, Ben Lemi, Mara TK, 2009.
Urban Tramper performing in Brussels, 2010.
Newtown Rocksteady on the Bluebridge ferry, 2012.
Trinity Roots with Irish Friends - Elephant Movement (2015)
Dawn Diver - Vampire's Predicament live at San Fran, Wellington (2022)
Vera Ellen at the James Hay Theatre in Christchurch, 2024.
Ariana Tikao and Ben Lemi performing at Te Papa in 2012.
Roy G and the Bivinators live with Ben Lemi on bass (2008)
TrinityRoots - Citizen live at the Tuning Fork for RNZ (2015)
Trinity Roots performing at the Oxford Arts Factory in Sydney, 2015.
Photo credit: Edwin Sutphen Photography
Johanna and the Mystery performing at Baobab Cafe in 2012.
Emily Browning and Ben Lemi playing with The Adults in 2018 at Meow in Wellington.
Vera Ellen live on Radio One 91FM with Ben Lemi on guitar and drums (2023)
Ben Wood (Ben Lemi) in TrinityRoots
Photo credit: Photo by Pat Shepherd
Aura - Tended to Lie performed live on RNZ Music 101 with Ben Lemi on rhythm guitar (2019)
French For Rabbits on tour, 2022. Left to right: Ben Lemi, Hikurangi Schaverien-Kaa, Brooke Singer, Penelope Esplin, John Fitzgerald.
Roy G and the Bivinators performing at Parihaka Peace Festival in 2009. Ben Lemi on bass.
Trinity Roots in 2018.
Photo credit: Vanessa Rushton
Trinity Roots: Warren Maxwell, Rio Hunuki-Hemopo, Ben Wood (Ben Lemi)
Photo credit: Photo by Pat Shepherd
Ben Lemi with Hikoikoi.
Will Sklenars, Deanne Krieg, Ben Lemi, Rose Blake, Hikurangi Schaverien-Kaa for Dawn Diver, 2020.
Photo credit: Capital Magazine, Anna Briggs (photographer)
Hikoikoi performing Vibraphone at Redbull Studios (2011)
Ben Lemi in 2018.
Photo credit: Brooke Singer
Estère, Goin' Live With Chabs And Milky from San Fran, Wellington (2021). Ben Lemi on synth and bass, and Cory Champion on drums.
The Adults playing in Melbourne, 2018.
Hannah Howes singing her single Muse By Your Side with Ben Lemi on drums and synth (2010)
Hikoikoi.
Dawn Diver is: Ben Lemi, Will Sklenars, Rose Blake, Louisa Williamson, Deanne Krieg, Hikurangi Schaverien-Kaa, Lily Shaw. 2021.
Photo credit: Lily Paris West
Estère with support from Ben Lemi playing at Rough Peel record store in Wellington, 2020.
The Adults in 2018.
Dawn Diver.
Ben Lemi with Jane Goodall in 2019. Trinity Roots shared the stage with Jane Goodall, who spoke to a full house at the Michael Fowler Centre in Wellington as part of her Rewind The Future seminars.
Roy G and the Bivinators in 2009 with Ben Lemi on bass.
Dawn Diver - Heavy Handed live at Performance Arcade festival in Wellington, 2019.
Ben Lemi in 2021.
Photo credit: Paascalino Schaller 
Hannah Howes and Ben Lemi in Prague, 2011.
Matariki Festival 2012: Seven Sisters
Trinity Roots at the 13th Floor (2015)
Newtown Rocksteady live on the Bluebridge Ferry (2012)
Ben Lemi playing drums for Bret McKenzie's live KEXP show in 2022.
Newtown Rocksteady at the Mussel Inn (Onekaka, Golden Bay), 2015.
Motu: Oileáin. A collaboration between Trinity Roots and Irish friends, 2015.
Trinity Roots.
Bret McKenzie and his supporting band in New York at Webster Hall launching his album Songs Without Jokes, 2022.
TrinityRoots recording at Blue Barn
Photo credit: Photo by Pat Shepherd
French for Rabbits live at the Vogelmorn Bowling Club, Wellington (2022)
Ben Lemi at Surgery Studios in 2009 recording with Hannah Howes.
Trinity Roots live at Te Korakora - Matariki Festival 2022, Tāmaki Makaurau | Auckland Council
Johanna and the Mystery Band perform in the Seven Sisters concert at Te Papa for Matariki (2012)
Congress of Animals.
Dawn Diver - Warming to You live at San Fran, Wellington (2021)
Trinity Roots in 2018.
Photo credit: Vanessa Rushton
Taite Music Prize 2024 winner Vera Ellen with Ben Lemi who produced her album Ideal Home Noise.
Photo credit: RNZ: Samuel Robinson.
Ben Lemi and Rodney Fisher from Goodshirt in 2023.
Ben Lemi with A.U.R.A (Albert River) live on RNZ Music 101 in 2019.
Photo credit: Ben Lemi
Glass Vaults with Cory Champion on drums, and Ben Lemi on percussion, for their show at Meow in Wellington, 2020.
Johanna and the Mystery with Ben Lemi on drums at Chicks Hotel in Dunedin, 2012.
Members of The Strange Caravan Tour: Justin Firefly, Nigel Collins, Ben Lemi, Age Pryor and Bret McKenzie. 2018.
Hikoikoi live at Luminate festival in Nelson (2010)
Newtown Rocksteady live at Meow (2016)
Trinity Roots in 2018.
Photo credit: Vanessa Rushton Photography
Dawn Diver live video for Shades of Innocence shot at the Cook Islands Society Hall, Wellington (2018)
Bret McKenzie live on KEXP with Ben Lemi on drums (2022)
French for Rabbits in 2015 with their Spirits LP and CD.
Dawn Diver is: Louisa Williamson, Hikurangi Schaverien-Kaa, Will Sklenars, Deanne Krieg, Ben Lemi, Rose Blake and Lily Shaw. 2021.
Photo credit: Lily Paris West
French For Rabbits with John Campbell.
Ben, Warren and Rio at Blue Barn
Photo credit: Photo by Pat Shepherd
The Adults performing at the Powerstation in Auckland, 2018.
Ben Lemi, Paul Wood and Michael Duffy as Hikoikoi, 2011.
Estère performing at San Fran in Wellington, 2021, with Ben Lemi on synth and bass, and Cory Champion on drums.
Photo credit: Chabs and Milky
Dawn Diver for their RNZ live session in 2019.
Photo credit: Yadana Saw
Ben Lemi in Prague, 2013.
Labels:

Lefse Records


Home Alone Music


Maiden Records


Holiday Records


Allgood Absolute Alternative Records


Flying Nun

Funded by

Partners with