Gisborne’s Kini Quartet sweetly spotlighted the state of NZ race relations in the 1960s. 1963 was a year of protest, when folk singer Joan Baez led a crowd of 300,000 anti-racism marchers in Washington in singing ‘We Shall Overcome’ and Dr Martin Luther King gave his ‘I have a Dream’ speech.
Here in sleepy Aotearoa, The Kini Quartet, a barely-remembered acoustic quartet from Gisborne, added their sweet harmonies to the bitter struggle against racial discrimination, one that would dominate the coming decade. They pointed to the racism close to home – not in faraway, burning Mississippi or riot-torn Alabama.
Martin Kini - vocals
Joe Williams - vocals
Esther Taihuka - vocals
Barney Taihuka - vocals, guitar
Richard Bell - vocals
John Hemopo - vocals
Richard Bells' son is DJ, media personality and broadcaster Philip 'Sir-Vere' Bell.