“Music is an art form, yet Masterton has no live music venue, with the closure of King St Live in 2016,” said Aratoi Director Susanna Shadbolt.
“Aratoi and Grafia Productions are teaming up to present Live @ Aratoi, a concert series for the community, thanks to support from Masterton District Council and to the donation of sound gear by the Cross Creek Blues Club, which disbanded in 2018."
"Live @ Aratoi brings the Wairarapa a range of music, with new and familiar voices, local and international, at affordable prices. Our Wesley Wing, a decommissioned church, offers a beautiful ambience and seating for up to 120 people.”
The most recent concert - in early September - featured singer-songwriter-pianist Meg Hunter from Carterton, opening for Hinemoana Baker, an international singer-songwriter and poet currently living in Berlin.
Concertgoers called the night “epic” and “genius”, and Hinemoana Baker called Meg Hunter, at just 14 years old, “a miracle” on stage.
The next Live @ Aratoi gig: 3 November, 'We Mavericks Tour', with Lindsay Martin (Aus) and Victoria Vigenser (NZ).
Save the date: 30 January 2020, Live @ Aratoi presents the Irish singer: Andy Irvine. "His singing is pure emotion. His playing is both delicate and energetic. Andy invented the interlaces of bouzouki, mandolin and mandola in Irish music. He’s often been mimicked, but never equalled." - Irish Times
Aratoi, celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2019, has presented acts from across Aotearoa (Hinemoana Baker, Frank Burkitt Band, Sarah Dill, Grafia, Meg Hunter, Jeep Rd, Jhan Lindsay, Rimutaka All Stars Dixie Swing Band, Snake Creek Band, Anthonie Tonnon, Hemi Walker) Australia (Alchemy), Honduras/NZ (Leonel Alvarado), South Africa (Zulu Love), and USA (Richard Gilewitz).