International Taonga Puoro Artist and Practitioner
Grammy award winning featured soloist and Maori musical instrument specialist Jerome Kavanagh (Poutama) hails from the Mokai Patea, Maniapoto, Kahungunu tribes (Maori) and the Caomhanach clan (Irish). He was first introduced to the sound of Taonga Puoro at aged 16 by one of his aunties. A family owned Koauau (Maori cross blown flute) was the first instrument he recalls learning to play.
Maintaining his strong roots, Jerome has become part of a movement introducing Maori music, art and culture to the world. Over his career he has performed/recorded with artists from a variety of different genres which range from Hip Hop to Classical. His collaborations include The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (U.K) Moana and the Tribe (N.Z) Daniel Beddingfeild, Hayley Westenra, Joler Gaan (Bangladesh), Kevin Mark Trail "The Streets" (U.K) and two times Grammy award winning composer Christopher Tin (U.S.A).
Jerome joins only a handful of New Zealand musicians as a featured solo artist and lyricist on two time Grammy award winning album "Calling All Dawns" 2011 in "Kia Hora te Marino"(May peace be widespread) recorded at Abbey Road studios, London.
More recently he performed at New York’s prestigious Carnegie Hall and The Lincoln Center alongside Distinguished Concerts New York International orchestra, Sydney Opera house with his band HuiA, The British Museum, Te Papa Tongarewa National Museum, Guest artist at Pasifika festival 2016 and was also a selected member of the New Zealand Art Delegation at the 11th Festival of Pacific Arts in the Solomon Islands. Jerome recently toured India and Bangladesh sharing his Oro Atua Taonga Puoro sound bath experience and live performances with as a guest artist with the legendary Bangladesh band Joler Gaan. He is also currently a band member of International Indigenous music collective Small Island Big Song and is simultaneously working as a composer and recording artist for The Deadland series.
Alongside his musical career, Jerome is one of New Zealand’s most active Taonga Puoro workshop providers. At present he travels sharing his interactive , live show "Power to the Puoro" to thousands of children in Aotearoa, New Zealand along with, universities, museums, colleges, Indigenous communities globally. Jerome shares his ORO ATUA Puoro Maori sound healing events and clinics worldwide reviving the practises of healing through traditional Maori musical instruments.
"Mr Kavanagh has a well developed Knowledge of Maori culture and traditions as particularly as they relate to the making and uses of Maori musical instruments, This is a very specialised area of study with few practioners having the international reputation Mr Kavanagh has achieved. As a performance artist Mr Kavanagh has played at the London Roundhouse, Sydney Opera house and Carnegie Hall , New York. As a recording artist he contributed an featured on Grammy award winning album Calling All Dawns ( 2011) .
He is an experienced and committed educator and performer ,who can effectively communicate his expertise for the benefit of others in a range of settings."
British Museum, Curator Oceania , Natasha McKinney (2014)