Just a little part 70’s folk rock, one quart deep south country, shadows of a gospel soul priestess and a former life of a jazz & blues diva, Catherine Tunks is a performing artist that doesn’t buy into the genre moulding factory very easily.
Give this girl a telecaster and one could be reminded of Bonnie Raitt, Susan Tedeschi, with the passion of Aretha Franklin. Mix in a little black magic and gospel, and find yourself on a road trip through the land where the boundaries of blues, americana jazz and alt country become one, with the band boys in the back seat and mama firmly at the steering wheel.
As the former band leader and vocalist of New Zealand jazz/funk group BlackSandDiva for the best part of a decade, she has travelled the world as a performing and recording artist with two acclaimed albums, an impressive list of festival appearances and collaborations with musicians from all over the globe.
Now – leaving her Black Sand Diva aka behind her with the release of the EP The Beautiful Dreamers (part 1) she dives deeper into the musical roots of her country church upbringing, the Irish and NZ Maori heritage giving her that undeniable South Pacific groove amongst the Louisiana style mystery.
With her stellar live band combining pedal and lap steel that is way more dark distortion than California cute, hypnotising guitar accompaniment and vocals that soar through many moods, she gives her audience an obvious seduction that comes only from a life well lived on and off the stage.
PREVIOUS & RECENT FESTIVALS
World Master Games (NZ) 2017, Waiheke Jazz Festival 2017, Portobello BLues Festival 2017, Mercury Bay Music Festival 2017, Auckland Arts Festival 2016, Auckland Jazz Festival 2015, Samoana Jazz & Arts Festival 2014 (Pago Pago, American Samoa & Apia, Western Samoa), Queenstown International Jazz n Blues Fest 2013, Germany & European Tour 2013, Auckland Matariki Festival 2013 & 2015, Oratia Jungle Festival 2013, Auckland Christmas in the Park, Auckland Domain Music in Parks, Waiheke International Jazz Festival 2011 & 2012/2014, Tauranga International Jazz Festival 2011, Nelson Jazz Festival 2010 & 2011, Carlsberg Music Festival, Ireland – 2004. Hamilton Garden Arts Festival, Titirangi Festival of Music 2011/2012/2015, Prana New Years Festival, Sth Pacific Tour 2012 (Cook Islands/Samoa), Samoa International Jazz & Blues Festival 2010, Waitangi Festival Waitangi Treaty Grounds, Mission Bay Jazz & Blues Streetfest 2010/Main stage 2011, Sky City Theatre, World Surfing Championships, Hyundai Code (Maori TV), Auckland Zoo Music Series 2009, Irish TV Channel TG4, Nationwide Soul for the South Nationwide Tour 2011.
Supporting slots and collaborations with with 1814, Soljah, Sola Rosa, D-Dub, Hollie Smith, Iva Lamkum, Whirimako Black Ruth Wyand (USA), Solid Brew (Germany) Jon Sanders (Ireland), Beneath the Words (Ireland/NZ) Kim Halliday (Pacific Curls).
Waiata Maori Music Award Nominee 2013 – Best Urban/Roots Album.