Musicians confirmed for 2021 festival
A who’s who of New Zealand’s top musicians is gathering for the festival.
Hot Diggity Bluegrass
Heather Carrigan: songwriting, vocals, mandolinHeather comes from a musical family, and has been active in the country music scene since childhood. In her 20s she discovered bluegrass and truly fell in love. She has played with bands in Australia and the United States and now lives in Dargaville. Hot Diggity is her brainchild and she does most of the heavy lifting, musically speaking. She writes powerful songs for and about women, a rarity in the bluegrass world. At the same time, her music is fully steeped in classical bluegrass tradition and sounds like it could have been written in the golden age of bluegrass.
Deborah Mackenzie: songwriting, vocals, guitar.Deborah has always loved to sing. Growing up in the Salvation Army gave her a great introduction to music and harmony. Previously Deborah sang in a three part harmony trio in Auckland called the Wendy Lus. In 2010 she released an album of originals, “The Ride”, with Peter Neumegen. Deborah also plays in an accoustic group called Rainberry Pie which explores many acoustic styles from alt-country, western swing, She is a singer songwriter who enjoys her guitar, but LOVES to sing. She takes pleasure in writing songs particularly about themes that resonate with other women.
Jenine Abarbanel: vocals, bass.Living in the tiny seaside village of Leigh, Jenine came to music late, learning to play the stand-up bass in 2006 so she could jam with her bluegrass playing family. A singer since childhood, her vocals are most often compared to Natalie Merchant and Gillian Welch. What she lacks in talent and skill she makes up for with energy and chutzpah.
Sue Drake: vocals and banjo.Sue Drake of Whangarei is a “camper from way back.” Active and athletic, she brings energy and dedication to her playing. Sue has played guitar in a number of bands for decades, in both the rock and country genres. She picked up the 5 string banjo and bluegrass music in 2012, just, as she says, to keep life interesting. And that’s what it’s all about!
Krissy Jackson: vocals and fiddle.From New Plymouth, Krissy has been playing violin since the age of 2, and is proficient in numerous genres of music. Hot Diggity is her first bluegrass band, and she is enjoying the challenges and new techniques that entails. In 2017 Krissy released her solo debut album “Have Fiddle, Will Travel,” with tracks featuring all of her various musical partners, including “Ghost Railway” by Hot Diggity.
Maria's Hot Property
Raymond Haika Solomon
Dan Cosgrove Band
2019 was a very busy year for Carson Taare. He received NZ’s Variety Artists Club Rising Star Award, was a special guest performer with the New Glenn Miller Orchestra on tour in NZ, performed with Gray Bartlett, Mark Dennison and Sonny Curtis at Nashville’s CMA Music Festival in Nashville, Tennessee and squeezed in a couple of performances in Texas.
Carson had previously toured Hong Kong and Shanghai with the NZSS Choir and will tour Germany and the Czech Republic with the Choir in April and May 2020 before heading back to Nashville and Texas.
Although still in his teens, this 6’ 4” New Zealander is taking his music around the world. He plays piano and guitar and his vocal range and versatility allow him to sing everything from light opera, pop, country, folk, and barbershop quartet styles of music. He performed with Sonny Curtis and Gray Bartlett at the 2019 CMA Fest in Nashville and was invited to perform with the New Glenn Miller Orchestra when the orchestra toured New Zealand.
In 2018 Carson performed with the NZSS Choir in Hong Kong and Shanghai and toured Germany and the Czech Republic with the Choir.
“Carson has a magical personal style of singing, and extraordinary guitar and piano playing ability. He has impressed all media, and public alike in a very short time, with encore audiences and now his first USA visit to perform in Fort Worth Texas and Nashville Tennessee await. All agents in the USA have been attracted to his unique ability to win over audiences, with his youthful honesty and freshness, and by being just CARSON! “ — Gray Bartlett
- Brendan Dugan – The Gentle Giant of Country Music
- Legendary NZ Entertainer
- Guest on The Ralph Emery Show and toured many countries around the World.
- Represented NZ in Nashville on ‘The Grand Ole Opry’
- TV Award winner (New Faces)
- NZ Entertainer of the Year/The highest Musical Award in NZ – The Benny Award
- #1 singles released in Australia, include ‘Honky Tonk Heroes’ and ‘Daddy was a Boxer’.
- Celebrating 50+ years in the Music Industry – performed at The Grand Old Opry USA – and still has the magic that makes him a Legend in NZ as well as overseas.