Crossing Borders – Toru tour with AOTNZ.
Toru re-ignites the glowing embers of a 25-year musical association between Denny Stanway, James Wilkinson and Davy Stuart from Rua, the legendary Christchurch Celtic band formed by Denny's husband, the late Jimmy Young.
The name? In Maori, it means ‘three’, in Japanese ‘the sea’. It seemed a logical progression from Rua (two), and the days when Rua built up a significant fan base, performing at major music festivals both here and overseas, recording multiple albums to critical acclaim (winner of two New Zealand Music Awards) and touring several times with AOTNZ.
Rua called it a day several years ago, but the music won out and now they’re back again with Crossing Borders, singing songs of love, landscape, loss, heritage, friendship and connection.
Denny: “Crossing Borders as a concept came about through physical relocation after the Christchurch earthquakes, dealing with the stress and anxiety of long-term earthquake issues, and the death of a partner.”
Crossing Borders also reflects their varied ancestry. Davy is a transplanted Scot, James has German heritage and Denny is European Maori - despite what her blue eyes and blonde colouring might suggest, her maternal grandmother was born near Kopu. “We are Ngati Maru au Hauraki.”
Most importantly, Crossing Borders reflects the music that moves these musicians. “From original NZ songwriters to old Celtic ballads, we cross genres within a sound that is strongly acoustic strings-based with rhythms from the Irish drum, the Bodhran and vocal arrangements featuring all of the band.”
Australian virtuoso violinist Lindsay Martin is a member of Toru when available and from his studio in Australia, is currently working with Davy Stuart to add fiddle to Toru’s latest CD. He too will ‘cross borders’ to add violin and mandolin to the mix.
“...the consummate singer”; “...a voice you won’t forget”; “...a true diva of song” - vocalist for the groundbreaking early 80’s Auckland-based group Acoustic Confusion, supporting act to Don McLean, performer at numerous NZ arts festivals, folk festivals and WOMAD... has recorded with Shona Laing and Mahinarangi Tocker.
Virtuoso guitarist, fretless bassist, singer-songwriter, composer - his music straddles multiple genres such as Celtic, folk, blues and rock, often with a nod to the quirky and avant garde - a modern day troubadour.
Skilled guitar and bouzouki player noted for his Chamber Music and AOTNZ tours with harpist, Helen Webby. Internationally renowned luthier - on this tour, all four musicians will play instruments made by Davy.
Book: Opotiki Deluxe Theatre