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The Tribute To Sonny Concert


Sun 17 Aug 2008, 2:00pm

Where: Broadway Pub & Cafe, 4 Osborne St, Newmarket, Auckland

Restrictions: R18

Ticket Information:

  • Adult: $25.00
  • Additional fees may apply

Listed by: JadedPromotions51

Some of New Zealand's finest bands and musicians will gather to pay tribute to the late soul/blues legend Sonny Day, who died last August.

Confirmed artists include the Alibis, Barry Saunders, Beaver, Hammond Gamble, Hello Sailor, Herbs Unplugged, Josie Rika, the Jukes, Kim Willoughby, Kiwi Connection, Larry Morris, the Lowdown Dirty Blues Band (aka Supergroove), Mahia Blackmore, Midge Marsden, Mud Sharks, Nga Kaumaatua, Mark Heke's Ponsonby Express, Rufus Rehu's Side Effects, the Sundowners, Tommy Fergusson, Truda Chadwick and Unity Pacific.

Sonny Day (real name: Hone Wikaira) hailed from the Hokianga but his whanau shifted to West Auckland when Sonny was in his teens. In 1959 he formed the Sharks (renamed the Sundowners the following year), who built their reputation at the Maori Community Centre in Freeman's Bay.

In 1962 Sonny Day and the Sundowners replaced the Keil Isles's residency at Auckland's top teen nightspot, the Jive Centre. The band recorded a dozen singles before disbanding in 1964 when Sonny accepted a residency at a New Caledonian resort, later accepting a similar position in Tahiti.

He returned to New Zealand in 1967, fronting the Dallas Four and later the Mojomen, Breeze, Crow and others.

Sonny recorded little during his career but in 1985, while fronting the All-Stars, he released a soulful version of Clarence Clemon's "Saving Up", a top ten hit.

Throughout the 1980s and 1990s Sonny, strapping on a guitar, concentrated more on traditional blues than his former soul music trademark (he was often billed a 'NZ's King of Soul'), always featuring top-notch musos.

In the late 1990s ill health forced Sonny's retirement. Battling emphysema, live performances became very rare. He died on 9 August last year. Due to the suddenness of his death and subsequent burial three days later, many were unable to attend the tangi.

The tribute concert at will be an opportunity for friends and fans to farewell Sonny in style. As well as live performances, large screens will show a selection of Sonny Day performances from over the years, including his final performance at the Matakana Festival a year before his death.

Also included will be the reformation of the Sundowners, performing for the first time in 44 years, featuring guitarist Bob Wynyard and bassist Teddy Toi, both based in Australia, and drummer Lionel Kennedy, who will fly in from Tahiti for the concert.

Auckland pianist Max Purdie and saxcophonist Marsh Cook complete the line-up.

Proceeds from the event will go to Sonny's whanau.

Restaurants to book near The Tribute To Sonny Concert