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Donna Dean & Heaven Bent


Sat 27 Oct 2012, 8:00pm–10:30pm

Where: Playhouse Theatre Inc, 15 Glendale Road, Glen Eden, Auckland

Restrictions: All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Waged: $30.00
  • Unwaged: $22.00
  • Additional fees may apply

Listed by: Stephen Moore

Country meets gospel - Donna Dean and Heaven Bent go west!

Country and gospel music fans are promised an evening of songs ranging from heart-throbbingly beautiful to joyously foot-stomping when internationally acclaimed country diva Donna Dean returns to Auckland for a one-off gig with Auckland’s Heaven Bent Gospel Choir.

As well as showcasing songs from Donna’s new album, Tyre Tracks & Broken Hearts - along with some old favourites - the concert will premiere the gospel choir arrangement of one of the songs from her 2011 RIANZ-awarded Best Country Album, What Am I Gonna Do?

Currently based in Melbourne, the Auckland-born singer songwriter got together earlier this year with Heaven Bent’s musical director Phil May to arrange Pray for performance with the 35-voice a cappella choir.

"I was moved to tears during our first rehearsal by the beautiful harmonies and vibrant enthusiasm of Heaven Bent,” says Donna, whose only other experience of singing with a choir was as a 12-year-old schoolgirl. “Sharing the stage with the choir and their wonderful musical director, Phil May, will without question be a high point for me in 2012. I'm very excited and grateful for this opportunity.”

Backing her solo items will be Glenn Ross Campbell on Dobro guitar and Greg Turner on guitar and vocals.

Donna Dean’s arresting blend of intelligent lyrics, folk-country-blues-rock-bluegrass rhythms and her deep rich voice, has won her fans all over the world particularly in Germany and the United States where she regularly tours.

Her song Destination Life was the title track for US country singer Rhonda Vincent’s 2010 Grammy-nominated bluegrass album.

US album reviewer John Aspice writes: “Not many artists have the imaginations of a Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell and Leonard Cohen. Or the creative lunacy of a John Prine, Randy Newman or Tom Waits. But recently, I came across a New Zealand singer who easily reaches into a listener’s heart and stirs up the emotional coals or gets your ass to shimmy on a barstool. Singer/songwriter Donna Dean is deserving of gaining that momentum that’s needed to take centre stage. She is that artist that the famous, accomplished artists in attendance would stop and listen to.”

Donna is a NZ Music Awards double Tui winner, as well as 2011 winner of RIANZ Best Country Album and APRA Best Country Song.

She has worked with and supported artists of such stature as Don McLean, Dan Penn, Spooner Oldham, Russell Smith and The Amazing Rhythm Aces, Willie Nelson, Catie Curtis, Eric Taylor, Eric Bibb and Burt Jansch, to name a few.

Donna is also a big fan of the Heaven Bent Gospel Choir which has been delighting audiences since 1996 with their passion for music from the gospel tradition. The choir has excited crowds at a huge variety of events including WOMAD, The Auckland Festival, The Rugby World Cup Fan Trail, and numerous charity concerts. Their extensive repertoire focuses on the stirring rhythms and harmonies of African and American gospel, Maori waiata and Pacific sacred songs.

The venue for this special concert is the historic Playhouse Theatre in Glen Eden - a small professional theatre with real character, perfect for an evening of superb music in an intimate setting.

Bookings: Phone/text 027 222 9049 or email
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