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It's nearly time for Jambalaya 2008

Sunday 4 November 2007

Christmas and New Year are fast approaching so it's about time preparations were put in place for the forthcoming festivities.

To that end, Jambalaya 2008 in Rotorua is the first big event of 2008 and well worth you planning to be there for summer - and the start of the New Year!

Jambalaya is a music and dance festival jam-packed with three days of international and national acts, top international dancers, workshops, theatre shows, music & circus performers, market stalls, kids programme, street performance and the most beautiful energetic carnival parade this side of Brazil. It's into its fifth year this year - there've been two shows in Taupo, then Rotorua has been the venue for the three day fest. This time though, organisers have moved it from Easter time to January to catch some of the summer vibe.

Your three-day pass will allow you to wander in and out of shows, try a workshop, watch bands and dance all night in the fabulous circus tent. The festival site has shade trees, a walk down to fresh water swimming in the lake and gorgeous international food so you can enjoy the summer as well as the gigs.

This year for the first time, Jambalaya has an outdoor main stage, The Sol Beer Stage, featuring international acts from all over the world, see the artist page for details. The dance performers line up is inspiring, we are very lucky to be presenting some of New Zealand and the world's top performers/teachers.

A carnival village filled with craft and art markets and international food and street performers will link all of the music and dance sites and create a bustling street scene to explore, and an internationally flavoured kids zone.

Some of the artists lined up for this year's show include Katchafire who are an all Maori reggae band from Hamilton. They have achieved phenomenal success over the last few years. Their debut album "Revival", their single "Giddy Up", and "Slow Burning" have taken their acclaim from New Zealand to Hawaii and further.

Katchafire’s success has seen them opened not only for Damien Marley, Michael Franti and Spearhead, they have also played extensive gigs all across Aotearoa, undertaken four tours of Australia, and headlining a stadium-filling show in Fiji.

The Mamaku Project is based on The Mamaku: a tall tree-fern native to the islands of Aotearoa. Its generous umbrella of fronds offers lush green shade and balance. Each frond begins as a koru, unfurling hope and creativity. The Mamaku Project is inspired to orchestrate its origins like the Mamaku does its fronds…

The Mamaku Project, based in Aotearoa/NZ, weaves smooth jazz with a french lilt, pacifica dub, and scents of the middle-east into a fresh and colourful style. French-Kiwi co-founders Tui Mamaki & Monsieur Escargot gather around them a selection of local talent to perform, record, and forge the vessel – A musical project linking peoples, landscapes, language.

But it's not just about the music - there's also a series of workshops (Over 50 of them in fact) in a broad diversity of things such as Salsa, Samba, percussion,dance, Polynesian Drumming, Dance African drumming, dance , Circus, Latin Percussion , Kapa Haka , Bollywood Dance , Hula Hoops, Long Poi and Carnival parade workshops.

So there's plenty of choice for everyone - and what a great way to start 2008!

Have the organisers done the right thing by moving it to Summer? And have you already got your ticket and trip sorted?