Hastings Leader - 2021-05-05


Album to be performed


Shannon Johnstone

Lady Larisa is a local jazz artist from Hawke’s Bay. Ahead of her EP release and show at Toitoi – Hawke’s Bay Arts & Events Centre’s Opera House this weekend, which had previously been postponed due to Covid-19, reporter put some questions to her. How did you get started as an artist? I got started as an artist from being part of a creative family. Born in Hastings, my first role was at age 3 in The King and I as my siblings were in the cast. My father was a hotel proprietor honkytonk/blues pianist involved in the jazz club and my mother was very involved in theatre. It was destined that I would become involved in the arts. I’ve actually always sung and it’s wonderful to be writing recently too! I really want to contribute in a positive way to the New Zealand jazz scene. Songwriter/producer Thomas Oliver and Creative NZ have been very supportive and I’m grateful. What can audiences expect from your show? Audiences can expect a beautiful show with an absolute top band consisting of Wil Sargisson on keys, Arahi on guitar, Anton Wuts will play a variety of instruments, Christopher Wilson on trumpet, Chris Beernink on double bass and Chris Smith on the drums. Tell us a bit about your upcoming EP. My new EP Honeychild will be released Friday, May 7 and the show will celebrate that release, performing the songs from the EP on Saturday, May 8, the day before Mother’s Day. If you ask me which is a favourite song, I have to say all of them. Though I love the sentiment of Honeychild as it speaks to telling somebody that they are special when they are not feeling so. To encourage and lift somebody’s spirits with warmth, love and positivity. What are you looking forward to about playing at the Opera House? I can’t wait to perform at the Opera House. It’s an honour! I consider it a real treasure and of huge benefit for the arts in Hastings and Hawke’s Bay in general. They’ve done an incredible job restoring it and I hope to see plenty of the community at the show on Saturday. We kept the ticket price at a modest $21 to make it an affordable evening.


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