A draw of 150 people from all corners of New Zealand are singing praises to the 2019 YAMI SouNZ Summit, which wrapped last weekend at Lake Wanaka Centre. Event organisers crowned last Saturday’s and Sunday’s music industry event with the title of the “best YAMI yet” due to the creativity and talent expressed this year.
The attendees joined this year’s summit to upskill on everything from music technology to DJ-ing to singing in harmony. The summit, which started in 2015, broke down barriers by offering collaborative opportunities for participants of all ages to gain access to the knowledge of key music professionals who have a proven success record in the music industry.
Between workshops, panels and showcases, the bravery of the summit participants was noticed. “My favourite part of summit was seeing all of the people who thought they had nothing to offer, who thought that they were so new that they couldn’t contribute as much as those who had more experience, but, man, these people had passion and talent, and I think that energy will take them a long way,” said 2019 YAMI Summit participant George Cairney.
Approximately 350 people filled the Centre to enjoy Sunday night’s public performance; a 22-piece choir and 20 of the Summit attendees joined Tiki Taane, P Digsss, Bella Kalolo, Kings and Laughton Kora on stage. The experience was something that Cairney, of Wanaka, said he will never forget. “I was able to show people how I felt through music, and that felt good to be able to express myself and to have people listen,” he said. “I knew that everyone was going to feel some excitement, but I had no idea how much emotion would be felt by the crowd.”
The 2019 YAMI line up featured tutors P Digsss, Tiki Taane and Sambora (Shapeshifter), Steph Brown (Lips), Kings and Bella Kalolo. The group joined the summit’s veterans of Warren Maxwell, Lee Prebble, Danny Fairley and Barnaby Weir. All musical artists donated their time, skills and energy to support the educational summit. The event was run by volunteers with ticket proceeds used to help fund the region’s music education.