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About Jaqualyn Taimana Williams

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Jaqualyn Taimana Williams (Jaqi) is a New Zealand songwriter, registered Early Childhood teacher and Mum of four.

“In 2015, I recovered from cancer surgery at North Shore hospital and went on to create my 2018  bilingual children’s album Waiata Tamariki with producer, Ian Rushton. I  combined my teaching insights and knowledge with my songwriting talents to create a fun set of Kiwi context bilingual children’s songs.

In October 2019. I proudly released my eclectic sixteen-track rock album Statues Of Liberty. I recorded at Kog Recording Studio in Titirangi with the guitar, bass and track production expertise of Tim Skedden (The Feelers, Babysitters Circus), the mastering skills of Chris Chetland, and the drum skills of Corey Friedlander (City Of Souls).  This collection of songs represents the best and most popular of my many adult contemporary songs as evident by the responses from live performances, radio and TV airplay over the years.”

Tracks from the children’s album are getting radio airplay and there are constant heartwarming compliments from teachers and parents who have the Waiata Tamariki CD and booklet.  Jaqi has performed live at Urban Flava, a Music For Parks event in South Auckland just before the first lockdown in 2020, then at the Hamilton Garden Arts Festival and the Tūrangawaewae Waka Ama regatta in 2021.

Working with ONZA and mentored by Auckland University lecturer, Robyn Trinick, Jaqi co-created a teacher workshop  to help teachers explore sounds and movement ideas with their tamariki to retell Māori legends.  The new children’s album Waiata Tamariki 2 will feature a track called Te Ika a Māui which was inspired by the mahi of the tamariki Jaqi was teaching.

“I do this as a language learner as much as a teacher.  I was not brought up in a Māori-speaking home and I’m far from a te reo expert.  I create these songs to help myself and others learn te reo.  With short, repeated simple phrases and words and the English translation already within the song, I can help listeners (children, teachers, parents) to say/sing and understand the Māori words.  Research shows that using the medium of song to help people learn te reo actually works.”

Even though she recalls writing her first song at age 7,  and singing it to the class at school – Jaqi’s professional music career began at age 18 at the Arts Centre in Christchurch fronting a covers band formed by University students. She ended up playing keyboard, vocals and guitar professionally in Christchurch’s top hotel bands and duos. Over the years Jaqi gradually stockpiled an extensive range of catchy and punchy original songs, comedy songs, songs written in te reo Māori and eventually bilingual songs for children.

As a student of performing arts at Hagley Theatre Co in 1995, Jaqi was once hired as a singing jester on a party bus. This led to the development of stand-up comedy routines and forming a comedian’s collective (which included Rhys Darby). She performed at such iconic historical bars as Kitty O’Brien’s and The Temple in Auckland, Bath St Bar in Dunedin and the Wunderbar and Dux Lux in Christchurch.

Jaqi toured Germany in 1998 with a collection of original folk/country/rock recordings in a female acoustic duo  The Mona Lisas.  Her grungy rock band Mothership was played regularly on Cry music TV, and later her multi-cultural line-up Manu Taniwha was aired on TV2’s Ground Zero music show in 1999.

In 2005 Jaqi’s electronica/country song Buying Heaven was included on an NZ Music Month CD sent out free with The Christchurch Press. Five years later, Jaqi celebrated the production of a homemade compilation of her recordings over two decades, Crowning Jewels with a live show at Fat Eddie’s. Her final performance as a Christchurch resident was the City Council run Lunchtime in The Square, Christchurch 2011.

” It’s been a geographical journey as much as anything else.  I have songs written in Christchurch, Invercargill, Auckland and my home town is Whakatāne. Since discovering my Māori heritage I also now link to Waikato, Tauranga and the East Coast. My identity – who I am and where I come from is integral to all my creative works.  It’s a really good feeling to have created two high-quality albums reaching across demographics. To have a new children’s collection and a new rock EP coming out within the next 12 months is really satisfying.”

 

Feedback from live shows:

Children’s music: “Loved your songs – especially Helicopter”  Phil,  fellow entertainer at Music In Parks 2020

Rock music and comedy: “Edgy, authentic and funny”  Sasha, attendee 2019 Album Release, Auckland

Rock music and comedy “Very entertaining …showed immense talent, original and varied … very funny”” – Margaret Sewell, Sewell Glover and Barristers and Solicitors, Christchurch.

Rock/comedy  “A very versatile entertainer” University of Canterbury magazine

Feedback from Waiata Tamariki: “Great, catchy songs” Cath Martin (teacher) “My boys are playing it over and over” Maria Holden (mother and ECE worker)

Taimana Publishing Mission Statement

Taimana Publishing aims to

  • provide a professional and personalised online marketplace for the work of Jaqualyn Taimana Williams
  • be an easy, direct online shop for the downloads, CDs and merchandise of Jaqualyn Taimana Williams