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It’s that time again. The grooves are getting under way this week as Fest’napuan returns for another memory-making week. This year’s festival features new faces and old, with musicians and singers from New Zealand, Australia, PNG, New Caledonia, Solomon Islands and from all over Vanuatu.

The festival will be a celebration of a plethora of styles, from the much-loved and familiar jamming of Brada Cloud to Milly Dham dub styling to Tujah grooving with the Groove Gang. New Caledonia’s Fuego Ritano may be the first taste of flamenco for many Port Vila residents, but the Black Seeds unique brand of reggae soul is already widely admired here. The Two For One band are returning to one of their favourite venues. Australia’s virtuoso guitarist Chris Tamwoy will be a new face—and an entirely new sound—at the Festival.

Justin Wellington

In recent years his name and his music have taken the Pacific by storm. The Papua New Guinean born singer has emerged at the very forefront of the music scene throughout the islands and beyond. His charm and charisma have captured the hearts and minds of scores of adoring fans, and his beloved songs have become household favorites time and time again. Justin’s unique style and sound is an irresistible blend of pop, reggae, R&B, dancehall and island music. His music is of course heavily stemmed from his diverse musical influences, but it is also undoubtedly a result of his life experiences in his home nation Papua New Guinea, and also from many years of living, traveling and performing abroad in North America, the South Pacific and South-East Asia.

The Black Seeds

One of New Zealand’s most loved live acts, The Black Seeds, have spent the last two decades taking the world by storm. In their homeland, they are revered stalwarts of the touring and festival circuit, while abroad they’ve remained at the forefront of New Zealand’s internationally renowned roots movement, alongside the likes of Fat Freddy’s Drop.

Described by Clash Magazine as “one of the best live reggae acts on the planet,” the band’s eight piece live show brings raw energy and good vibes wherever they go. With countless sold out tours behind them and performances at many of the world’s leading festivals, The Black Seeds live
set delivers a soul party on time, every time.

Firmly rooted in the bass-heavy island grooves that inspired the birth of the band in 1998, The Black Seed’s sound casts a wide net, laying funk, soul, Afro-beat and other electric elements over their characteristic brand of reggae/dub.

With a stash of multi-platinum albums and hits to their name, including ‘Dust and Dirt’, ‘So True’, ‘Cool Me Down’, and ‘One-By-One’, which became an international hit when it featured in an episode of the award-winning
TV series ‘Breaking Bad’, The Black Seeds will perform songs off their extensive catalogue, including their latest sixth studio album FABRIC. Since 1998, vocals led by Barnaby Weir and Daniel Weetman have been the driving force behind expressing The Black Seeds message. Conscious lyrics convey personal triumphs and failures, relationships good and bad, and are underpinned by a constant optimism. The Black Seeds released their debut album Keep On Pushing in 2001, which despite a minimal marketing budget, went on to reach platinum sales in New Zealand.

Overall the band’s six albums show The Black Seeds’ limitless creative energy for what it is always progressing without compromising the soul of who they are, while remaining conscious of the world around them. But the
band stresses that they focus a lot of energy on their live show. Weir says, “We’ve got our own specific South Pacific flavor that you wouldn’t have heard before.” If that’s true, you’re sure to hear it now, as The Black Seeds continue to reach new audiences the world over the same way they always have – by doing it their own way.

Chris Tamwoy

Chris is a self-taught guitarist with a unique playing style and sound. Spending his childhood with his family in the Torres Strait Islands, he now resides in Brisbane, Australia, and travels nationally and internationally with his music, as a proud ambassador for his Culture and Country.

His distinctive guitar-tap style and vibrant personality see him in high-demand with gigs across Australia, the USA and ongoing media appearances and documentary features. In 2016 national TV audiences watched Chris make his way thru to the grand finals of ‘Australia’s Got Talent’, and in 2018 saw him on TV weekly as a judge on ‘All Together Now’.

Having played some of Australia’s largest festivals he often surprises crowds with sensational on-stage collaborations. He also represented proudly at G’day LA, G’day USA and in Hawaii, and returns home to the islands whenever he can. 2018 also saw an inspired performance and Acknowledgment of Country and People at the Invictus Games Closing
Ceremony, collaborating with Colin Hay, Aloe Blacc and many more talented musicians.

2015 was a busy year with the release of his debut EP Ngaw Laag ‘My Home’ (available via iTunes and Impossible Odds Records), and the honor of receiving the National NAIDOC Youth of the Year Award. Since then Chris has been writing and rehearsing for an album set for release in 2019.

Dubbed a ‘guitar virtuoso’, this humble young man’s music, personality and vibe is unforgettable.

Two-4-One Band

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Following its grand show at Fest’napuan in 2016, Two-4-One Band received many warm commendations and support back home and continued to do what it does best: ’Make Music and perform Music’’.

In July 2018, the band was invited to participate in the 6th MACFEST-Melanesian Arts & Cultural Festival hosted in the capital Honiara.
Given its many regional tours, the band performed with a lot of confidence and has demonstrated utter professionalism during their three performances in the ten days festival. The band obviously stole the show judging from the crowd’s reactions for the band to continue playing at the end of each session.

During this festival, local, regional and international NGOs like Pacifica Renaissance, SPC, AusAid, Voice Blo Mere and other multilateral organizations has helped to boost the band’s reputation around the region through their programs to promote cultural music through local talents and musicians.

Shortly after Macfest, in August, Big Mountain made a debut concert in Honiara when Souljay & Two-4-One Band collaborated in making a song with the band and the man himself Joaquin (Quino) McWhinney titled ‘’All We Need is Love’’ The band plans to launch this song (with or without Big Mountain) in your upcoming show in September.
The band promises a number of new titles that will be unveiled especially for Fest’Napuan. They promise they will rock the capital with their new

Fuego Ritano

Fuego Ritano The Gipsy Way is a duo of gypsy musicians composed of Doulen (guitar and vocals) and Joémy BATISTA (solo guitar).

Born in Montpellier, these Catalan gypsies are musicians descended from generations of others. Joémy is the grandson of the great Manitas de Plata, legend of Flamenco. Their music was born from the fusion of flamenco puro and the Rumba Camargaise.

This music does not read; it feels. A composition can be played hundreds of times in different ways. Accustomed to the stage for more than 15 years, the duo played in 2005 during a private evening for the band Chico and the Gipsy. They were also invited in 2007 to perform the first part of the concert of gypsy guitarist Mario Reyes and were present in Brisbane in January 2010 for a series of concerts, invited by the band Flamenco Fire.

The group has recently expanded with the presence of Esteban, the youngest of the family on the cajon /drums, and also with the presence of Sam “Chico” on the drums and Dan “El Loco” on the bass.

This year 2014 marks the arrival in the group of a wonderful Flamenco dancer from Seville Cristina CAZALDO. Thanks to its presence and experience Fuego Ritano is able to offer shows in the purest Flamenca tradition for more intimate atmospheres and to offer much more festive concerts in the Gypsy style.