Tama Waipara is the Chief Executive/ Artistic Director of Te Tairāwhiti Arts Festival in Gisborne. He is a multi-instrumentalist, singer/songwriter, composer, actor, performer, Musical Director and Producer. He is Co-Chair of SOUNZ – Centre for NZ Music, Deputy Chair of the Rongowhakaata Iwi Trust, a member of the Te Hau ki Tūranga Governance Group and a staunch advocate for ngā toi Māori.
A Masters graduate of the prestigious Manhattan School of Music in New York, Tama was signed by New York label ObliqSound as a singer/songwriter and released his debut album Triumph of Time to high critical acclaim at Central Park Summerstage in New York.
He has performed with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, Christchurch Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Wellington and Auckland Chamber Orchestra.
Tama has worked across multiple art-forms and as composer, actor, musical director and producer. Along with Mahuia Bridgman-Cooper, he recently won the 2017 APRA Silver Scroll for Best Original Music in a Feature Film for MAHANA.