Learn the movement of contemporary Polynesia, the Sega pulse of Mauritius and the enduring song & dance of Indigenous Taiwan

The Indo-Pacific shares a little known ancestry of the ocean spread from Madagascar to Rapa Nui, Taiwan to Aotearoa and reaching back over 5,000 years along the ocean currents and seasonal winds to an island now called Taiwan. Small Island Big Song artists Putad, Emlyn and Olivia Foa’i embody these oceanic connections through dance, rhythm and chant, teaching participants the movements and sounds of these island cultures.

Participants are encouraged to wear a skirt or a hat, to add to their experience.

Biography

Putad – Amis heritage, Taiwan (Songwriter & Performer)

Powerful, entrancing, unapologetic all words used to describe Putad’s engaging stage presence. In the proud spirit of her indigenous Amis heritage, Putad unites ancient vocal traditions with raw energy of grunge, rock and punk, as her and her brothers Wusang and Linken’s band Outlet Drift express. In the Small Island Big Song (SIBS) ensemble, she brings this energy, her soaring voice, rock bass along with her coastal Amis ancestry and love for the ocean! SIBS met Putad through an online music project in 2020. She has since become one of the feature artists on the album ‘Our Island’ and its tours across four continents.

Emlyn – Creole heritage, Mauritius (Songwriter & Performer)

Featured on CNN, Emlyn is leading a wave of performers across the Indian Ocean proudly reclaiming their unique rhythms and cultural mix. Written with a reactive pen and sung in Mauritian Creole, her songs express her concerns for her island’s environment. Emlyn brings the infectious grooves of Sega with the sounds of her traditional frame drum, Ravann, which originated from the rhythms of African/Madagascan people during the slave trade. SIBS didn’t meet Emlyn physically until Jan’ 2022 (we all know why!), two years after they started working together, and has toured with her across four continents since.

Olivia Foa’i – Tokelau & Aotearoa, New Zealand (Songwriter & Performer)

Olivia Foa’i is a singer-songwriter, musician, director and dancer. Being the daughter of Opetaia Foa’i, the founder of internationally acclaimed Polynesian band – Te Vaka. She’s performed across 40 countries with the band and is featured on Disney’s Moana soundtrack. In 2019 she released her debut solo album Candid and won “Best Pacific Album” in the Aotearoa Music Awards and “Best Female Artist” in the Pacific Music Awards 2020. Tim and BaoBao worked with Olivia at a concert at Sydney Opera House back in 2013, and she’s finally joining SIBS ensemble in 2023.