Nadene Pita is a Ngātiwai, indigenous musician, composer, improvisor and performing artist. She works in contemporary, intercultural music, experimental jazz, cross-disciplinary productions, theater and dance.
Her training as a vocalist and viola player in jazz and classical music is evident in her album, Turning Arrows into Flowers. Via South Pacific harmonies, a Maori chant, and a duet with her young daughter, her voice carries us through chamber pieces, a tango, mutated funk and free electroacoustic improvisations. Reflective of Nadene's mixed heritage as a New Zealander growing up in Queensland, Australia; of her Maori and Irish descent, a splash of Portuguese on her father’s side.
Ongoing collaborations include recordings and performances with multi-instrumentalist and composer David Ornette Cherry. As a member of David Ornette Cherry's Organic Nation Listening Club she performed in September 2022 for an interdisciplinary concert at the historic venue, The World Stage in Leimert Park, Los Angeles. She played with them at the 43rd Annual Watts Towers Jazz Festival and she is featured in his new recording, Organic Nation Listening Club – The Continual released on Spiritmuse Records in October 2021.
Nadene is collaborates for with leading Indigenous Arts Company, Red Sky Performance as a cross-cultural, improviser, composer, singer and multi-instrumentalist. She was recently on tour with Red Sky's production, Trace, which depicts Anishinaabe sky and star creation stories told through dance and music, in a multidisciplinary production during the Fall/Winter 2021. She also collaborated on Red Sky's concert, Truth 2 Power, in Toronto.
She also has a creative performance trio with dancer Heidi Pendergast and harpist/vocalist Nailah Hunter, along with her electroacoustic solo project.
An avid music educator, Nadene teaches string orchestras in under-served communities for the non-profit organization Education Through Music - Los Angeles. Her student Eloise Wong is a member of rock band, The Linda Lindas. She was a teaching artist at the Los Angeles Philharmonic's signature 'El Sistema' program - YOLA (Youth Orchestra Los Angeles) at HOLA (Heart of Los Angeles) in the Rampart District of Los Angeles, where she was the teacher of Anthony Gonzales who stars as Miguel in the 2017 Disney/Pixar movie, Coco. She incorporates mindfulness and her experience as a meditation teacher into her performances and classes.
Nadene holds an MA in Contemporary Cross-Cultural Improvisation.
"Rarely does a new voice of such originality and unusual approach appear."
- The Australian