Tristan Hancock

Arriving to live in Tauranga about ten months ago, Tristan Hancock has brought his musical, global soul with him.

Born on a boat in the waters of Fiji, he grew up experiencingmany different cultures and ethnicities, absorbing and integrating the music and sounds into his own musical expression and life.

A musician in Auckland for the last decade, he made the move to Tauranga with his wife Ana, who works at Tauranga City Council, and their two youngest children.

“My wife is a Gisborne girl,” he says, “so coming back to this side of the world was important to her.”

Prior to relocating here, Tristan performed at the Paradox Art Festival, The Incubator and a number of cricket fixtures. At a national level, he is involved with Ethno.

“Ethno brings musicians from around the world together,” he says, “and they teach each other songs and music from their own places. Ethno 2019 will be happening in Auckland, from January 18-28.”

Tristan is involved with a few Tauranga bands. He also has some projects still happening in Auckland, and is working with the Jam Factory.

“Auckland is a big magnet for immigrants, who add to the music scene. There’s Persian/middle Eastern music for one. In Tauranga we have a lot of Latin American people.

“Del Pacifico is a Tauranga Latin American band I play in. It has at least eight members and I play percussion. We have members from Chile, Argentina, Brazil and Venezuela, as well as people who grew up in Tauranga, so it’s a real pan-global kind of thing.”

The band has upcoming gigs at the Citizens Club on December 9 and Totara Street on December 29, followed by Opotiki’s Wild Food Festival on  January 2.

“It’s quite amazing to see how many people show up to a Latin American gig. There’s a definite hole in the market musically.”

He also plays guitar in band Afrolites.

“It’s a take on Afrobeat, somewhere between Afrobeat and soundtrack music, and a little bit quirky.

“I also play guitar in the Bay Bawlers. We have four or five horns and we play bangers from around the world. Party songs with lots of energy that are lots of fun. We’ve done some great events.”

He’s also helped set up the Bay of Plenty Ukulele Orchestra.

“Next year we’ll be looking at having a West African drumming group. I’m also very excited to sort out an Indian classical singing group. Essentially, I seem to be finding out what’s not occurring already and then starting it.

“The types of music that excite me are about dialogue - the dialogue of different cultures and people moving into a society that is much more global. When I was in Auckland I was in a lot of groups that were sort of jazz/Afrobeats with the Nigerian community, and some Pacifika.”

The first Ethno gathering was organised at the beginning of 2018.

“Ethno started in Sweden,” he says. “This year was the pilot for NZ and was held on a marae on Waiheke Island. It was amazing. Just beautiful.

“For me, fun is the big guiding force about the projects I’ve been involved in recently. It’s really about trying to draw together disparate elements, ensuring that you can make a community and beautiful music using all of these parts.”