George Telek at the Auckland Queen Street Sing-Sing

George Telek Pictured on an Auckland Billboard Next to Jimmy Barnes, The Fray, and Kanye West

Yesterday, I was privileged to hop on a plane and fly to Auckland, New Zealand with one purpose – to watch George Telek perform live as a part of the Wantok Musik Foundation’s Sing-Sing group tour. It was magic – pure magic.

For those of you who have been following Tubuans & Dukduks you will know that I’ve covered the Auckland Queen Street Sing-Sing before and that David Bridie, Sing-Sing’s Musical Director, has regularly commented on my Blog. So, when the opportunity arose for me to go and actually be at the concert – how could I refuse?

I wasn’t exactly too sure what to expect from Sing-Sing but I was pleasantly surprised to discover that Sing-Sing had amazingly been able to weave together the musical threads of a number of unique cultures throughout Melanesia – from West Papua, Indigenous Australia, the Torres-Strait, and PNG. The music produced and performed was invigorating. It had the young vibrant harmonies and the ancient strong resonance – together and united, both facets presented a refreshing sound which the World cannot judge to be anything else but simply Melanesian.

Tony Subam (Sanguma Band) Blowing the Flute

There were two memorable moments of the concert that sent the large vocal PNG community present into wild dancing spasms. The first was when the distinct beats of the Manus Dance were incorporated in a Sing-Sing composition. It didn’t matter whether or not you were from Manus – sapos yu bilong PNG, yu bin danis!

George Telek Taking the Lead in one of Sing-Sing's Compositions

George Telek Once Again on the Main Stage

The second moment was when the Sing-Sing concert was officially “over”. All the musicians had bowed and had left the stage. The large crowd that had filled Auckland’s main road was ready to leave when out of the blue George Telek hopped back on the stage to perform a “PNG Special” – one of his Tolai rock hits. It was mayhem.

Hein Arumisore (West Papua) Singing a Solo

It’s not often that our musicians get to tour the world to perform so David Bridie, as Musical Director of Sing-Sing, should be credited for his hard work and commitment in bringing together and promoting a group of musicians so diverse in culture yet so similar in so many other ways. The World Music Institute should also be credited for funding Sing-Sing’s tour to the USA which will commence in May, 2009.


Special thanks to the Auckland Sosel Task Fos for hosting me and for holding the Bung Kaikai to welcome and honour George Telek and Tony Subam.

~ by Tavurvur on March 8, 2009.

12 Responses to “George Telek at the Auckland Queen Street Sing-Sing”

  1. ahhh thanks so much for this T. Can I use your pics for my RokRok Music facebook page?

    Also did you get a chance to talk to David Bridie or any of the band members?

  2. Oh and you can see the video here,

  3. Yes, you can use my photos Emmanuel for your RokRok Music Facebook page.

    I had a good chat to George Telek and Tony Subam. Davie Bridie wasn’t available as he was busy helping setting up the Sing-Sing concert.

    Thanks for the video link too!


  4. OMG! They were AMAZING! I think that’s the first time melanesian music as been performed like that in New Zealand!

    It was on Queen Street even! The main street of Auckland City.

    Makes me want to go back home! It was definitely a high point for me this year!

  5. Awesome!

  6. I attended the sinsing on Queen Street Auckland, everything was superwonderful….After the Kanaks ‘ performance, the Png group along with a mixed of Abos, Maori, Samoan, Australian came on stage…When the first song was performed, the whole audience stood & remained standing until the end of the show…..We danced, sang, cheered & had a great time there with George Telek & the rest of the group…Thank you , Thank you……for that great performance…..

  7. Thanks Clint and Meri Pom for your comments!!!

    Yes, I was informed that it was the first time that such an even was performed in NZ – and what an event that was!

    It was a great performance by the Sing-Sing Group and to have George Telek as the main star of the group was priceless.


  8. Big Thank You to George Telek and the singsing group for the great performance. They were A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. Had a great time dancing and cheering. Kam gud stret 🙂

  9. Mhan!!! as everyone had said it was an awesome day for all the PNGeans…1st TIME EVA pNG music pairap in auckland!.
    thanks GT/ Tony Subam AND THE group.


  10. download music pardaise

  11. Wish i could have experienced this event too. Just the way you wrote this showed that you really must have enjoyed it.

    I wish Papua New Guineans themselves could hear such music and see events like this staged here in our country especially in smaller centres like Madang, Vanimo, Milne Bay etc. I think most times, we Papua New Guineans tend to forget the uniqieness of our song and dance. Thanks to people like George Telek, Tony Subam and David Birdie that help the music alive and remind us that our song and dance are amazingly vibrant.

  12. Yes – it was quite amazing. Seeing Telek and the crew in a foreign country – too good.

    I think you’ll find that most artists will try to avoid going to smaller centres due to lack of funds to travel, and also because of these smaller centres’ population.

    Although, from memory, didn’t Azzimbah travel the breadth and length of PNG?

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