LAVA

LAVA

 Lower Hutt, Wellington, NZL
BandFolkAdult Contemporary

LAVA is a new ensemble comprising singing/songwriting family The O'Connors plus composer/pianist Vanya Popov, playing original songs and instrumentals, pop, folk, traditional Irish, as well as a set of original waiata (Maori songs). Tours include concert and busking repertoires as well as workshops.

Biography

LAVA's an exciting new collaboration conceived in New Zealand! All five members have had a love of music since birth and with diverse musical backgrounds have formed a passionate new ensemble aimed at sharing this love! Much of what they perform is original and has been synthesised from Celtic traditions, Maori and Russian folk harmony singing and classical, contemporary folk, pop, rock and improvised music. With everyone singing lead and harmony vocals, and accompanying themselves with a unique mix of keyboards, guitars, flute, recorder, violin and percussion, this quintet is set to leave a lasting impression on audiences worldwide!

American-born Amanda Ironside O'Connor participated in traditional Eisteddfods in North Wales where her Kiwi family lived during her childhood. She studied classical flute and has composed, recorded and performed a huge repertoire of original songs since living in New Zealand from the age of 16. On an invitation from music producer Dave Pelton, Amanda recorded a 4-song demo in 2002 at the Castle Studios in Nashville, returning two years later with her husband and daughters to live for 18 months and further developing their burgeoning music career.
Sean O'Connor grew up in the East Coast of New Zealand surrounded by folk guitar and vocal music from both Maori and European traditions. A year spent in Argentina saw him develop his expert guitar playing and songwriting further which was put to good use in Irish pubs, concerts and folk festivals upon his return to NZ. He has performed and recorded extensively with his wife of 17 years.
Teenage daughters Acacia and Rosie O’Connor have emerged as up and coming singer/songwriters and instrumentalists following in their parents’ footsteps while living in NZ, Venezuela and Nashville.
Vanya is a Canadian of Russian descent whose natural ear for music was influenced by the a capella singing tradition of his Doukhobor ancestors and present day community. He learned to play the piano by ear from a very young age and pursued musical studies throughout his life up to university level as a performer and composer. He has sung, recorded and toured with many choirs, including the prestigious UVic Chamber Singers, and was the founder/director of the Victoria Doukhobor Choir and the All Canadian Doukhobor Choir.
Fulfilling a lifelong dream of traveling to New Zealand, Vanya arrived in Auckland in time to celebrate his 31st birthday on St. Patrick's Day 2010! A few months later in Wellington, he was introduced to Amanda at a party where they jammed on flute and piano. Within the following week, Vanya joined Amanda and the rest of the O'Connor family on their live National TV and radio appearances promoting Sean's solo album, and embarked on an extensive tour of the North Island.
By the end of July 2010, Vanya was an established member of the O'Connors' musical household, and LAVA began to flow...