Natano Pasifika” is a group of six talented traditional and contemporary Melanesian musicians promoting the fusion of modern music styles and indigenous music traditions. With instruments including the bush bass, ukulele, bamboo flute, guitar, tamtam and navarange, and traditional songs and traditional ‘Kastom’ dancing, Natano Pasifika display some of the rhythms and styles of Vanuatu and the South Pacific.
The band initially came together through Further Arts in Vanuatu and the Music Bridges project as part of a music exchange and development activity with other musicians from Pacific and African countries. Through the events in Vanuatu and Mozambique in 2013 and 2014, they have formed a cohesive ensemble performing at festivals in Maputo, and live shows in Brisbane,Australia and Port Vila, Vanuatu.
“Natano” is a word in Namakur language from Tongoa island in Vanuatu. It means ‘our land’. The name Natano Pasifika was chosen by the band to represent the Pacific islands as land rising from the ocean.
The band is composed of traditional and contemporary musicians from Vanuatu and Kanaky including Mars Melto (Vao/Malakula island), Tio bang (Ambrym island), Yaya (Kanaky/New Caledonia), Anthony Roy (Gaua island), Robert (Tongoa island) and Gordy (Vanua Lava island). Natano Pasifika members have also collaborated with other musicians based in Vanuatu and Kanaky: Kalja Ridim Klan, Dropvicul, Koncerners, Torotua Stringband, Jazz K, and Leweton Cultural Group, and in Australia: Airileke, Fred Bulanyi Leone, Ofa Fanaika (Chocolate Strings), Progressive Tan, James Langdale and Rize of the Morning Star.