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Guest Name
Nadene Pita Rasmussen
Guest Occupation
Indigenous Ngatiwai musician and actor
Guest Biography


Nadene is an indigenous Ngātiwai musician and actor. She has developed a an exploratory sound with themes of duality, transformation and transcendence.

​Nadene’s training as a vocalist and viola player in jazz and classical music is evident in her compositions. 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 electro-acoustic improvisations. Reflective of her 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, the son of legendary jazz musician Don Cherry. David Ornette Cherry’s Organic Notes Band played the 43rd Annual Watts Towers Jazz Festival and has a new recording released soon on Spiritmuse Records in 2021. Nadene has collaborated with leading Canadian Indigenous Arts Company, Red Sky Performance to present a multi-disciplinary concert, Truth 2 Power, in Toronto. She has a creative performance trio with dancer Heidi Pendergast and harpist/vocalist Nailah Hunter, along with her electro-acoustic solo project.

An avid music educator, Nadene teaches string orchestras in under-served communities for the non-profit organization Education Through Music – Los Angeles. 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 sound healing community work and classes.

​Nadene holds a Masters degree in contemporary cross-cultural improvisation.

“Rarely does a new voice of such originality and unusual approach appear.”

 – The Australian