Maria O’Flaherty is a vibrant jazz vocalist with a unique sound and wonderful stage presence. Her repertoire is impressive as she seamlessly flits in and out of jazz, blues, latin, funk, pop, with the occasional folk ballad thrown into the mix.
An Aucklander by birth yet with a rich flow of Irish through both sides of her family, Maria has grown up with music and has been enchanting listeners with her vocals and endearing performances for many years. A regular at jazz festivals throughout NZ, Maria is also a favourite staple on Auckland’s wine and dine circuit.
Maria has a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Performance from the New Zealand School of Music and Victoria University.
She spends her time on both sides of the microphone, trading the spotlight for the whiteboard when teaching music at schools, and from her home studio in Hatfields Beach. Maria works with some of New Zealand’s most respected Jazz musicians, performing in a number of settings, from a duo, trio, quartet, quintet to a larger ensemble.
Versatility is Maria’s calling card so it comes as no surprise she sings in French, Spanish and Portuguese. One of her delights is putting together memorable sets for auspicious occasions.
“St Patrick’s Day is very dear to my family roots, and a time to keep my Dad’s spirit alive,” she says. Maria’s annual Irish Band – St Patrick’s Day Live! does just that. An extended OE punctuated by several sojourns in Paris has inevitably led to a French set too. “Bastille Day is another fab time. It’s an excuse to polish up the classics of Charles Trenet, Edith Piaf, to the more contemporary French chanson for a Kiwi audience not so familiar with these gems.”
Similarly, the festive season brings a mouth-watering treat – the Christmas Tarts. Maria joins Trudy Lile and Julie Mason every December as three of New Zealand’s foremost jazz divas give everyone’s favourite carols and Christmas tunes a glorious blend of harmony.