© 2023 Commotion
Musician Tutors
An exciting lineup of tutors for COMMOTION 2022!
*Stay tuned for our 2023 tutor lineup
  • Laughton Kora
    Laughton needs no introduction, being a certified kiwi music legend. Laughton has an incredible voice and immense talent. Laughton won the Smokefree Rockquest Nationals when he was 17. With KORA 2003-2012, he played festivals and shows all over the world. Last year he was a performance coach on the TV show Popstars and regularly mentors youth with the New Zealand Music Commission education programme. Laughton has a performing arts degree and has also featured in theatre and TV productions.

  • Joel Shadbolt
    Lead singer and guitarist for L.A.B., Joel Shadbolt is riding a high after L.A.B. cleaned up in last year's NZ Music Awards, with best album, best single, best group and best roots artist. L.A.B. will be touring New Zealand and Australia this summer. Joel has degrees in Jazz Music and Music Production and Performance and still maintains a small amount of teaching in Mount Maunganui alongside being a full-time musician with L.A.B. Joel is also a mentor with the New Zealand Music Commission education programme.
  • Sam Trevethick
    Sam Trevethick is best known for his work as Producer, Songwriter and founding member of Shapeshifter, world-renowned pioneers of live dance music. Between leading the production of multiple platinum-selling albums and writing some of New Zealand’s most well-known summer anthems, Sam has toured the globe performing everywhere from major European music festivals to tiny clubs in the heart of Tokyo. In a career that has spanned over two decades, Sam has found time outside his duties with Shapeshifter to carve a unique voice in his solo and collaborative output. Also known as ‘Sambora’ he has produced and written songs for artists such as Tiki Taane, Ashy, Missy, The Peacekeepers and many others.

  • Connor Jaine
    Mako Road
    Connor is the bass player and co-producer for Mako Road, and will be joining COMMOTION straight after a sold-out tour of New Zealand and Australia. Mako Road started out as a humble Canterbury University covers band before they began writing their own material and recording their first album in a garage. They've since become a staple of summer festivals. Mako Road were nominated for best rock act at last year's music awards. Connor has branched out into producing other artists including surf rock reggae band SOJØURN.
  • Emily Wheatcroft-Snape
    AMPS, Audio Engineer, Producer and Artist aka EM
    Emily is an audio engineer and producer from Auckland, New Zealand. She studied her craft at MAINZ before working at Roundhead Studios for 3 years. Now working freelance, Emily aims to push songs to their full potential in a hardworking, creative, and positive environment. Over the course of her career, Emily intends on increasing diversity within New Zealand studio environments. Emily has worked with a number of notable international producers and with many NZ artists.
  • Sophie Bialostocki
    AMPS, Producer and Artist aka Lévyne
    Sophie Bialostocki (aka Lévyne, pronounced La-vee-na) has been steadily infiltrating the local music scene for some time. Growing up playing classical piano, Sophie changed focus after studying music and launching a pop-centred artist project called "Lévyne". She began producing for herself as a means of survival in an expensive industry, watching friends and slowly teaching herself many of the skills along the way. Nowadays she's working behind the scenes on a number of local artist's projects both songwriting and producing, as well as finishing off a second body of work for "Lévyne".
  • Paddy Free
    Pitch Black and Ableton Certified Trainer
    Paddy Free began performing live electronic music with an all-hardware setup in 1990, and has been an Ableton Live user since 2002. Recording and performing around the world as one half of Pitch Black and as a solo artist, he has written music for film, theatre, dance, television and multimedia art as well as acting as producer and engineer for many kiwi artists including Crowded House, Killing Joke, Salmonella Dub, Moana and the Tribe, Kora, The Adults and the New Zealand Symphony and Auckland Philharmonic Orchestras. Paddy is passionate about sharing his knowledge and experience. He has given Ableton Live clinics and lectures around the world and devised and taught the Introduction to Ableton Live course at the Music and Audio Institute of New Zealand.

    Artist and songwriter
    Saski is an Independent New Zealand recording artist who makes glittery electronic indie-pop. After travelling the globe and primarily being based in the US, Saski has had an impressive string of releases. With her first single ‘Faking Bright’ now at over 9 million plays on Spotify alone, her follow-up singles ‘Independent’ and ‘Set Fire’ also sit at over 1 millions plays each. Featured on Pigeon and Planes, Beats 1 Radio for breaking artist, Coup de Main Must-Know Artist, Hype Machine, Hillydilly, Pause Musicale and more.
  • Allister Meffan
    Producer and member of Alae
    From playing solo French Horn with the Nelson Symphony Orchestra, winning the RockQuest national finals, playing Jazz Piano on P&O Cruises around the world, and producing a song with Mark Rankin (Adele “21”, Queens of the Stone-age) in Roundhead Studios, Allister has combined his skills in both production and performance to allow a comprehensive understanding of everything from creation to distribution.
  • DJ Shan
    Aotearoa DJ Academy
    The creator of NZs first tertiary accredited DJ school and a top party rocking DJ / MC able to flip any style of music. DJ Shan, based in Wellington, is the sensei of 100s of young DJs that have come out of the capital and is the owner of the Aotearoa DJ Academy and a Serato certified trainer. Shan has also been the face host MC or headline DJ for some of New Zealand's biggest parties period! The Rugby Sevens street party, Homegrown, Bay Dreams, The Wellington Cup, Fashion in the field, Cuba Street Carnival, Bowlarama, Rhythm & Vines, Mardi Gras, and Synthony. Get ready for some education and fun on the Turntables

  • Dayna Sanerivi
    Vocal Coach
    Dayna Sanerivi from Nelson/Whakatū loves her work as a Singer and Vocal Coach. Accredited teacher at the Nelson Centre of Musical Arts and running her own private music studio for the past decade, Dayna is passionate about assisting youth in their musical pursuits.
    For the past 8 years, she’s been working as part of the team at The Smokefree Rockquest, enjoying a variety of roles including judging, mentoring and event management.

  • Luke Wilkes
    All things guitars
    Luke Wilkes is a local Nelson multi-instrumentalist proficient across many styles of music, with extensive performance experience both on stage and in a studio environment. He is most well known as the lead guitarist for local act Rabbit Hole who have opened for bands such as Fly My Pretties, Tiki Taane and The Black Seeds.
  • Sam Edmonds
    All things drums
    Raised in the beautiful Marlborough Sounds, Sam's passion for music and drums started off early in his life. Sam spent 4 and a half years in Auckland pursuing various music-related projects which saw him playing multiple shows in different bands each weekend and doing several studio recording sessions. One such band took him to Europe in 2018 to record in a studio in Norway with NZ-based producer Greg Haver. Sam is now based in Nelson and continues to pursue his musical journey, currently performing for bands such as: Paper City, Little Oceans, Reece Milton, Liam Poole + Friends, Spinoza and Grip-Tape.
  • Sam Atkins
    NMIT Contemporary Music Tutor
    According to Sam, picking up the Bass Guitar, quite by accident as an impressionable four year old, was more to do with seeking ‘pop-stardom’ than becoming (at the time) a ‘hard-core Muso’. Performing continues to be, a mainstay vocation of his professional life. Be it acting, music or dance, Sam’s immersion in the Performing Arts has taken him across the globe and into ever more intriguing and varied experiences. Sam started his teaching career whilst still at college as a student. Later he would complete and then teach on New Zealand’s original Contemporary Music Performance Programme at the Nelson School of Music. In 1994’s Nelson’s own SmokeFree RockQuest saw him awarded as ‘Best Musician’ for his performance in Wellington’s Town Hall where he since went on to work in a range of teaching and performing experiences, including working on NZ and UK based Albums and EP projects.

  • Trilby Crowther
    Trilby grew up in the world of music, going to live shows, being surrounded by PA and production talk and always having some sort of musical instrument at home being fixed or played with. So wasn’t a shock to her parents when she started working alongside bands at shows, doing the door as soon as she was of age, booking shows and tour managing. Trilby loves music and especially seeing live bands! But she also gained interest in Music licensing and production when she started working for a film and TV production company in Wellington. She joined the APRA team in 2016 and the rest is history
Behind the scenes
  • Emily Sanson
    Volunteer organiser
    Emily has a double degree in Law and Political Science and a Post Grad certificate in Business Administration. Emily worked for United Nations Electoral and Peacekeeping Operations for over 10 years living in Cambodia, Nigeria, South Africa, East Timor, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Burundi, New York and Haiti. Emily then established the Kenbe La Foundation Charitable Trust, and it's highly successful 'Purple Cake Day' fundraiser celebrating and connecting children globally and raising money to provide educational opportunities for children in poverty and hardship. Kenbe La Foundation has supported children in Haiti, Kenya, Nepal, Vanuatu and those affected by the Christchurch earthquakes and it is now in it's eleventh year of operation. Alongside her humanitarian work, Emily has a passion for music.
  • Scott Burnett
    Volunteer organiser
    Scott is the Top of the South Regional Conservation Manager at Forest & Bird and is a Senior Tutor in Sustainable Development at Massey University. He has a Masters in International Development. For 20 years he ran an experiential education business called Pacific Discovery, which offered 10-week duration, Outward Bound style programmes for US university students to five different regions of the world. These programmes took the form of an overland journey and were focused upon the student’s personal development and learning about the region the programme traversed. Scott managed an office staff of 7 and an instructor team of 14.
  • JR
    VenueTech - COMMOTION audio/stage manager
    JR is the founder of VenueTech, who spearhead the technical operations of Nelson’s Theatre Royal and Centre Of Musical Arts. He has over 12-years experience in the live events industry during which he’s worked with many leading artists from NZ and abroad. His core passion is live sound engineering for concerts, where he seeks to create a professional and positive environment that supports artists to perform at their best.

  • Tony Tomorrow
    Audio/stage tech
    After a little over 10 years of being a bedroom producer, Tony made the move to study contemporary music at NMIT Nelson, with the focus being music theory, instrumentation, production and performance. NMIT has been a stepping stone towards getting into the community and being involved in many ways. He is a volunteer and content creator for Fresh FM Nelson, has started a mentorship with JR at Venue Tech, is involved in projects with Cultural Conversations and is always seeking to experience anything music or audio related. One of Tony's main goals is to help others work towards their music and audio goals.