Hawke's Bay's first Starjam concert is being billed as a fantastic opportunity for young people with disabilities to share their talent on the big stage.
Starjam is a not-for-profit which begun in Auckland nearly 20 years ago, and runs workshops, gigs and concerts nationwide for young people with disabilities from ages six to twenty-five, which Starjam calls "jammers", to express and share their passions for dance and music.
Jammer Zac Blake said he is looking forward to going to Toi Toi Hastings opera house for the concert.
"I'm pretty happy to do it," he said.
He said he likes Bob Marley and will be performing two songs by him on stage, although he's coy about the specifics, leaving some surprises for the night.
"Maybe I'll do some dancing."
His mum Sandra said Zac has always enjoyed music and singing and was excited for Starjam to come to Hawke's Bay.
"We saw Starjam in an advertisement, I think it was a Lotto one, and Zac said 'I hope it comes here'," she said.
She said the Starjam workshops and performances built connections between jammers of all ages and their parents.
"Such a beautiful thing they do, no judgement, only high fives and lots of encouragement."
She said they have had discos so far, but nothing as big as the end of year concert.
"We're very excited, especially in covid when so many other things have been cancelled."
Starjam volunteer Nico Lopez said Starjam involves dancing, music and performance to help jammers develop their musicality and talent.
"We're encouraging them to release their musical ability, to perform and expose themselves to an audience," he said.
Hawke's Bay Area Programme Coordinator Jo Baylis said Starjam first came to Hawke's Bay at the start of the year, when one of the jammer families moved to the region and suggested the idea.
"We started at the beginning of this year and we got enough for four workshops. Two in Greenmeadows, one in Havelock and one in Hastings," Baylis said.
She said the jammers have been working on two or three songs each for the last two months to prepare for the concert.
"One (jammer) has chosen the Ghostbusters song, so they're doing a performance to Ghostbusters and they're also doing a performance to the song 'Happy' from Pharrell Williams."
She said there are not usually many options for activities available to kids with disabilities and the opportunity to do the concert was very important.
"The concert is more about them having the opportunity to be at Toi Toi, which none of them have had the chance to do before, to be on stage, to shine, to get their hair and makeup done, some of them have never had the chance to get that done and be pampered and made to feel really special."
The Starjam end of year concert will be held on Thursday, December 2 at Toitoi's Opera House, and begins at 6.30pm.
Tickets are only sold through door sales due to covid restrictions. Money from the sales will help fund local Starjam workshops, including another workshop next year in Taradale.