Pronounced Mā Queenie, the name means White Queen
The story starts not on the Mississippi delta but on the banks of the Whanganui River, in the rural village of Jerusalem, New Zealand.
Mākuini was introduced at a young age to the sounds of, Mahalia Jackson, Etta James, Sarah Vaughan, and Ella Fitzgerald.
With her sister Heeni accompanying her on guitar, Mākuini entered Maori community and national festival competitions leading to a Maori Education Foundation Grant, which allowed her to study music in the city of Auckland.
Mākuini became an established singer, dancer and actress both on stage and with appearances in television drama, radio, and light entertainment shows. Before travelling to England, where she is now based. Mākuini toured venues in, Fiji, Samoa, Cook Islands, Tahiti, Hawaii and Los Angeles.
Not long after arriving in the U.K Mākuini was cast opposite Yul Brynner in the ‘King & I’ at the London Palladium. One of the high lights of her career being her appearance in the Royal Variety Show for Her Majesty The Queen, at The Theatre Royal Drury Lane. Over the years Makuini has presented her ‘Ladies of Soul’ in residencies throughout the UK, Malta, Tenerife, Cyprus, Mallorca, Dubai and Cruise Ships around the world.
Mākuini has had the honour of performing her countries national anthem at the openings of Great Britain v New Zealand Rugby League tests here in the UK, televised around the world on Sky Sports; this was followed by an appearance with the Royal Grenadiers Band at Windsor, for the England v New Zealand Cartier Polo championship.
Mākuini gained her CT.VCM and is now a most sought after vocal coach. It is the pull of her first love, Blues and Jazz, that brings her back to her roots, with her new EP, ' Roll of The Dice'
It is not only her remarkable voice but her drive and personality that have made Mākuini one of New Zealand’s best loved singers around the world today.