Bluesfest, Boomerang join forces again in 2018
Bluesfest’s long standing support and respect for First Nation culture comes into fore with the return of the Boomerang festival during the larger festival.
Its acts from Arnhem Land, Canada, Papua New Guinea, Asia and the Pacific are set to open the eyes and ears of Bluesfest attendees with unique voices, dance moves, soulful stories, cultural exchanges and workshops.
Boomerang is managed and programmed from an Aboriginal perspective by partners Peter Noble OAM and Rhoda Roberts AO.
The acts announced this morning were:
* The Strides: classic roots-reggae with hip hop touches fronted by Ras Roni from Barbados via London, Fijian LTL GZeus and Sierra Leonean Blaka C.
They have three acclaimed albums under their belt and a European label signing.
* Yirrmal: songwriter and guitarist Yirrmal Marika emerged from NE Arnhem Land, inspired by his grandfather Dr G Yunupingu of Yothu Yindi.
Since 2011 he has lived in Geelong, Victoria, working with mentors Shane Howard and Neil Murray, and participating in the Marrma’ Rom Two Worlds Leadership Program where he is a strong, positive role-model for the next generation.
Currently writing his debut album, he fronts his band Miliyawutj, a Yolngu word that refers to fertile waters where the fresh and salt water meet.
* Sorong Samarai: Papua New Guinea /Australian musician Airileke’s latest project brings together rising stars of PNG and Indonesia’s underground urban music scene.
It incorporates heavy beats and fierce log drumming of the Manus Islands, West Papua refugees turned Pacifica dance troupe The Roem Brothers, and lyrical insight to the ghetto life of Port Moresby, and the aspirations of freedom for West Papua.
* Benny Walker: the Yorta Yorta blues/soul singer-songwriter has built up a presence on community radio, and late last year had a #1 on the iTunes Blues Chart with both the Undercover EP and ‘Ghost’ single.
* Narasirato: hottest band in the Pacific, covering funk, rock and reggae through hammering polyrhythms from log drums and ‘stomping tubes’ and giant pan pipes.
Their latest album Inoni Ana Totoraha (Man of Culture) came after festival appearances at Glastonbury, Roskilde, WOMAD and Fuji Rock.
* Move it Mob Style with Darren Compton: descendent of Yugembeh, Minjungbal, Munanjali, and Gamillaraay nations of the mainland, and the Mer people of the Torres Strait Islands, Compton is a Yiggi Yiggi (Didgeridoo) player, a visual artist/craftsman and a performer and dancer in both traditional and hip-hop dance since he was 13.
* Eric Avery: a Ngiyampaa, Yuin, Bandjalang and Gumbangirr artist, he plays classical violin, dances and composes music.
Working with his family’s custodial songs he is currently engaged dancing with Marrugeku and studying a Bachelor of Music (Classical Performance, Violin) at the Australian Institute of Music.
* Te Kopere Maori Healing: under the guidance of healer Christine Bullock, New Zealand’s Rongoa Maori is the traditional healing system of Maori.
It focuses on the oral transmission of knowledge, diversity of practice and the spiritual dimension of health.
Rongoa Maori encompasses herbal remedies, physical therapies and spiritual healing.
* Jannawi Dance Clan: drawn mostly from western Sydney, its Artistic Director is Peta Strachan, a Darug woman who is a multi-disciplinary dancer teacher, choreographer, set designer, and costume designer.
* Muggera Dancers: founded in 2015 by Darren Compton and Jacqui Cornforth, its members come from a long line of cultural leaders, song men, world-class dancers and didgeridoo players with a formidable respect for culture.
Bundjalung Local Artisans and Weavers: Weaving is an important cultural practice for both men and women.
Intricately woven fibre baskets were traditionally highly prized for their practicality, and today treasured for their aesthetic excellence.
Rhoda Roberts AO says, “The Boomerang Festival sitting within Bluesfest, is a vital precinct that increases the visibility of our culture.
“I want everyone to hear the music, witness the dance, sing the song and listen to the story.
“Come visit and play with us in 2018”.
Organisers thank Create NSW for their support of the Dance Grounds program.