27 May 2019

A star-studded musical line-up with a host of local, national and international flavours will take to the stage at this year’s Garma, the Yothu Yindi Foundation said today.

Award-winning singer-songwriter Dan Sultan will be making his Garma debut, performing songs from his latest release, Aviary Takes, along with a selection of new material and older favourites. Also on the bill is Spinifex Gum, whose musical snapshots of life in the Pilbara will be performed by Marilya from Gondwana Choirs, a group of young Indigenous women who sing in English and Yindjibarndi.

The choir will be joined by Felix Reibl and Ollie McGill of The Cat Empire, and special guest Emma Donovan, in what promises to be a very moving performance. Donovan will play a separate set of her own award-winning music.

Yothu Yindi Foundation CEO Denise Bowden said an array of local bands and musicians would bring the distinctive Arnhem Land sound for which Garma is renowned.

“This region has a rich musical heritage of artists who weave together contemporary styles with tra- ditional sounds and song,” Mrs Bowden said.

“Groups such as Black Rock Band, who draw on a deep family musical history, and Baniyala’s Gar- rangali Band, a Garma favourite for many years now, always get the crowd on their feet, as do local heavyweights Barra West Wind.

“The talented Dhapanbal Yunupingu, daughter of the late Dr M Yunupingu, will be serving up a se- lection of songs in Yolngu Matha and English, including one co-written with her father, while New Zealand-born multi-instrumentalist Juran Adams, who has called Arnhem Land home for the past decade, will make her Garma debut.”

Mrs Bowden said the diverse line-up offered something for everyone, from hip-hop to heavy metal. “Local poet and rapper Bala G, who released a single in 2015, is back on the scene, offering his unique perspective on life in Arnhem Land with an all-star supporting cast.

“We’re delighted to welcome back OKA and their unique, earthy sound, while successful Australian pop duo Microwave Jenny, made up of husband-wife team Tessa and Brendon Boney, are sure to delight with their catchy tunes.

“Eastern Arrernte band Southeast Death Metal, hardened from many years of playing across the unforgiving Australian landscape, are promising a dangerous dose of hard rock, while Eric Avery’s innovative sound, which combines classical violin with traditional songlines, has already gone viral online.

“We’re also lucky to have Gambian singer-songwriter Amadau Suso, who is widely known as the ‘Jimi Hendrix of the kora’, a traditional 21-stringed instrument made from gourd and leather. A direct descendant of the world’s first kora player, Amadau sings in his native Mandinka language.

“Rounding out the bill is another singer-songwriter, Tenzin Choegyal, whose songs heavily draw on his Tibetan roots to give voice to the contemporary challenges faced by his people.”

The 21st annual Garma will take place between 2-5 August at Gulkula in northeast Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory.

A limited number of tickets are still available for purchase. Registrations close this Friday 31, May.


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