From Gypsy swing to Spanish guitar, didgeridoo to djembe, hip hop to Aussie rock, the Central Highlands Multicultural Festival will feature an eclectic mix of performances from local and visiting dance troupes, instrumentalists and vocalists.
BOBBY ALU AND PALM ROYALE
Whether performing solo or backed by his slick and charismatic band, the Palm Royale, multi award-winning Bobby Alu is renowned for his signature hammock music and high vibes. The music, themed by Polynesia, born on the East Coast of Australia, with hints of soul, reggae and infectious rhythm, is familiar yet uniquely Bobby Alu.
An accomplished songwriter and baritone ukulele strummer with a smooth and silky voice, Bobby is also one of the nation’s best drummers, touring worldwide as drummer for Xavier Rudd since 2013. It has become a consistent swap for Bobby – moving from behind the drum kit to front of stage with ukulele in hand, yet in this fast-paced world Bobby manages to bring a calm, light and fresh vibe, appealing for a better world through song.
2015 was huge for Bobby Alu. Following the successful launch of his new six-track EP in March, Bobby won the ‘Most Popular Male Artist Award’ – as voted by the public – at the Queensland Music Awards. His title track from 2013 release ‘Take it Slow’ was also chosen by Samoa Tourism as the theme song for their ‘Beautiful Samoa’ roadshow campaign, launched in June. Together with his band, Bobby completed an epic 33-date tour as support to Xavier Rudd and the United Nations at premier venues across Australia last September.
In 1997, Tenzin Choegyal came to Australia with little more than a bag, his Dranyen and a voice full of passion for Tibet. His raw talent soon caught the attention of the directors of that country’s largest folk festival, Woodford Folk Festival where he still plays to packed audiences each year.
Over the years, Tenzin has created a successful international career as a musician, playing at such prestigious events as the WOMAD festivals as well as several Concerts for Tibet at Carnegie Hall, New York.
In addition to his much loved solo performances, Tenzin has been an avid collaborator with musicians from diverse cultures, traditions and genres. From classical, contemporary to ancient traditional, Tenzin embraces opportunities to take his music to uncharted territory both in the studio and on stage.
Tenzin’s sixth album, Heart Strings, was released in 2015 and is his biography through song reflecting his musical influences and collaborations across the continents.
Through his music and cultural activities such as the Brisbane Festival of Tibet, Himalayan Film Festival and Women with Wisdom concert series (Sydney Opera House, Federation Square), Tenzin has increased the profile of Tibetan culture and the struggle for self-determination amongst people throughout Australasia and beyond.
Tenzin Choegyal joins the Central Highlands Multicultural Festival as part of the Queensland Multicultural Month 2016 Culture Train tour.
Choon Goonz deliver a deadly Switch-Hop sound carefully crafted to make hips move. Combing the sultry vocals and deft production touch of Smashka Word’n, with the microphone and turntable technology skills of Loopert Fast, the duo loop live vocals and instrumentation over big, banging beats. With the ability to execute the ‘standard’ performance, hold down marathon DJ sets, facilitate workshops, jam with a band, or engage the audience to become a part of the music, Choon Goonz always ensure fun on-the-fly antics. They focus on capturing the spontaneous genius of creativity, keeping it alive, raw, and genuine in essence. Both Smashka Word’n and Loopert Fast have dedicated their life to finding that perfect Choon.
MARIO CELESTINO CONDE
Mario Celestino Conde is the only native Bolivian Indian who is fusing music from his traditional genre with Western music styles. His enchanting interaction between ancient Andean instruments and modern technology results in a truly uplifting sound.
Mario Conde joins the Central Highlands Multicultural Festival as part of the Queensland Multicultural Month 2016 Culture Train tour.
As a Torres Strait (Mer), South Sea (Ambrum) Islands and Aboriginal (Kabi Kabi) woman, Ruth is involved in the performing arts, music and entertainment industry using various forms and expressions. In 2005 she was involved in the creative development of Australian Writers Guild AWGIE award winning ‘Kese Solwata’ Children’s Theatre Production which premiered at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre 2006 Out of the Box Festival, then toured throughout the Torres Strait Islands performing at schools.
Throughout 2007-‘11, Ruth was involved in the creative development of ‘Dancing the Line,’ a Torres Strait Island musical theatre project that was based on documented stories from the Torres Strait Islander railway families from the 1960s to 1980s.
Ruth completed a Bachelor of Arts (Language and Linguistics) in 2011 and aims to revive, maintain and preserve Australian Indigenous languages, mainly her father’s (Meriam Mir) and mother’s (Kabi Kabi) languages through creative practice.
Currently, Ruth is involved in directing local community choirs such ‘Voices for the Light’ and the ‘Belle Flowers’ from Aboriginal Centre for the Performing Arts in Brisbane, which provides a platform from which to share and maintain these languages.
Ruth Ghee joins the Central Highlands Multicultural Festival as part of the Queensland Multicultural Month 2016 Culture Train tour.
Sudha Manian is a Hindustani classical sitar player and Bhartanatyam dancer. Sudha started her Hindustani Classical Sitar Training at the age of 11, and her initial training was under Sri G.V Sreeramulu in Hyderabad, India. Sudha has completed Sangeet Visharad (Bachelors) in Sitar from Akhil Bharatiya Gandharva Mahavidyalaya Mandal, India.
Sudha Manian joins the Central Highlands Multicultural Festival as part of the Queensland Multicultural Month 2016 Culture Train tour.
TICHAWONA NOBLE MASHAWA
Tichawona Noble Mashawa is one of the most imaginative and captivating emerging musicians from Africa now based in Brisbane. Mashawa is a composer, singer, guitarist and player of the “Mbira” and “nyunga nyunga” (thumb pianos) and represents a new wave of aware and intelligent African music. He brings a personal and sincere approach to his performance that speaks intimately to its audience and his original compositions are diverse and adventurous, some full of lyricism and drama, others gentle and comforting. Recently returned from Zimbabwe to become a new Brisbane resident, Mashawa promises original and traditional compositions with the colour and flavour of Africa in song and stories, featuring unique live vocals, original compositions and traditional music. The new Brisbane resident equally embraces the deepest traditions of Zimbabwean Mbira music and the intense dance groove of the African metropolis.
Noble Tichawona Mashawa joins the Central Highlands Multicultural Festival as part of the Queensland Multicultural Month 2016 Culture Train tour.
Internationally acclaimed tabla percussionist Dheeraj Shrestha is recognised as the foremost Nepalese born tabla percussionist in Australia. An irrepressible creativity, tremendous clarity and exciting rhythmic improvisation are his stylistic hallmarks and this has established him, worldwide, as one of the finest exponents of tabla.
Dheeraj Shrestha joins the Central Highlands Multicultural Festival as part of the Queensland Multicultural Month 2016 Culture Train tour.
Tympanic has been creating and producing electronic dance music for over two years. He is 18 years old, currently finishing year 12 and is studying a Cert III in Music Industry at the School of Audio Engineering in Byron Bay. Tympanic travels on wheels and when he’s not ear deep in music, can be found gaming, boxing, watching movies or the V8s, and getting mad hair art!
Tympanic will also be hosting an electronic dance music workshop and performance at the Capella Skate Park on Friday 26 August – click here for more information.
Kiri is a community choir conductor, workshop facilitator and composer who began singing in choirs at the age of seven in her native New Zealand. A sought-after facilitator, Kiri runs workshops on the power of sound and voice to improve one’s singing and speaking voice and to enhance meditation and spiritual practices.
Kiri Waiata joins the Central Highlands Multicultural Festival as part of the Queensland Multicultural Month 2016 Culture Train tour.
2016 LOCAL PERFORMERS
• Spin Lizzy hula hooping
• Emerald Academy of Dance
• DancEdge Emerald
• Denison State School Dancers
• Peruvian Dancers