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When:

Tue 27 May 2014, 8:30pm

Where: Bennetts Lane Jazz Club - Permanently Closed, 25 Bennetts Lane, Melbourne CBD, Victoria

Restrictions: All Ages Licensed

Ticket Information:

  • General Admission: $25.00
  • Additional fees may apply

Listed by: pbpmedia

"...one of the most original concerts in the 2012 London Jazz Festival programme. The musical union is inspired. " Jazzwise Magazine, UK

"This is music that sounds as if it’s growing and evolving out of the earth. Though much of this music is arranged... it sounds truly spontaneous, free and improvised. Crossing Roper Bar Volume 1, The NYC Jazz Record

Crossing Roper Bar Volume 2 - The Ghost Dances will be launched with a rare performance featuring indigenous musicians David and Daniel Wilfred from Arnhem Land, distinguished Australian pianist and composer Paul Grabowsky and the acclaimed Australian Art Orchestra.

Crossing Roper Bar is a visionary exploration of jazz and the music traditions of Australia’s first people. Through a series of regular exchanges that began nine years ago in 2005, Crossing Roper Bar brings together two diverse cultures in a very contemporary and yet spiritual musical fusion.

The launch event marks only the second time that the collaborators have performed in Melbourne – the first in 2007 – and follows critically acclaimed appearances at the London Jazz Festival, the Musee du Quai Branly in Paris and Cambridge University.

Based on the Yolngu song cycle Wild Blackfella, the launch performance will give Melburnians a chance to experience the power of this music in the intimate surrounds of Bennetts Lane.

This performance will feature indigenous musicians of the Young Wägilak Group and traditional ceremony men from Ngukurr on the Roper River - Daniel Wilfred (Wägilak Songman and dancer) andDavid Wilfred (Wägilak Songman and didgeridoo), Paul Grabowsky (Musical Director and piano),Tony Hicks (Saxophones), Stephen Magnusson (Guitar), Niko Schauble (Drums) and Philip Rex(Double Bass).

Audiences interested in gaining a deeper insight into the Crossing Roper Bar experience can attend a one-off workshop with Daniel and David Wilfred where they will learn about the storytelling, ceremony and musical traditions of Arnhem Land, take part in bunggul (dance) workshops, and enjoy live performance of beautiful songs and virtuoso yidaki (didjeridu) playing.

The manikay (song cycles) of the Yolŋu of South East Arnhem Land represent one of the oldest and most affecting musical traditions on the planet and the song men of Ngukurr have worked closely with the AAO to create a contemporary rendering of these precious cultural artefacts – performing songs that many of their Yolŋu kin further north had thought were lost forever.

Paul Grabowsky, who initiated the project, said the collaboration is based on an equal exchange of knowledge through a dialogue centred on music. The resulting intersection of jazz and traditional Indigenous music is an electrifying marriage of the very old with the very new, and a celebration of country, ceremony, and the power of music to build enduring bridges across cultures, time and space.

“Music is integral to Aboriginal ceremony, culture and to their whole social system and the ancient song cycles of the Manikay are in real danger of being lost unless they are picked up and preserved by future generations” said Grabowsky.

“Over the past 9 years the Crossing Roper Bar project has reinvigorated the Ngukkur community, which has for many decades lived with the threat of losing its cultural traditions. It has re-engaged the young people and shown a way forward.”

Crossing Roper Bar Workshop (Melbourne)
7pm 29 May Moreland City Band Hall 22 Cross Street, Brunswick
FREE no bookings required. For further information - call 03 9602 4393

Crossing Roper Bar Volume 2 - the Ghost Dances
Melbourne: Bennetts Lane Tuesday 27 May | Doors 8.30pm | $25 + b/fee
Canberra: National Museum Australia Friday 30 May | 7.30pm | From $30