There was a Welcome to Country by two Yuin tribe elders, in the spirit of reconciliation begun by my mentor Guboo Ted Thomas. It was something very special to be in Guboo’s country for Australia Day at a Festival which embraced indigenous people and all Australians, as Guboo had during in his life.
The music was super especially the concert piano performance by Amber Hammond on the Four Winds Grand Piano and the duet with Festival Artistic Director James Crabb on Piano Accordian, where they played two Tangoes.
Emily Wurrumara from Elco Island in the Gulf of Carpentaria, sang in her own language Anindilyakwa and English.
Miriam Lieberman played and sang to the audience with a 21 string African kora. She was accompanied on flute by a Balinese painter from Ubud who completed a painting prior to their performance, to be auctioned later.
The Four Winds quartet from Ireland, played some traditional Irish music in a modern creative context. They left for New Zealand immediately after the performance, after a very successful Australian tour.
Michelangelo entertained us as presenter and sang his interpretation of Nick Cave and Leonard Cohen songs between performances by other artists. There were also dancers in costume weaving their way between the audience.
Caravana Sun as the finale were superb. Can’t wait to hear their new album. There was a great line-up of all types of music from local and overseas musicians. It was a great day and a grand finale to my trip to Merimbula.