Boomerang welcomes Anishinaabe MC/Singer/Songwriter Leonard Sumner in 2017. His storytelling flows directly from the shores of Little Saskatchewan First Nation, located in the heart of the Interlake of Manitoba. Sumner’s self-determined sound is evidence of his ability to simultaneously occupy landscapes of multiple musical genres including; Hip-Hop, Spoken Word, Country, and Rhythm and Blues. With every vibration of the strings on his guitar, Leonard rattles the dust off truths that have been buried for far too long. On stage he poetically sings awake the consciousness of audiences may have been unaware of their slumber.
Boomerang fans, get ready to dance when OKA take the stage. Embracing the future without losing sight of the past, OKA draws upon their indigenous connection to place and country to create their signature feel good Australian earth sound, an irresistible blend of influences spanning house, big beat, reggae-dub, Roots, Jazz and world music. A mashup of dance & downtempo electro beats marinated in the mystic spiritual traditions of the Dreamtime. “Try to imagine Bob Marley meets Stevie Wonder via the chemical brothers, on acid, playing in a steaming rainforest with a didgeridoo and you are getting close”
New gen Indigenous Australian artist Yirrmal Marika, from North-East Arnhem Land, has made a refreshing entrance into the music scene. Inspired by his Grandfather, Dr Yunupingu, former lead singer of Yothu Yindi, he fuses tradition and contemporary with class and passion. Yirrmal is an inspiring songwriter and guitarist with a beautiful voice, singing songs about his homeland and culture with feeling and depth beyond his years.
Airileke and the Rize of the Morning Star
Airileke and the Rize of the Morning Star are musical pioneers and fighters for freedom traversing a timeless sonic globe without frontiers. Front man Airileke [pronounced Irie-leck-eh] is a percussionist, producer, composer, activist, recording, global events facilitator and, in the words of Britain’s Songlines magazine, a “cause for celebration”. Born in Australia with roots in PNG Airileke grew up between the shores of both PNG and the Top End. He grew up learning traditional drumming from his ancestral village of Gabagaba (Drumdrum) near Port Moresby, the region’s ‘sing sing’ grounds for drums, dance and ceremony. Airi’s unique sound melds progressive ideas with beats of ancient Melanesian culture. Hip-hop production, fierce log drumming, Papuan chants, atmospheric soundscapes and samples from the front line of the Free Papua Movement combine to evoke one of the region’s darkest stories: the illegal occupation and ongoing oppression of West Papua. Urgent, fiery and innovative, this is the new sound of urban Melanesia.
Australia has a cultural heartbeat like few others. For millennia that pulse has been powered by music. It has always been song that has told Australia’s stories – it’s why such an ancient culture remains so alive and powerful. Drawing from two very different worlds to make music and tell stories about contemporary life with an ageless perspective, Emily Wurramara is driven by passion for culture and heritage. With national airplay on ABC and Triply J, Emily has become a seasoned performer who has taken her music around the country and abroad with shows in Sweden and France, as well as appearances at major Festivals across Australia, including: Gaarma Festival, Island Vibes, and Woodford Folk Festival. Add in a couple of 2016 Queensland Music Award nominations and Triple Unearthed showcase at Big Sound and the picture starts to build of a young artist with a very bright tomorrow.
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. At Boomerang Precinct Tenzin will also share his knowledge in Mantra singing – energy-based sounds which produce vibrations within the universe – was revered as a powerful tool for meditation. The word “mantra” is derived from two Sanskrit words – man meaning mind and tra meaning “to protect or to free from”
In 2009 Tenzin founded the annual Festival of Tibet which showcases Tibetan culture through music, film, art and discussion. Tenzin was musical director for the Asia Pacific Screen Awards in 2011 and 2013 and has written and performed soundtracks for numerous TV shows, films and documentaries. 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.
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. Experience the real art of Rongoa Maori Healing at Boomerang. Maori are Indigenous to Aotearoa New Zealand and at Boomerang Festival you will have the opportunity to take part in some very special workshops that will have you walk away feeling focused and centred.
Debuting in 2014, eXcelsior Contemporary Arts was founded by a collective of aspiring performing artists and graduates from the Aboriginal Centre for the Performing Arts (ACPA), in pursuit of fusing modern art with the traditional art forms of Indigenous Australia. eXcelsioracknowledges the indigenous and non-indigenous elders who have paved the way, so all who follow shall prosper in excellence & prevail to transcend in mind, body and spirit.
The members of eXcelsior are of Aboriginal and Torres Straight Island descent. The clan groups they belong to range from North & Central Queensland, down to North & Central New South Wales.
Jannawi Dance Clan
Jannawi Artistic Director is Peta Strachan, a Darug woman with a passion for Sydney’s language culture and stories. Peta is a multi-disciplinary dancer teacher, choreographer, set designer, and costume designer. Jannawi dancers and students are predominantly from the inner west suburbs andsurrounding areas of Sydney. Jannawi recognises the enormous benefits gained through indigenous contemporary and traditional dance. Jannawican go far in filling the void and providing a nexus for the strands of talent development, education and cultural identity engagement required in the young people of our community.
The company and its member collectively have performed across many festivals and events such as Woggan-ma-gule ceremony, Bangarra Dance Theatre, Woodford Folk Festival, Homeground, the Dreaming. Internationally they were one of the highlights at the opening of the Muse Du Quay Branly, Paris, The Sydney Olympics Opening and Closing ceremonies, Barangaroo opening events and more recently the Darwin Telstra Art Awards.
Bundjalung Weaving workshops
When you weave you have an instant connection to country as your using local flora hearing age old stories and reflecting. 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. Participants will learn the basic technique of varying styles from coiling to matting while developing an understanding of cultural importance of weaving and fishing techniques used by the Aboriginal community in this region. Weave a bracelet, basket, mat, and or a simple net to catch fish’ Open to all ages, relax and join the weaving circle.
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