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Byron Shire
May 10, 2021

Boomerang at Bluesfest

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The Fabulous Baker Boy at Boomerang within Bluesfest 19–21 April

Byron Bluesfest welcomes Boomerang back this year. Managed and programmed from a First Nations perspective, Boomerang is a dedicated Indigenous performance and interactive event that showcases extraordinary art and culture.

Festival director for Bluesfest, Peter Noble OAM, said, ‘Our Indigenous festival within a festival at Bluesfest is one of our highlights.  The dance troupes are thrilling and to have a musical showcase presenting the Young Australian of the Year, the incredible Baker Boy; the legendary Archie Roach; Yothu Yindi & the Treaty Project; Mojo Juju; the Mission Songs; Benny Walker; and much, much more – this is a dream bill for us!’

The Te Kopere Maori Healers will return providing their very special talents. The local Bundjalung weavers will impart customary weaving techniques, in a way where children and adults alike can learn these skills. The local Arakwal people will welcome you to their country, as will the peoples of the Bundjalung. Come and immerse yourself in Boomerang on a very personal level. 

Working alongside Rhoda Roberts AO, a member of the Bundjalung nation, Widjabul clan of northern NSW and SE Qld, they both welcome Jane Fuller to the team to curate this year’s offerings.

Making a very welcome return to Boomerang Festival is Australian singer/songwriter and guitarist Archie Roach. Archie’s career has spanned three decades and his work has been recognised locally and internationally in both mainstream and Indigenous circles.  

Yothu Yindi & The Treaty Project aim to raise awareness around the need for treaty with Australia’s first nations people. In this exciting new, electronica-driven formation, founding members of Yothu Yindi are joined onstage by former band members and popular Indigenous singer/songwriters including Yirrimal, who will be singing lead at Boomerang 2019. The group also features cabaret artist Kamahi Djordon King and emerging Yolngu singers Yirrnga Yunupingu and Yimila Gurruwiwi. 

Yorta Yorta singer/songwriter Benny Walker is the real deal. His love songs and epic tales are mixed with passion for people, the land, summer vibes, and deep grooves that reach the soul. Young Noongar man Dallas Woods lures audiences in with his cheeky vibe, inspiring the audience with a positive skew.

Rapper, drummer, speaker, and workshop facilitator, 24-year-old DOBBY proudly identifies as a Filipino and Aboriginal musician. This multi-instrumentalist is sure to entertain the crowds this Easter as he jumps between the drums, mic, and piano. 

Jessie Lloyd’s Mission Songs Project is an initiative to revive contemporary Australian Indigenous songs from 1900 to 1999, focusing on the Christian missions, state-run settlements, and native camps where Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were relocated. Searching for the secular songs that were sung after church, Mission Songs Project looks to explore the day-to-day life of the mission days, from cultural identity to love and loss.  

Brotherhood of the Blues is a 10-piece band built on friendship, passion, and of course, a shared love of music. Also performing are Torres Strait Islander traditional dance group Malu Kiai Mura Buai sharing their traditional songs and dances. Rako dance encompasses traditional Rotuman, Polynesian, and Melanesian dance, as well as modern dance forms such as hip-hop, crump, b-boy, and break.

Tenzin Choeygal is a Tibetan artist, composer, activist, musical director, and cultural ambassador who channels the wisdom and traditions of his ancestors through his songs. In 2015 Darren Compton and Jacqui Cornforth founded Muggera Dancers, a family group whose members for Muggera come from a long line of cultural leaders, songmen, world-class dancers, and didgeridoo players with a formidable respect for culture. 

Boomerang welcomes back the incredible Te Kopere Moari Healers 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. 

The Saltwater Dubay women’s weaving groups continue the art of weaving. The Bundjalung Women’s Weavers will share the long and intricate practice of weaving using traditional methods and materials. 

To find out more about some of what’s on offer go to bluesfest.com.au

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