The following performers participated in the 2014 Shearwater Festival.
Please click here to view performers at the current festival.
Archie Roach was born in Maroopna and is a singer, songwriter and guitarist. He survived a turbulent upbringing to develop into a powerful voice for Indigenous Australians, a storyteller in the tradition of his ancestors, and a nationally popular and respected artist. Roach's song Took the Children Away was added to the National Film and Sound Archive's Sounds of Australia registry in 2013. He has won a Deadly Award for Lifetime Contribution to Healing the Stolen Generations as well as for Album of the Year.
Kutcha was born on the banks of the Murrumbidgee River at Balranald, New South Wales, of the Mutti Mutti people and is among the many of the Stolen Generations. Through his music, he tells people about himself and shares his unique journey, one that is also the journey of all Australians. What Kutcha shares with people is a connection, a belonging. His music and stories are the songs of his journey, his people's journey, and these are his gift to connect with and inspire others.
Yirrmal and the Yolngu Boys
Yirrmal is a new generation Indigenous Australian artist, from North-East Arnhem Land. He is a gifted singer and songwriter who fuses traditional and contemporary music. Yirrmal is related to Geoffery Gurrumul Yunupingu on his mother’s side, and his father, Witiyana Marika, was a singer and dancer in Yothu Yindi. The Yolngu boys, Dion, Jerol and Seviro Wunungmurra, have extensive knowledge of traditional Yolngu “Manikay” songs, and are excellent singers, dancers and didgeridoo “yidaki” players.
The Deep Listening Band
The Deep Listening Band is a group of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal musicians, artists and educators who come together to compose, perform, tell stories and facilitate Deep Listening Circles. The Band is underpinned by the Aboriginal concept of Deep Listening which translates as ‘deep and respectful listening which builds community’. The Deep Listening Band has been working together since 2004.
Its core members are Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal creative artists and researchers who have undertaken arts-based research degrees at Masters and Doctoral levels. The Deep Listening Band is inclusive and has expandable edges. It welcomes participation from local communities and people with expertise relevant to its creative events. The Band has performed at research conferences, exhibition openings, community events and in a cross-cultural exchange between Australian and Canadian Indigenous peoples.
Steve Sedergreen is one of Australia’s jazz identities and is a leading pianist, arranger of jazz projects and an educator. Steve has been a well-established figure in the Melbourne jazz scene through a variety of activities including director and curator of Dizzy’s Jazz Club and 20 years of teaching jazz , including mentoring members of ‘The Cat Empire’. He completed a Master of Arts in the pedagogy of jazz and has recently published a book on the subject.
Michael Jordan is a highly regarded musician and educator. He is a professional improviser and has been a professional drum-kit performer for over thirty years. He began playing music professionally with his father when he was seven years old. He is an accomplished singer as well as drummer. He completed a Master of Arts on Melodic Drumming in Contemporary Music and is now undertaking a PhD in the art of Melodic Drumming.
Ron Murray is a Wamba Wamba man and is a highly regarded didgeridoo player, story-teller, mediator, communicator and wood sculptor. He works in prisons, schools, at public forums and at festivals. In his work, he builds bridges of awareness between Indigenous and Western cultures and fosters a sense of pride in Aboriginal people. Ron has completed a Master of Arts in cross-cultural education through the Arts.
Uncle Herb Patten
Uncle Herb Patten is a Gunnai elder and one of Australia’s most well-known gumleaf players. He is an accomplished singer and guitarist and has been playing music professionally since the 1960s. He has conducted cultural awareness and gumleaf playing workshops for many years. He has completed a Master of Arts exploring Aboriginal Heritage through Gumleaf Music.
Robbie Bundle is a singer-songwriter and musician who has been writing and performing music for more than 35 years. He has performed with artists such as David Gulpilil, Kutcha Edwards, Dave Arden, Bart Willoughby, Archie Roach and many others. Also a filmmaker, MC and a musical historian of the Songlines, Robbie’s latest album, Universal Ark, is out now.
Mark is a multi-talented musician, percussionist and educator who has the capacity to bring crowds alive with his drumming. He is well known for leading Boogies – participative drumming events which weave together different rhythms, percussion instruments and chants. Mark has created and led Boogie Bands at the previous two Shearwater Festivals and led a sound sculpture with local school children in an improvised sound sculpture of shearwater rookeries.
Anthony (ToK) Norris
Anthony (ToK) Norris is a gifted multi-instrumentalist: trumpet and flugel-horn, guitar, keyboards, and vocals. ToK has recorded and performed with local and international artists for over 30 years, including 12 years touring with the Black Sorrows. He has worked extensively with members of the Australian Indigenous community. ToK is a recording engineer and producer and has produced both of the Deep Listening Band’s CDs
Rose Bygrave rose to prominence as keyboardist and vocalist alongside Shane Howard and Marcia Howard in The Goanna Band in the early '80s. Her work is renowned for reflecting on the land, love, and especially issues of indigenous and social justice. Her voice and musicianship are regarded as among the best in Australian contemporary folk. In 2011, Rose collaborated with long-time friend and Goanna Member Marcia Howard, to produce a CD called Pearl.
Marcia Howard is a singer, song-writer, guitarist and keyboard player. Renowned for her stunning vocal harmony work with her brother Shane Howard and Rose Bygrave in the legendary band Goanna, her singing and song writing career has led to some deep collaborations with Indigenous and Irish artists. She is currently completing a Master of Education in which she is exploring the nexus of soundscapes of place, culture and identity in Ireland and Australia.www.marciahoward.com.au
Find Marcia Howard and Rose Bygrave on Facebook
Dr Laura Brearley
Laura Brearley is a singer, song-writer and creative research specialist. She coordinates the Deep Listening Project, a cross-cultural creative exchange project involving Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists, musicians and researchers. Through her work with members of the Koori community at RMIT University, Monash University, Swinburne University and Federation University, she has developed strategies of working in the spaces between Indigenous and non-Indigenous knowledge systems.
Aunty Doris Paton
Aunty Doris Paton is a highly respected Gunnai/Monaro woman who has worked in education for over 25 years. She is also a leader in the field of the recovery and restoration of Aboriginal languages. She completed a PhD in which she is used quilt-making as a narrative tool.
Lisa Kennedy is an Australian Aboriginal story-teller and artist and a descendant of Woretemoeteyenner, a Trawlwoolway woman from North East Tasmania in Australia. Lisa is a visual artist, mixed media artist, community arts project facilitator, children’s book author and illustrator. Lisa has recently published two children’s stories, ‘Wurramatyennaand the Magic Canoe’ and ‘Wurramatyenna and the Call of the Sea.’
Patrice Muthaymiles Mahoney is an Anewan Aboriginal Artist from the Kempsey coastal region, New South Wales Australia. Art is a central part of her life. Her hope is that her art educates, sparks conversations and expresses the fullness of what it means to be alive. She works in hebel, clay, kelp, reed, wire, raffia, oils, acrylic and ink.
Mick is a Taungwurrung Kulin (Aboriginal man from his traditional country). Mick’s artwork demonstrates how Aboriginal art in Victoria is unique in its symbolism. His art links with stories and songlines like fingers reaching out to other areas of Australia. Mick combines his art-making with work in the community and is actively involved in the Australian Heritage Council (AHC) and Native Title Services Victoria (NTSV).
Vicki Couzens is a descendant of the Gunditjmara and Kirrae Whurrong clans and plays an active role in promoting the culture of her people. She is an artist and a poet and is widely known for her possum skin cloaks and her paintings. She has served on the boards of the Koorie Heritage Trust and the Victorian Corporation for Aboriginal Languages. Vicki has completed a Master of Arts in cultural regeneration and in creative language revival and is currently undertaking a PhD in the same field.
Annie is the artist-in-residence for the Shearwater Festival 2014. She is currently completing Master of Contemporary Art at the Victorian College Arts in drawing, sculpture, printmaking and painting. She also works in video, shadow puppetry and fire art. For twenty years Edney has made site specific celebration events addressing environmental health and social harmony, that are intelligent and exuberant. She is represented in private and public collections including the Museum of the Riverina, Macquarie University, and the Abbotsford Convent.
Boon Wurrung Dance Group
Boon Wurrung dancers Steve Parker and Sonia Weston are leading a group of Indigenous dancers and school children in a Creation Dance choreographed by Lowell Hunter for the Opening of the Shearwater Festival. The dance interweaves the creation story of Bunjil the Eagle and the story of the shearwaters with Bunjil giving the shearwaters safe passage on to the land.
Tony has been conducting classes and workshops in dance-movement for personal growth and creative expression since 1978. He works as a dance-movement specialist within therapeutic teams and also consults to organisations, particularly in the health and human services field. He teaches professional supervision skills at a major Melbourne hospital network and provides supervision for therapists and students. His particular interest in the dance-movement work is to encourage people to find the eloquent, creative and nourishing dance that lies within and to bring it into full being.
Aunty Carolyn Briggs
Aunty Carolyn Briggs is a senior Boon Wurrung Elder and language specialist. Her long-time involvement in cultural preservation and promotion has seen her recognised as a ‘keeper of the history and genealogies of her people’ – recognised in her Female Elder of the Year award. She established Australia’s first Aboriginal child care centre and for several years ran a Melbourne restaurant (Tjanabi) which specialised in contemporary Aboriginal food as a way to promote her local culture. She is CEO of youth cultural heritage centre, the Boon wurrung Foundation and is a member of the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples. She is also a director of the Federation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Languages and Culture Corporation.
Aunty Fay Stewart-Muir
Aunty Fay Stewart-Muir is a senior linguist at the Victorian Aboriginal Corporation for Languages in Melbourne, Fay is working with her own Boon wurrung language, recording and putting language into the data base for future and present generations. She presents language related workshops to community members who are reclaiming their languages, as well as universities and TAFEs that are interested in understanding the many and challenging aspects of language reclamation. She also goes out to schools to educate the students about language and culture and teach language.
Graeme has an intimate knowledge of the natural history and cultural heritage of the Phillip Island region. He is passionate about maintaining cultural links to the land and community and leads the way in the protection of the incredible short tailed shearwaters that visit our shores each year. He has a Diploma of Recreation and a post graduate Diploma in Natural and Cultural Heritage Interpretation. He has a strong commitment to educating people about cultural and environmental conservation.