Grass Roots World Music Festival – Blacktown, June 15

Blacktown Arts Centre has joined forces with SydWest Multicultural Services to develop a free Grass Roots World Music Festival, held at the Blacktown Arts Centre on 15 June from 2.00pm.

Circle of Rhythm Trio
Circle of Rhythm Trio

The Festival will feature local and national acts, showcasing the diverse, authentic, and original music and dance practices of the diverse communities of Western Sydney.

Now in its second year, the Grass Roots World Music Festival is the only kind in the region, tapping into the sometimes culturally unique and less exposed musical talents that reside in our own multicultural backyards.

The festival was inspired by Refugee Week and by the hidden musical and dance talents of the area. The Sudanese Women’s Dance Troupe will perform a unique cultural folk dance from Southern Sudan, while performers APHRODISIAC from Ethiopia will present an exciting contemporary twist on traditional Ethiopian Dance. Hear these artists talk about their art forms in an intimate artist’s tent, while learning some dance moves, and nibbling on cultural food and tea/coffee.

The festival is aimed at families and is free to enter, presenting an engaging workshop, arts and craft program alongside its eclectic music and dance program.

The headline act CIRCLE OF RHYTHM is heralded as Australia’s most exciting rhythm trio; Greg Sheehan, Bobby Singh (originally from Western Sydney) and Ben Walsh, have between them changed the face of percussion in Australia. After ten years of defining and redefining what Australian drumming can offer the world they have formed a percussion trio with a difference.

From the high energy, fast paced drumming styles of Japan and Polynesia to the ethereal and spiritually uplifting sounds of India, this ensemble boasts a full spectrum of styles and instrumentation that will delight your senses.

Expect a power house of razor-sharp, precision beats and drumming of the highest order delivered in a sometimes humorous and relaxed Australian approach. They will make you laugh, share their stories and most definitely leave you breathless… expect nothing less than standing ovations.

Other performers include a newly commissioned local work, Western Sydney Beat Syndicate (Hip Hop) in collaboration with The New Blacktown City Band, a creative music group made up of local migrant and refugee musicians, all speaking the language of music!.

Other highlights include live music and dance from: KARIFI (Ghana), Baila Con Diablos (Chile/Latin America), Salamak (Persian Fusion), the Sonata Singers (Filipino Choir) to name a few.

Free Hip Hop workshops for the young

Free multicultural hip hop workshops for young people will start on February 2 (Saturday) from 10am to 1 pm at the Blacktown RSL Club, Second Avenue, Blacktown City.

The workshops will run for 10 Saturdays during the school term. Talented choreographers from Creative Identity will lead the workshops.

This project is for young people from diverse backgrounds living in the Blacktown area who through hip hop dancing, have the opportunity and space to work together and unleash or discover other creative streaks in them that can be used to capture the spirit of unity in diversity and harmony in the community.

The project aims to raise awareness among all Australians to build greater respect and understanding of diversity, promote mutual respect, understanding and fair treatment of all and promote harmony between groups of people from different cultural, racial and religious backgrounds.

This project is funded by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) under its Diversity and Social Cohesion Program (DSCP).

For more information, contact PACSI (Philippine-Australian Community Services Inc) at 9672 3738 or or Lea Tayab-Glasson @ 0411 325 452, Nelia Sumcad @ 0404 975 765 or Lina Cabaero @ 0407 841 010

Flavour of Russia and the Balkans

Blacktown Arts Centre welcomes back The Volatinsky Trio who will open the 2013 season of the Echo Music Series on 2 February 2013.

The trio plays original world music laced with the flavours of Russia and the Balkans on an exotic combination of instruments – cimbalom (Russian hammer dulcimer with 78 strings), cello, domra (Russian mandolin) and guitar.

Their concert on 2 February will commence at 3pm and kick off the 2013 Echo Music Series – a long running series featuring unique and different performing artists in concert throughout the year.

Members of the Volatinsky Trio include:

Lucy Voronov from Minsk is one of the great players of cimbalom having won major folk instrument competitions in Russia and the former USSR.

Anatoli Torjinski from Odessa is an ARIA-award winning musician, renowned for his brilliant jazz/world-style cello playing and improvisations in groups including Double T, Monsieur Camembert and the Eddie Bronson Trio.

Stephen Lalor is Kiev-trained in Russian domra and guitar. When he is not playing with world music groups based in Sydney, Stephen works with Australian and overseas symphony orchestras as a mandolin specialist, appearing at major festivals as a mandolin/domra soloist. He has performed and/or recorded with artists including Vladimir Ashkenazy, Bryn Terfel, Andy Irvine, Shen Yang, Taraf de Haidouks and The Stiff Gins.

Volatinsky Trio have played at some of Australia’s major World-Music Festivals, notably; The National Folk Festival and Fairbridge Festival (“a blistering set” – 2011 Fairbridge Program), plus Tanks (Cairns), Boite (Melbourne) & Camelot (Sydney). More recently they have headlined the Canberra Folk Festival, Montreal Music Festival, and will be performing in Adelaide at the Womadelaide Festival.

Tickets to the concert are now available. Costs are $20 adult, $15 Friends of BAC/concession, $35 family pass (Group of four). For more details, visit

Art Exhibition at Sydney Town Hall

A FREE exhibition featuring the works of various Asian-Australian artists will be featured from February 5 to February 24 at the Lower Town Hall, Sydney Town Hall.
Celebrating the depth and range of relationships and artistic exchange between Australia and China, Vietnam and Korea, this extraordinary exhibition features emerging and established artists – those newly arrived in Australia and those with shared Aboriginal and Asian heritage. The eclectic range of work shares themes of heritage, individual journeys, cultural issues and the concept of home, while exploring notions of personal space, identity and globalisation with wonder and wisdom.
Curator Catherine Croll has created new opportunities for dialogue and cultural exchange between participating artists and audiences, with floor talks, demonstrations and forums held throughout the exhibition.

Between Tuesday 05 February and Saturday 23 February from 12.00 to 20.00
Lower Town Hall, Sydney Town Hall.
Entry via Druitt Street.
Sydney Town Hall, 483 George Street (cnr Druitt Street) Sydney 2000 Venue details

2013 National Multicultural Festival

Canberra, February 8-10, 2013

Featured entertainers on opening night: Kate Ceberano, indigenous singer Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu, Australian folk singer Benny Walker, Ethiopian musician Dereb the Ambassador, Sydney based Bollywood band Eastern Empire, and East Timorese folk singers Sol Nation.