The second Garrmalang Festival in Darwin will celebrate the arts and culture of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples who have contributed to the building of the city, from its foundations to its seductive sophistication and edginess. It all happens at the Darwin Entertainment Centre from Friday May 22 to Sunday May 24.
On Friday, May 22 at 8:00pm there’s Dirtsong by Black Arm Band. Dirtsong is a powerful musical journey through Australia’s cultural heartland inspired by the words of Alexis Wright (Miles Franklin Award winner). Set against a stunning backdrop of moving imagery and text, the performance features unforgettable songs performed in 11 different Aboriginal languages from some of the most extraordinary performers in the land, backed by an exciting ensemble of Melbourne’s finest jazz musicians. It will be an unforgettable performance to inspire the heart and lift the spirit.
At 10:00pm same night, Bärra (bahr-ra), take to the stage. Translated as The West Wind, Bärra hail from Birrtjimi Aboriginal community on the tip of the Gove Pennisula. Under the guiding hand of band leader Larrtjanŋa Gurruwiwi, son of Djalu - custodian of the yidaki (didgeridoo), the band creates authentic Arnhem Land music, an eclectic and inspiring mix of soaring harmonies, cruisy reggae, lively ska, gospel and traditional music.
On Saturday, May 23 (7:30pm) and Sunday, May 24 (6:00pm) there’s Djuki Mala (The Chooky Dancers) are back with their award winning show. Direct from a national sell out tour Djuki Mala are unique, accessible, popularist, Indigenous and contemporary, funny and skilled, forging together different cultural traditions and illustrating the force of new media and the web.
Also on Saturday, May 23, you can see and hear the seductive voices of Four Little Birds… Singing Sweet Songs (9:00pm). Darwin songstress Shellie Morris will be joined on stage by local Darwin diva’s Leah Flanagan, Ursula Yovich and introducing Catherine Satour from Alice Springs. Also featuring local duo DJ ShAm to keep you rocking well into the festival night.
GARRMALANG is the Larrakia word for the Darwin region and this weekend (May 9 to 11) sees the inaugural Garrmalang Festival.
The festival will be Darwin’s first major three-day long Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural festival celebrating music, dance, art, cabaret and theatre. This festival acknowledges the Larrakia people and will celebrate the diversity of the Indigenous and non-Indigenous community in the Top End of Australia. It will stage a number of events and shows which will be appropriate for people of all ages and accessible to the whole community.
This event will connect the community and highlight the amazing Indigenous talent that the Northern Territory has to offer. It will also showcase some of Australia’s most talented Indigenous performers and artists. More info here.
One of the highlights will be the wonderful Archie Roach with his CREATION concert on Sunday, May 11 in The Playhouse (9:00pm). CREATION is a collection of deeply spiritual songs in a powerful new show that consolidates a body of work from a storyteller who continues to make a profound connection with people of all ages. For this special Garrmalang Festival event, Archie will be joined on stage by a musical ensemble featuring Lou Bennett, Emma Donovan and Deline Briscoe.