Culture Train Tour 2017
Once again, as part of the state’s largest celebration of its multiculturalism and depth of diversity inherent in its identity, Culture Train will traverse the countryside with its cast of multicultural musicians, and messages of inclusion and community harmony. Featuring five world-renowned artists from culturally diverse backgrounds, and introducing supporting musician Liam Morton, Culture Train will take its collective of traditional and contemporary music and storytelling to regional and remote Queensland audiences who are often do not have the opportunity to experience cultural performances of this calibre.
During Queensland Multicultural Month, audiences will be able to immerse themselves in a unique cultural and musical experience, as Culture Train’s program of free concerts makes its way to 13 regional communities across the state, including Barcaldine, Longreach, Rockhampton, Winton and Chinchilla.
The troupe will be performing at a number of festivals throughout Multicultural Month including Quandamooka Festival, Toowoomba Languages and Cultures Festival and Rockhampton Cultural Festival. In addition to community performances, free workshops will also be held in various schools and community centres and Culture Train will stop over in the state’s capital for an intimate performance under the iconic Story Bridge at the Queensland Multicultural Centre.
DHEERAJ SHRESTHA (NEPAL)
Internationally acclaimed tabla percussionist Dheeraj Shrestha is recognised as the foremost Nepalese born tabla percussionist in Australia. An irrepressible creativity, tremendous clarity and exciting rhythmic improvisation are his stylistic hallmarks and this has established him worldwide, as one of the finest exponents of tabla. His easy flowing style of playing tabla, sets him apart from other players of international renown.
The music he contributes is from the Himalayan country and birthplace of Buddha, Nepal. Dheeraj Shrestha is a founder of Nepalese music ensemble ‘The Lumbini Circle” and “Rhythm Sutra”. He has collaborated with the Cat Empire, Lior and Flamenco Indo Jazz to name a few. He has taught the tabla at the QUT, UQ and Queensland Conservatorium of Music and is now teaching at tabla school Rhythms Of The World in Brisbane.
Performance highlights include WOMAD, Royal Albert Hall, The Melbourne Commonwealth Game, Smithsonian Institute, Woodford Folk Festival, Melbourne International Jazz Festival and many more.
AJAK KWAI (SUDAN)
Ajak Kwai is a musician and storyteller of exceptional depth. A former refugee, she arrived in Australia 18 years ago. For Ajak, music is life, it’s the vehicle that carries her extraordinary stories of life as a refugee, exiled from her home and her family; her moving tales of hope, freedom, love, and cows – beloved animals of the Dinka.
Ajak was born in Bor in South Sudan. When the militia descended upon her Upper Nile village, she lost her father, two brothers, two nieces and several cousins. Her village was wiped out and those left behind were engulfed in misery and many died of hunger. Fortunately Ajak had already fled to the city with her uncle.
Singing in Arabic, Sudanese or English, Ajak conjures a vivid picture of her Dinka heritage.
Ajak’s music is inspiring and soulful, infused with funky afro-beats representing the depth and richness of her South Sudanese roots. Her performances are filled with vibrant sounds and her distinctive voice has mesmerised audiences nationally and internationally.
In 2014 Ajak was awarded the African-Australia Community Female Singer of the Year. She has performed at numerous festivals and events locally and internationally and supports numerous organisations advocating for refugees and women’s rights in Australia.
MARIO CONDE (BOLIVIA)
Mario Conde is a native Bolivian Indian musician who captivates audiences with his ability to fuse traditional Bolivian and Western music. He leads a five-piece ensemble of musicians called Celestino that incorporates traditional Bolivian panpipes, quenas (flutes) and charango (string instrument) with modern technology to create memorable musical performances. Mario’s ability to contrast modern and traditional elements through the international language of music lends him a unique ability to connect with the audience. Mario has performed and toured throughout Australia, the Pacific Islands, Europe, South Africa, South America and North America.
CLARA DOMINGO (SPAIN)
Born in Barcelona to a family deeply entrenched in Catalan cultural heritage, Clara Domingo started her formal musical studies at age 5.
Growing up in the south of Spain, Clara’s interests burgeoned into Spanish traditional music, especially flamenco. Clara has recently settled in Australia where she has continued to develop a unique style that reflects an international sensibility firmly grounded within Spanish and Catalan traditions.
Clara has performed with flamenco companies Flamenco Fire and Jaleos Flamenco including concert appearances at Queensland Performing and Arts Centre, Brisbane City Hall, Woodford Folk Festival and Cygnet Folk Festival.
DYA SINGH (Malaysia / Punjab)
Based in Australia, Dya Singh is acknowledged as the most significant singer/musician of the Sikh mystical musical tradition in the world today. Having performed around the world over the last 20 years, Dya Singh has been one of Australia’s pioneers in the development of new Australian ‘World’ music.
Dya Singh’s music is an inspirational experience. It takes you by the heart, soothing in a meditative way and then uplifts with an array of glorious compelling rhythms, blended instruments, drones, wonderful improvisations and a message in words and chants that speaks of acceptance, respect, fulfillment, love and the quest for universal harmony.
Dya Singh has released over 26 CDs. He tours nationally and around the world to arts, folk, new-age, world and sacred music festivals including WOMADelaide, Woodford Folk Festival, Singapore Arts Festival, and the California World Music Festival to name a few.
Introducing Supporting Musician:
LIAM MORTON (Australia)
Liam Morton is a guitarist that performs jazz, blues, flamenco and pop. His style was honed under the direction of esteemed composer and performer Dr Anthony Garcia. Improvisation forms the basis of his performances, often taking place in cool jazz, bossa nova and samba pieces. He also performs reworked pop music for solo guitar, and colours his arrangements with walking basses, chord solos and jazz harmonies. He began performing in Brisbane in 2012, and is now a regular player in the South East Queensland restaurant, bar and cafe scene.
Culture Train Dates
18th August | Dunwich, Stradbroke Island
Early Learning Centre, 1.30pm | FREE
19th August | Brisbane
Queensland Multicultural Centre, 7pm | $10 adults, children FREE, book through Eventbrite
20th August | Toowoomba (Languages and Culture Festival)
Queens Park, 3pm | Festival entry fee: $8 adults, $5 concession, children FREE
23rd August | Bundaberg
Continental Café, 11am | FREE
24th August | Gladstone (Gladstone Multicultural Week)
Kin Kora Stocklands Shopping Centre | FREE
25th August | Biloela
Banana Shire Library | FREE
26th August | Rockhampton (Rockhampton Cultural Festival)
Rockhampton Heritage Village, 4pm – 9pm | Festival entry fee: $2 adults, children FREE
27th August | Barcaldine
Loungin’ Emu and Commercial Hotel, 6.30pm | FREE
29th August | Longreach
Smithy’s Outback Dinner and Show Venue, 5.30pm | FREE
Smithy’s Outback Dinner and Show Venue, 6.30pm | $50 Dinner and Show Package, Call (07) 46583000 to book.
30th August | Winton
Winton Shire Hall, 7pm | FREE
31st August | Blackall
Living Arts Centre, 7pm | FREE
1st September| Roma/Mitchell (Opera Queensland Show)
Boral’s Amby Quarry, 5.30pm | $60 adults, $20 children aged 5 – 17, children under 4 free
2nd September | Chinchilla
Chinchilla Cultural Centre, 6pm | FREE