Dallas Jon Vea Vea – also known as ‘Inky’ – was born in 1956 in Maryborough and still calls Hervey Bay home. His indigenous cultural connections are to the ‘Spirit of Land’ people near Warra and Bunya Mountains, to Cherbourg, and to Glass House Mountains. He also has cultural connections to Vanuatu, specifically to Walaha Passage-Nduindui on Aoba Island, to Belavoko-Pic Malo on Malo Island, and thru kustom adoption to Ambrym Island. His Mother and two Aunties were popular local professional singers much admired for their vocal harmonies. His South Sea Islander Grandmother was famous for her garden parties. Inky as a youngster was soon expected to become part of the entertainment at these successful fundraising events. He later joined local band Main Course and learned more about the art of live performance at local pubs alongside his musically talented Cousins.
Joining the Queensland Railways, Jon travelled widely through South East and Western Queensland. He suddenly felt a strong desire to learn the guitar, like his Aboriginal Father. A fellow worker was only too happy to lend Jon one he kept in the boot of his car. Hours of dedicated practice followed… Moving to new opportunities working for Commonwealth Government employment services, Jon joined the Country Music scene of Bundaberg as well as playing every weekend in a successful duo Kiwi Konnection. One highlight during this time was playing solo to a crowded stadium at a Bundy Bears Football grand finale. Another highlight was his original song ‘My Father’ being given airtime on ABC Regional Radio. His strong sense of social justice eventually saw him move into paralegal work with indigenous people in Burnett Region, then later Fraser Coast. Settling once again in his home town Hervey Bay, Jon joined Mike Knight and his Swing Trio. Here he gained confidence in ‘laid-back and easy’ Swing Jazz. Jon composed more original songs, including ‘Pain In My Heart’, ‘In My Room’, ‘Answers’, and ‘The Condamine’. When the opportunity came to take a job at Chinchilla as an Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Officer ‘walking the line’, Jon did not hesitate. At last he had a chance to return to the traditional custodian lands of his Grandfather near Warra on the Western Darling Downs. With a renewed sense of belonging as a proud member of the Coble Coble clan, he created another original song titled ‘Through My Grandfather’s Eyes’. Again it was given airtime on ABC Regional Radio. Jon hopes one day to produce a musical production based on his Grandfather’s life story.
As a songwriter/composer, Jon is a member of the Australasian Performing Rights Association and enjoys mentoring other musicians of all ages in aspects of live performance. He finds it very satisfying to help them discover their strengths and become more confident performers. Over the past decade Jon has enjoyed wonderful musical collaborations with other talented Fraser Coast musicians. These have included Hervey Bay Council for the Arts, Mojo, Sounds on Sunday, and The Acoustic Jabiru. His latest originals include: ‘Final Farewell’, ‘Just Living The Dream’, ‘I’ll See You In The Dreamtime’, ‘Wangari Thinks (Hey Whitefella), and ‘Wangari Cries on K’Gari’. He then created a Dance Remix of ‘Wangari Cries on K’Gari’ for use by indigenous choreographers for school children’s performances. On 27 May 2017 – to coincide with Reconciliation Week and the 50th Anniversary of the historic ‘Yes Vote’ referendum – Jon performed his storytelling show ‘Music From My Soul’. This live acoustic premiere performance of his originals was filmed for release as a DVD, and a studio-based CD recording will soon follow.
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