West Papuan freedom fighters, dark fairytales and cross-cultural collaborations feature among a diverse 2019 Nexus Arts live music program.
As its next-door neighbour Fowler’s Live makes its transition into Lion Arts Factory in the new year, Nexus Arts will keep live music ticking along in its corner of the west end with a rich slate of performances. The venue’s global focus once again forms a key component in 2019, starting with Papua New Guinea born, Tokyo based pianist and composer Aaron Choulai. Choulai will enlist New York via Japan rapper KoJoe and the Australian Art Orchestra, along with anime-inspired visuals from Popy Oil for the February performance.
Melbourne indie songwriter Sophie Koh will return to Adelaide in April to present her new album Book Of Songs. Described by Koh as “a little bit east, and a little bit west”, this latest project features pop songs sung in both English and Mandarin that draw musical and aesthetic influence from classical composers and traditional Chinese art. Koh will be supported by Tracy Chen, a South Australian musician currently based in Melbourne, whose minimalist pop has seen her collaborate with Imogen Heap.
Comprised of West Papuan activists currently based in Melbourne, Black Orchid Stringband will bring the musical traditions and pressing political issues of our northern neighbour down south in May. Dubbed ‘Quiet Songs of Freedom’, the concert will see the group joined by Archie Roach guitarist Nancy Bates’ recently formed duo Dhungala Baarka – a highlight at this year’s Scouted Festival.
At the heart of the 2019 program is a series of newly commissioned works bringing together artists from across Australia for a series of collaborations. The worlds of folk and hip hop will collide when SA songwriter Naomi Keyte teams up with Sydney-based rapper and percussionist DOBBY in November. In June Corey Theatre, known for performing in Gunditjmara, Kaurna and Barngarla language, will perform with Melbourne’s STAV, whose similarly multi-lingual songwriting encompasses English, Hebrew and French.
Having spent much of 2018 working as part of Nexus’ Creative Cohesion program, renowned guzheng player Zhao Liang will perform alongside alongside Jarrad Payne, Belinda Gehlert and Dylan Marshall at ‘Harvest’ in July.
Nexus Arts 2019 live music program
Umi No Uzu
Australian Art Orchestra with Aaron Choulai, KoJoe and Popy Oil
Saturday, February 2
Book of Songs
Sophie Koh and Tracy Chen
Saturday, April 6
Quiet Songs of Freedom
Black Orchid Stringband and Djungala Baarka
Saturday, May 4
Folk and Fire
Corey Theatre and STAV
Saturday, June 1
Gelareh Pour’s Garden Quartet and Zhao Liang, Jarrad Payne, Belinda Gehlert abd Dykab Narsgakk
Saturday, July 3
Zulya and the Children of the Underground and Golonka
Saturday, August 3
Yellow Peril Symphony and Creative Cohesion Ensemble
Saturday, September 7
All The Stories
The Letter string Quartet and Fleur Green
Saturday, October 5
DOBBY and Naomi Keyte, Didier Kumalo
Saturday, November 2