Tropical North Queensland’s Savannah in the Round is a three-day festival that will take place over the Queen’s Birthday (1-3 October) long weekend. With an impressive line-up that boasts over 40 established and rising acts performing over three stages, it truly is worth the price of admission.
Last month, we shared five emerging artists we thought you should check out ahead of Savannah In The Round, and now, here’s five indigenous artists from the line-up we think are equally worthy!
Kirsty Lee Akers
Kirsty Lee Akers is proud of her indigenous heritage as a woman of the Wonnarua Nation. She is the only artist in history to have won three of the major prizes in Australian Country Music: Toyota Star Maker, Telstra Road to Discovery and a Golden Guitar Award, including the 2021 ‘Vocal Collaboration of the Year’ for the re-imagined John Williamson classic True Blue with Aleyce Simmonds, Amber Lawrence and Dianna Corcoran.
Akers current album, 2018’s Under My Skin achieved her highest ever ARIA chart positions to date (ARIA #8 Australian and #29 all-genre chart positions). Her previous album Burn Baby Burn (2016) saw her achieve ARIA Australian Country Music Album chart position #1, as well as producing six consecutive #1 music videos on CMC. Internationally, her single I Will was her first video to be added to both CMT and GAC (Great American Country) in the United States.
The last few years have seen Akers achieve many accolades including a Golden Guitar finalist spot in 2017, an APRA Award finalist spot in 2018, Vanda and Young Songwriting Competition finalist spot, and seven CMC Award nominations (2016/2017/2018). She has also been recognised with finalist spots and honourable mentions in the International Songwriting Competition (USA – 2018/2019/2020) and NSAI Songwriting Contest Runner Up (2020).
She is currently recording her sixth studio album due for release later this year, and will appear on the upcoming season of the Logie award-winning renovation reality series, The Block: Fans v Faves.
David Hudson is a proud Ewamian/Western Yalanji man from Far North Queensland and is co-founder of the Tjapukai Dance Theatre and the related Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park in Cairns. The renowned multi-talented entertainer, musician and artist has travelled extensively throughout Australia and the world, and spent many years touring with the Greek-born American composer and keyboardist, Yanni throughout the United States, Mexico, China and Europe. Hudson also appears on his albums Tribute (1997), Ethnicity (2003) and Yanni Live! The Concert Event (2006).
Hudson was raised on country music and has been acknowledged as ‘leading the way’ with his contemporary influences with the didgeridoo, which he combines in his performance. Inspired by all the natural elements of his environment and with each work he creates, he wholeheartedly gives a part of himself and his culture. He will perform at Savannah in the Round with his band, Didgeralia.
With a career spanning over three decades, Troy Cassar-Daley has released a total of eleven studio albums, achieved a staggering 32 #1 chart singles, and been awarded numerous accolades including 37 Golden Guitars, 4 ARIA Awards, 3 APRA Song of the Year Awards, 9 Deadlys (Australian Indigenous Artist Awards), 4 CMAA Entertainer of the Year Awards plus 2 NIMAs (National Indigenous Music Awards). Furthermore, in 2017, Troy was honoured as the 50th inductee into the prestigious Australasian Roll Of Renown.
Earlier this year, the proud Gumbaynggirr/Bundjalung man released his most personal album to date. The World Today tackles themes of grief, sadness, anger, love, passion and acceptance, while finding a will to grow stronger and move forward. The lyrics touch on the tragic loss of his father and friend both to suicide in 2019, and troubles in his 25-year marriage, as well as being unable to tour and provide for his family during the pandemic, which left him feeling lost, alone, and hopeless. Cassar-Daley’s songs have been the soundtrack to everyday triumphs, struggles and good times for Australians, from our small towns to the big cities.
The Pamagirri Aboriginal Experience / The Pamagirri Dancers
Pamagirri means “silent snake”, and is symbolic of the Rainbow Serpent, responsible for the creation of the mountains and rivers in Aboriginal Dreamtime stories. 2019 Queensland Tourism Award winner for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Tourism, Rainforestation Nature Park, is home to the Pamagirri Aboriginal Experience.
Rainforestation Nature Park was founded in 1976 and they first introduced an Aboriginal cultural experience in 1987, giving guests the chance to learn to throw a boomerang while waiting for an Army Duck Tour. In 1993, an expansion was made on this growing interest in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture, with the formation of the Pamagirri Aboriginal Dance Troupe.
The Pamagirri performers perform daily in their natural rainforest amphitheatre with the sounds of the forest providing accompaniment to the haunting sounds of didgeridoo, charting and clap sticks. Their performance depicts the unique animals, traditional history and food gathering of this ancient culture.
Tom Busby and Jeremy Marou have been playing music together for over a decade since their initial music connection at a pub in Rockhampton. The duo has gained a reputation for being one of Australia’s hardest working live bands and best known for their distinctly Australian storytelling and gifted musicianship. Their success includes millions of global streams, top 20 airplay and four ARIA charting albums.
Busby Marou have been nominated for a handful of awards, including three ARIAs, seven National Indigenous Music Awards, two AIRs and seven APRA Awards, of which they took home three – including ‘Blues & Roots Work of the Year’ in 2012 and 2018 respectively and ‘Most Performed Blues & Roots Work’ in 2021 for Over Drinking Over You. They’re also the recipients of two Queensland Music Awards.
The pair sell out shows from Surry Hills to Cairns and have an incredibly loyal and diverse following. They have shared the stage with industry heavy weights including Pete Murray, Tim McGraw, Alan Jackson, Passenger and James Blunt, among others, and have performed at some of the country’s biggest events such as the Gympie Music Muster, Deni Ute Muster and at the 2020 AFL Grand Final.
For more information and tickets go to www.savannahintheround.com.au.