It's 3 weeks and Wongawilli will be back in Europe for its third tour there. The tour starts in Berlin on 1 July and ends at the Furness in Tradition Festival in England on 13 July.
Here's an update on the tour and our recent happenings.
The 5 piece version of the band will be returning to Skagen Festival and some new locations - Berlin, Scotland and north England.
Wongawilli has been in existence for over 20 years still with 3 of the original members - Tania, Jane and David. Graeme (the bearded one) has been in the band since 1990 and Samuel is a late comer - being only 11 years old!
The band has just released its 7th CD in June as well after a recording absence of 6 years! The new CD has 18 tracks and includes 14 new and old folk songs and 4 medleys of Australian dance tunes.
Included in the song list is a version of Waltzing Matilda with the 2 variants (Marie Cowan's and Queensland) and the original Scottish tune, Craigielee March, that the melody was based upon. It is probably the first recorded version of its kind in the world!
Our other major project is helping with the organising of the 24th Illawarra Folk Festival, south of Sydney. I have been Director since 1996. We are also involved in running the Illawarra Folk Club with 2 concerts per month. If you ever in Australia in January then try and get to the Festival - over 100 acts, 500 performers, 5 days. The next festival is 15-18 January 2009.
We hope we may see you somewhere in Europe, otherwise try and get a copy of our new CD.
David De Santi
- Sat 28 June - depart Australia
- Sun 29 June - arrive Frankfurt, Germany
- Mon 30 Jun - available to perform in central / eastern Germany
- Tues 1 Jul 2008 - Where the Bloody Hell Are You? Australian Theme Concert, BKA Theatre, Kreuzburg, Berlin Kreuzburg, Berlin, Berlin
- Wed 2 Jul 2008 - Concert at Beez-Club, L.U.X., Schlesische Str Ecke Falckensteinstr with The Beez Berlin, Berlin
- Thu 3 Jul 2008 - Fæstningen Korsør, Denmark
- Fri 4 Jul 2008 4:00 P - Skagen Festival, Denmark, Torvescenen Stage Skagen
- Sat 5 Jul 2008 1:00 P - Skagen Festival, Denmark, part of the Ceili, Skagen kultur- & fritidscenter Skagen
- Sun 6 Jul 2008 10:00 A - Skagen Festival, Havnescenen Stage (next to harbour) Skagen
- Sun 6 Jul 2008 1:00 P - Skagen Festival, Sea Shanty Concert. Havnescenen Stage Skagen
- Mon 7 Jul 2008 - Clachaig Inn, Glencoe, Scotland Glencoe, Scotland
- Tue 8 Jul 2008 8:00 P - Leith Folk Club, Edinburgh Edinburgh, as support act
- Wed 9 Jul 2008 8:00 P - support for Harem Scarem, Edinburgh Folk Club, Pleasance Cabaret Bar Edinburgh, Scotland
- Thu 10 Jul 2008 8:00 P - Black Swan Folk Club, Concert York, Northeast
- Fri 11 Jul 2008 - Furness in Tradition Festival, Ulverston, South Cumbria, Northwest
- Sat 12 Jul 2008 - Furness in Tradition Festival
- Sun 13 Jul 2008 - Furness in Tradition Festival
- Graeme Murray - main vocals, the lagerphone, bass drum, whistle
- Jane Brownlee - violin, backing vocals
- Tania De Santi - vamping piano in traditional style
- Samuel De Santi - 11 year old bodhran percussion whiz, fiddle as well
- David De Santi - piano accordion, backing vocals
The band has become well known throughout Australia with performances at all major folk festivals in all Australian States and the Northern Territory including the major folk events at Woodford, Qld, Port Fairy, Vic, Victor Harbour (SA) and the National Folk Festival (17 times).
The band has aimed at trying to be different from the average bush band by performing unfamiliar yet entertaining music. This formula has received national recognition with 16 awards at the Australian BushMusic Festival and Bush Band Championships. In particular the band’s singer, Graeme Murray, received the 1991 Australian Bush Music Awards Best Male Vocalist ahead of John Williamson andAlan Scott. He repeated the award in 1993 and 1994 and has become the “Voice of the Bush”.
Also the band’s accordionist, David De Santi, received the1992 Australian Bush Music Heritage Award, a Commonwealth Government Centenary Medal in 2003 for services to the folk music industry in Australia, was the editor of Australia's national folk music magazine Trad&Now and the Illawarra Folk Festival Director since 1996.
Jane Brownlee, the band’s violinist and David De Santi were awarded the National Library of Australia Folk Festival Fellowship which involved further researching of Australia’s song and music tradition.
The group includes 11 year Samuel De Santi, a wizard on the Irish bodhran since the age of 5! He can claim some special tuition from Gino Lupari from Four Men and a Dog for his skill.
The band and it members have been involved in producing recordings and publications of Australia folk songs, tunes and dances since 1990.
The band has 7 recordings:
- Australia Street
- After the Tradition
- Tunes of Bert Jamieson
- Australian Selection
- Live at the Local
- Australian Traditional Dance Tunes, Volume 1 (2 CDs)
- Australian Dance Tunes, Volume 2
|New CD - AUSTRALIA STREET - available now|
Click here for more information on the recording
18 tracks, 14 songs, 4 tune medleys
- Victor Podham's Rusty Hut - by Aboriginal songwriter Dougie Young
- Sing Us A Song - by Michael O'Rourke
- Waltzing Matilda - 2 variants (Marie Cowan's and Queensland and the original tune, Craigielee March
- Tableland Reels - Colin Charltons, Frank Collins, Teddy Creighton's and Coming Down the Mountain
- Poison Train - another great song by Michael O'Rourke
- Outside Track - words by Herny Lawson, arguably Australia's best poet, music by Englishman Gerry Hallom
- Sign On Day - about cane cutting in Queensland
- Tassie Polkas - Black Cat Piddled in the White Cat's Eye, School Polka, The Old Clog, George Bailey's
- Coal Dust Tattoos - by Pat Keegan
- The Stockman's Lone Grave - a version of AL Lloyds recording from the 1960s discovered at the National Library of Australia
- Ciao Billabong + Sam's Tarantella - an Italian migrant's story
- Merro's Medley - a medley of tunes in honour of Australia's most prolific collector John Meredith. - Mazurka / Schottische / Jig
- Around the Boree Log - poem by Father Patrick Hartigan (John O'Brien), music set by the band
- Coopers Sparkling Ale - in honour of South Australi's finest brew
- Life is Like a Mighty River - another gem from the basement of the National Library of Australia
- Long Weekend at Home / Sandpit Reel - some new tunes
- Overlanders / Walk Around - the classic 'bush' song, variant compiled by AL Lloyd
- Time is a Tempest - a rousing singalong by John Broomhall
The Wongawilli Band performs traditional and contemporary style Australian bush songs and tunes - reels, jigs, polkas, schottisches, mazurkas and waltzes. The band takes great pride in presenting authentic songs, dances and tunes from the bush of Australia along with songs pertinent to Australia's current multicultural population.
The band is very lively with a combination of lead instruments - accordion, fiddle - and a strong rhythm section of vamping piano, bodhran, percussion and the traditional Australian percussion instrument - the lagerphone.
The band can perform as a concert band in a hall, pub, tavern, restaurant and teach some Australian 'bush' dances. Our performances can range from 1 hour to 4 hours if needs be. We can do workshops on Australian songs, tunes and dance as well.
The Wongawilli Band was originally formed in 1987 to help promote, preserve and perform Australia’s rich tradition of music, song and dance.
Members play every Wednesday night at Wongawilli Community Hall from 8pm. Dancers called and walked through, acoustic musicians welcome to jin the band. Adults $2.50, includes light supper. Click here for more information on the dance
In the past 3 years the band has performed in 6 overseas tours. China (3 times), Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Germany and New Zealand including:
May 2004 - Australian Film Festival, Beijing China
June 2005 - 33 day tour of Denmark, Sweden, Germany
October 2005 - Nanning International Folk Song Arts Festival, China
May 2006 - Third Visit to China for Australian Film Festival at Second China (Shenzhen) International Cultural Industry Fair
July 2006 - 2nd European Tour - Skagen Festival Denmark, Kuopio International Wine Festival & Kaustinen Folk Music Festival, Finland
October 2007 - 16 day tour of New Zealand
Peer Andersen Skagen Festival signing up Sam for life...
Graeme & Jane / Sam at Skagen Festival