Wongawilli Colonial
Dance Club Inc.

PO Box 17,
Albion Park,
NSW, 2527,
Ph. (61) 2 4257 1788
Fax (61) 2 4257 1787


Wongawilli ‘Kia Ora’ Tour of New Zealand


29 September to 14 October 2007, 16 days, 15 nights  - 8 concerts, 2 bush dances, sessions sharing tunes and songs...

This page contains information and links for the band and posters for the tour.


Gill Winter, Flying Piglets, tel/fax: +64 6 7520167. EMAIL: Website:


David De Santi, Wongawilli Band, tel: +61 409 57 1788, EMAIL: Website:



Click here for a generic A3 size colour poster  - 600kB, Acrobat PDF format

Click here for a generic A3 size colour poster, press quality size  - 2.54MB, Acrobat PDF format

Click here for the Coromandel Music Society concert A3 size colour poster  - 596B, Acrobat PDF format



Graeme Murray - vocals, lagerphone, bass drum
Reg Murray - mandolin, tenor banjo
Tania De Santi - piano
Samuel De Santi (10 year old) - bodhran, violin
David De Santi - piano accordion
Johnny Spillane - whistles, harmonica
Tim Kendall - vocals, guitar



Click here for press quality version - 4.3MB

wongawillinzband2small.BMP (378936 bytes)

Click here for press quality version - 6MB


Dancing, singing and music have been essential to the party spirit as long as we can remember and the settlers of Australia were no exception. Dancing, singing, reciting and music for the the white settlers became an integral part of the lives, whether it was in a grand Colonial Ball in the city, a celebratory end of sheep shearing season Woolshed Dance or simply a gathering of friends and family for an evening's entertainment in a kitchen or round a campfire. The Wongailli Band presents songs, dances and music that reflects the hopes, humour, disappointments and the perseverance of these pioneers in a distinctive and characteristic Australian manner. Of course much of the repertoire of both songs and dance tunes are derived directly from the English, Irish and Scottish immigrants of the day, along with the folk music of many other European communities.

The Wongawilli Band now in its 20th year will visit New Zealand the first time. This will be its sixth overseas tour with 3 previous tours to China, 2 tours to Denmark, and perfomances in Germany, Sweden, Finland, US and Canada.

Wongawilli is considered as one of Australia's premiere traditional music bands. The band performs traditional style Australian bush songs and tunes - reels, jigs, polkas, schottisches, mazurkas and waltzes. The band takes great pride in presenting authentic songs 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, whistle, mandolin, banjo - and a strong rhythm section of vamping piano, guitar, bodhran, percussion and the traditional Australian percussion instrument - the lagerphone.


They present their entertaining and distinctive interpretations of traditional and tradition-influenced Australian folk songs and tunes. As professional folklorists that they are, they also present a wide variety of educational Australian traditional music and dance workshops.
Jamie McKew, Port Fairy Folk Festival, Australia

this ensemble is highly regarded in the field of interpreting authentic Australian traditional music, song and dance as a performance art. The group is recognised in Australia as a leading force in the revitalisation of our folk traditions ... "
Warren Fahey, AM, leading Australian folklorist, collector

Wongawilli is the pre-eminent group performing Australian folk music in this country. The music they play is uniquely Australian, but without any of the clichés usually associated with Australian folk music. In the years they have been performing, they have built an unequalled reputation for fine musicianship and entertainment, backed up by extensive research into the traditional origins of the music and the people who played it in the past. "
Graham McDonald, National Folk Festival Program Director

... They present entertaining and distinctive interpretations of traditional and tradition-influenced Australian folk songs and tunes and have won many awards and appeared at many major festivals and venues ..
Bernard Bolan, President Folk Federation of NSW

Wongawilli band members have earned a range of accolades; the band’s singer Graeme Murray, received the 1991 Australian Bush Music Awards Best Male Vocalist ahead of John Williamson, a feat he repeated in 1993 and 1994, accordionist David De Santi, received the 1992 Australian Bush Music Heritage Award for his exemplary work in promoting and preserving Australian dance and music with the Pioneer Performers Series, a compilation of books and cassettes. David was also awarded a Commonwealth Government Centenary Medal in 2003 for services to the folk music industry in Australia. Wongawilli is a rare band filled with musicians who are not only entertaining, but are authorities on Australian traditional music, an enviable combination.
Dani Rocca, President of Folk Alliance Australia, 2004


    • Australian Film Festival, Beijing China 2004
    • Scandinavian Tour - including Skagen Festival Denmark, Degeberga Folk Festival Sweden, Germany 2005
    • Nanning International Folk Song Arts Festival, China 2005
    • Australian Film Festival at Second China (Shenzhen) and International Cultural Industry Fair 2006
    • Skagen Festival Denmark, Kuopio International Wine Festival, Kaustinen Folk Music Festival, Finland 2006


Concerts - the Wongawilli Band performs traditional, original and contemporary folk and bush songs and instrumentals. “Bush Music’ is a term used to describe the traditional music of the settlers to Australia with influences from Ireland, the United Kingdom and Europe. The band has over 100 traditional and contemporary songs and a number of arranged instrumentals in the repertoire.

Tavern / Pub Concert - a concert of up to 3 hours comprising lively Australia bush and folk songs and instrumentals, music to drink to!

Bush Dances - the band can present a ‘bush dance’ up to 3 hours. Wongawilli is regarded as one of Australia’s leading dance music bands. All the dances are taught and walked through and from a selection of circle, line, longways sets, quadrilles and couples dances.

Workshops - members of the band can provide workshops on traditional Australian dance tunes, Australian style fiddle and music. One of the members of the David De Santi can also present a workshop on Italian traditional tunes that have travelled to Australia!


Australian Bush Music Festival and Bush Band Championship Awards

    • Total of 16 awards including
      • Australian Bush Music Awards Best Male Vocalist 1991, 1993 & 1994 Graeme Murray, now known as the “Voice of the Bush”.
      • Australian Bush Music Heritage Award 1992 Wongawilli

Commonwealth Government Centenary Medal 2003 for services to the folk music industry in Australia, David De Santi, Illawarra Folk Festival Director.

National Library of Australia Folk Festival Fellowship David De Santi and Jane Brownlee


  • Australian Traditional Dance Tunes, double CD - 85 tunes arranged for bush dances, includes a multimedia track with information, dance calls & music
  • Live at the Local - recording at Jamberoo Pub with songs and tunes
  • Australian Selection - Australian traditional and contemporary folk songs and tunes, winner of 3 awards from the Australian Bush Music Awards
  • After The Tradition -  Wongawilli’s first recording, winner of 5 awards from the Australian Bush Music Awards
  • Australian Tradition - compilation of Australian Selection and After the Tradition released in North America
  • Tunes of Bert Jamieson - traditional tunes from harmonica player, Bert Jamieson
  • Bush & Folk  - Australian mood music recording 

This page updated by David De Santi, 13 August 2007

Copyright © 2002 Wongawilli Colonial Dance Club Inc. All Rights Reserved