‘Ngarukuruwala means we sing songs. The Tiwi Strong Women’s Group don’t really ‘rehearse’ or ‘perform’ – they come together to sing. They don’t really see themselves as a choir. They are a group of women who share a connection through the songs they know, create and sing together nearly everyday.’
Together with their Sydney band and the recorded voices of Elders from generations past, this event will see traditional Tiwi songs performed in a collaboration that brings together the music of Bathurst Island, Northern Australia and the sounds of contemporary jazz, blues and swing.
Join us for an evening of song, stories, dance and laughter as we celebrate the history of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and acknowledge the essential role of song in maintaining language, ceremony and culture, and in building a shared experience between all of us – past and present.
As the societal context of those who create and perform Tiwi songs has changed, so too have Tiwi songs. The women involved in Ngarukuruwala see this as a positive cultural and artistic phenomenon, which allows the art of Tiwi song to remain a vital and relevant part of Australian contemporary music. Through intertwining indigenous song, with modern jazz, the Strong Women continue to preserve Tiwi traditions and stories, while developing a new form of music-making.
The Tiwi Strong Women’s Group
Regina Kantilla, Anthea Kerinaiua, Augusta Puangatji, Jacinta Tipungwuti, Francis Orsto, Gregoriana Parker, Frances Therese Portaminni, Marcella Fernando
Dr Genevieve Campbell (Horn), Michelle Kelly (Violin), Simon Bartlett (Trombone), Dave Manuel (Drums), Jason Noble (Clarinet), Dave Ellis (Double Bass)