by bacblogarts

Image: Karifi, Sunday Stir, 2021 by Jamie Williams

Winter Music

1 pm to 4 pm
5 August 2023
The Leo Kelly Blacktown Arts Centre

Warm up this winter with Winter Music, an afternoon of live music for the whole family at The Leo Kelly Blacktown Arts Centre.

In partnership with Settlement Services International (SSI), Winter Music features performances, music and dance that speaks to the diverse communities of Blacktown by a selection of local and newly-arrived artists.

Enjoy energetic performances by Yaw and Friends and Ensemble Dandana & Friends. Be mesmerised by the vocal sounds of Gayatri Bharat and Persian-inspired music by Avaye Rood Ensemble, and rock out to Kurdish band Dengê Hêvî. Hosted by DJ Leon Kannangara.

Hungry? Bring along some takeaway from Blacktown’s finest eateries and we’ll soundtrack your lunch!

1.00 pm – Acknowledgment of Country
1.10 pm – Gayatri Bharat
1.40 pm – Yaw and Friends
2.10 pm – Avaye Rood Ensemble
2.50 pm – Ensemble Dandana and Friends
3.30 pm – Dengê Hêvî

General admission and discounted family tickets (up to 2 adults and 2 kids) available for purchase

Please contact us at artscentre@blacktown.nsw.gov.au if you have more than 4 people attending under your family ticket.

Artist Bios

Settlement Services International (SSI) is a community organisation and social business that supports newcomers and other Australians to achieve their full potential.

SSI work with all people who have experienced vulnerability, including refugees, people seeking asylum and culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities, to build capacity and enable them to overcome inequality.

In 2014, SSI established a new and innovative Arts & Culture program inspired by the belief that everyone deserves the opportunity to develop their creative potential and participate meaningfully in the cultural life of a community— no matter where they come from, what language they speak, or their level of ability.

Ensemble Dandana experiments in classical and contemporary Arabic music performance, bringing together an eclectic mix from South West Asia and North Africa.

Dandana means ‘to jam or to strum a few notes’. The curation and programming reflect the virtuosity of musicianship within the Ensemble, the expansive musical influences and the joyful camaraderie between members.

Image: Ensemble Dandana, courtesy of the artist

Gayatri Bharat was born in the Southern state of India and was fortunate to be raised by a great Hindu Seer. She started learning music when she was 3 years old, later receiving advanced training from great musical stalwarts. Gayatri was trained in the traditional Guru-Sishya style of learning for more than 25 years in both the Hindustani musical form as well as Carnatic music.

Gayatri has toured nationally and internationally, including to the USA, UAE, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore. In 2022 Gayatri was selected as a delegate for the AWMA awards.

Gayatri will be supported by Lakshmi Narendra on the Veena, Abhijit Dan on the Tabla & Seyoon Raghavan on Mridangam.

Image: Gayatri Bharat, courtesy of the artist

Avaye Rood presents a mesmerizing blend of Persian-inspired original music, combining English and Persian poems by Rumi. They skillfully integrate traditional Iranian instruments like tar, oud, setar, kamancheh, and tombak with the deep and resonant tones of the upright bass and guitar.

Additionally, the band features an Indian percussionist whose unique rhythmic contributions add a distinct flavor to their music. The ensemble, comprised of Iranian, Indian, and Australian musicians, has successfully crafted a cross-cultural musical experience.

Image: Avaye Rood, courtesy of the artist

Dengê Hêvî is an electrifying five-piece band based in Sydney, whose music represents a powerful blend of Kurdish music, rock, and alternative genres.

Led by the charismatic Roj, a renowned Kurdish singer and songwriter, the band has gained widespread recognition for its genre-bending compositions, heartfelt lyrics, and unwavering commitment to shedding light on the struggles and traditions of the Kurdish people.

Image: Dengê Hêvî, courtesy of the artist

Yaw: Stephen (Yaw) Derkyi is a native of Ghana. Yaw grew up in Winneba in the central region of Ghana. Yaw has an ignited passion for drumming, singing, traditional dancing and chanting. Unity is his motto!

Kaki: Kaki is a 28-year-old performer who lives and breathes all things ‘entertainment’! Kaki is very charismatic when it comes to entertaining others and loves to express this through her Ghanaian culture, alongside her twin sister Penny, older sister Aba and father Yaw.

Penny: Penny is a 28-year-old bubbly performer and educator who loves arts and crafts and creating fun new activities for children. Penny says she was born to sing and dance! She loves bringing smiles and positive energy to everyone’s daily life.

Aba: Aba does it all! Along with being a vibrant children’s entertainer, Aba is a 31-year-old, full-time, primary school teacher who brings the energy to her very own classroom every day! Aba loves putting smiles on children’s faces.

Image: Yaw and Friends, photographed by Jamie Williams

Winter Music is presented by Blacktown Arts proudly funded by the NSW Government through Create NSW and Blacktown City Council in partnership with Settlement Services International.