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Black Arm Band back in West Arnhem

11 May 2015

THE critically acclaimed ensemble Black Arm Band will return to the West Arnhem communities of Gunbalanya and Maningrida this month as part of its Northern Territory Remote Community Tour.

The tour, which follows on from an extended music development workshop program in the Northern Territory, will see the company present the large-scale and highly acclaimed production ‘dirtsong’ in three communities.

The show will travel to Beswick on Sunday 24 May, Gunbalanya on Tuesday 26 May, and Maningrida on Friday 29 May.

Black Arm Band delivered two weeks’ of music workshops in Gunbalanya and Maningrida in late 2013. The members of the ensemble will deliver another two-week music workshop program in Beswick before the tour kicks off.

Alongside Black Arm Band’s performances, the program on the night in each community will feature performances by local artists and bands.

Black Arm Band’s remote community music workshop will see members of Black Arm Band mentoring and guiding school students of all ages and other aspiring and budding musicians within each community to write and perform songs and learn valuable skills in music and performance.

The workshops then culminate in a concert by the full Black Arm Band ensemble in each community.

Although the concerts in Gunbalanya and Maningrida were delayed, Black Arm Band is delighted to now be presenting concerts in these communities as part of this tour.

Previous remote community touring by Black Arm Band has seen the company present large-scale concerts Cherbourg and Yarrabah in Queensland, Wadeye, Manyallaluk, Papunya, Naiyu (Daly River), Kalkaringi, Maningrida, Nitmiluk National Park in the Northern Territory and Fitzroy Crossing in Western Australia.

Remote community touring is just one part of Black Arm Band’s overall activities, which also include national touring to major cities and regional areas, international touring and artist development.

‘dirtsong’ features unforgettable songs performed in 13 different Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages and has been experienced by audiences nationally and internationally.

Now, for the first time, it will return to the ‘Country’ that inspired its very creation – and this journey for the work is what the original creators had always envisaged.

This special tour features a stellar line-up of artists from across Australia including Emma Donovan, Mindy Kwanten, Djolpa McKenzie, Mark Atkins alongside mavericks of Australian music landscape Greg Sheehan, James Gillian, Nigel Maclean, Scott McConnachie and Steven Grant.


Black Arm Band is assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.
Black Arm Band is supported by the Victorian Government through Creative Victoria.
Black Arm Band’s remote community programs in the Northern Territory are supported by the Aboriginal Benefits Account through the Federal Government Prime Minister and Cabinet.
Black Arm Band’s remote community programs are supported by the Myer Foundation.