Free gigs of multicultural music

May 28, 2024 BY

Grooving: Ajak Kwai and her band.

MUSICAL cultures from around the world are set to be celebrated as part of a program showcasing the diversity of both Ballarat’s and Melbourne’s live performing scenes.

Hosted by Melbourne-based multicultural music presenter The Boîte as part of their 45th anniversary program, the non-profit is delivering three afternoons of free music in Ballarat.

Taking place across the latter three Sundays of next month, event organiser and local performer Stella Savy said the series is about bringing attention to Ballarat’s multicultural music makers.

“We don’t often have as much access to multicultural music as we do in the city so having this opportunity in a regional area especially in Ballarat where we’re so lucky we get to have this combination,” she said.

“It’s all styles of music from local and Melbourne metropolitan performers we don’t get to hear in Ballarat, and here they are, and it’s free.”

Each concert will begin at 2pm at Ballarat Regional Multicultural Council’s Ballarat Welcome Centre, with the first, on June 16, to feature local Torres Strait Islander performer Deborah N as well as Melbourne-based Middle Eastern act HIJAZZ Duo, and Ballarat musician A.O.Jay, originally from Nigeria.

The following performance, on June 23, will see South African acapella group Makepisi, as well as Ajak Kwai from South Sudan, and local drumming ensemble Mini Hanzon Drums.

The final concert will take place on June 30, showcasing the Indian classical raga and jazz fusion offerings of Raga Saga and sitarist Saikat Bhattacharya.

Savy has been involved with The Boîte for more than 30 years and said the concert series was the first of its kind from the organisation in Ballarat.

“It’s had his incredible reputation in Melbourne for 45 years,” she said.

“Their involvement in Ballarat has been minimal over that time other than The Boîte Schools Chorus and the Millenium Chorus, which are big chorus projects.”

Global perspective: South African acapella group Makepisi will be one of eight acts performing as part of The Boîte’s free concert series in Ballarat. Photos: SUPPLIED