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From poetry to beat boxing: world music with class
The Nexus Multicultural Centre is one of Adelaide's best kept secrets. It was established in 1984 and incorporated in 1985 to produce and showcase multicultural arts for audiences, with the aim of connecting diverse communities and bringing them into the mainstream.
Nexus is the only specialist multidisciplinary and multicultural arts organisation in South Australia. It produces a unique and vibrant program of exhibitions, world music and dance concerts, artist and writing residencies, seminars, forums and interactive workshops.
Every year Nexus presents its World Music series in its intimate Cabaret space, and the second season this year is already under way. It was launched last Friday by the Woohoo Review, a sextet of horns, strings and drums, and Bortier Okoe, a master drummer, dancer and music teacher born in Nungua, Ghana and now based in Adelaide.
Award winning Poet and Visual artist Elyas Alavi was born in late 1982 in Daikundi province, Afghanistan. Following the intensification of war in his homeland, Elyas moved with his parents to Iran. He moved back to Afganistan in early 2005 but in late 2005 fled persecution in Afghanistan and returned to Iran. In 2007 he was resettled in Australia through the UNHCR program for at risk refugees.
The brutal truth of war, the pain of loss and the innate humanness of love and hope are the defining themes of this new and exciting cross cultural collaborative project, commissioned by Nexus.
The following week features Adam Page in Sounds of Aotearoa, with an interactive music extravaganza of looping sax, vocals, beat boxing, beard tricks and an array of instruments. For the meagre sum of $10 you can attend Adam's looping workshop before the show, to find out how he does it.
If Flamenco is your favourite style of music, don't miss Kabul to Cordoba on October 16. This is a special night of music featuring two of Australia's leading Flamenco guitarists, Keiran Ray & Werner Neumann who will take you on a musical journey through Spain.
Another new and dynamic musical ensemble that hails from Adelaide is Monkey Puzzle Tree. I first saw them performing at Boho Bar a few years ago,and it's great to see them making such a powerful impact on Australia's music scene. Playful plucking from the strings, tumultuous drums and moody keys combine to create a musical soundscape that is both rich and complex. Their capricious style glides effortlessly between rapturously emotive and broodingly contemplative, drawing on contemporary and classical influences to create something entirely unique. Check out their website, it's also unique.
Monkey Puzzle tree will be performing at Nexus on October 25. For all the other exciting acts that are part of the Nexus World Music Festival, head over to their website. The tickets are ridiculously good value at $15 or $12 concession. Tickets can be bought in advance or at the door - but be careful, as some of these events will be very popular! You can also buy light meals that are often themed to match the flavour of the evening.