From soulful indie, pop and blues to punk, gypsy and contemporary South Indian music, the brand new FUSE festival has it all. With an epic 61 musical acts lined up for its 13-29 March program, Darebin’s multi- arts festival is set to please even the most particular of earbuds.
Three time Queensland Music Award winner and ARIA nominated artist Emily Wurramara (pictured left) is a star on the rise with her soulful vocals and lyrical wisdom. Originally from Groote Eylandt, Northern Territory, the singer/songwriter has said she wants to inspire young Indigenous women to find their voice. Emily will sing original music both in English and Anindilyakwa at Northcote Social Club on Thursday 26 March. Tickets $20. Also at NSC, Grammy-nominated Cedric Burnside, grandson of the late great RL Burnside, brings his “rhythmically unorthadox” blues back to Australia, playing as part of FUSE on Thursday 19 March. Tickets $44-$49.
Celebrate at the FUSE Closing Party with a huge line -up that brings together music, dance and fashion in a multidisciplinary extravaganza, curated by local musician Neda Rahmani in partnership with Multicultural Arts Victoria.
Headliners, Australia’s most electrifying project HAIKU HANDS (picture below) bring their unlikely but brilliant fusion of dance party and performance art, performing their genre bending and irresistibly danceable songs. Melbourne duo GL will be playing their distinctive concoction of gyrating analogue pop harnesses 80’s synths and style, transporting it harmoniously into the modern era. Afro- beats dancer Kwame Tosuma and Dancehall dancer Tina De Melo will be delivering bursts of solos, dance improvs and some interactive dance party styling. Saturday 28 March, 6pm – 9pm. Free.
Superb Americana singer-songwriter Eilen Jewell and her band return to Australia for eight very special shows including a performance at the Thornbury Theatre for FUSE on Thursday 19 March. Reigning ‘Queen of the Minor Key’, Jewell leads a tight quartet that blends influences of surf-noir, early blues, classic country, folk, and 1960s era rock ’n’ roll. Tickets $76.
Taking the guitar-drum two piece format to new heights, ‘Dad rock’ band Deathbeat play a punk/hip-hop infusion on Friday 13 March at the Cactus Room. Tickets $10.
Other festival highlights include KIMMY who bring roots reggae alive with hints of Brazillian swing and a pinch of rap, samba, R&B, funk and blues. Using a collaboration of the best local talent, KIMMY brings his wide musical influences together to create an explosion of sound and flavour. See KIMMY take over Bar 303 on Sunday 15 March. Tickets $12 at the door only.
And for those who are keen to explore eclectic sounds, Open Studio has a feast to choose from during FUSE: there’s Balkan and Gypsy music from exuberant five-piece band Babaganoush Balkan Party on Saturday 14 March (tickets $12-$15), an infusion of soulful jazz and sweet and tasty pop from Belle Harlow on Saturday 28 March (tickets $10), and DBQ – The Daimon Brunton Quintet are playing a new direction in jazz on Sunday March 22 (tickets $10), influenced by Clifford Brown, Snarky Puppy and Wyton Marsalis.
FUSE celebrates diverse music with a melange of acts that reflect our uniqueness and highlights Darebin as a vibrant, creative and contemporary city. No matter who you are, you’re bound to find something or someone that speaks to you, moves you or connects you.
Stretching from Keon Park on the northern border to Westgarth in the south, FUSE Darebin will encompass a diverse program of events, to be found at www.fusedarebin.com.au