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Heide Museum of Modern Art celebrates 40th Anniversary with inaugural Heide summer festival

Heide Museum of Modern Art celebrates 40th Anniversary with inaugural Heide summer festival
December 9, 2020

Heide Museum of Modern Art - celebrating its 40th Anniversary - has announced full program details for the inaugural Heide Summer Festival which will activate the museum’s much-loved sculpture park with an outdoor event series designed to support local performing artists, youth bands and cultural festivals impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Supported by the Victorian Government through Creative Victoria the nine-week program, presented from mid-January to March 2021, will feature free and ticketed curated programs of music, dance, and storytelling from the Melbourne International Jazz Festival, Songlines Music Aboriginal Corporation and Australia’s premier queer arts and cultural organisation Midsumma.

Heide Museum Artistic Director, Lley Harding notes “We are excited to be presenting this dynamic series of events that will fill Heide’s sculpture garden with music and stories during the summer months.

“The Summer Festival is the first of its kind for Heide and we are delighted to kick off our 40th anniversary program with a celebration that has Indigenous heritage and culture at its centre and that also supports Melbourne’s talented local artists and performing arts organisations in the wake of COVID-19.

“Our gardens set us apart from other institutions and while they have never closed, with the support of the Victorian Government it is wonderful to be able to invite audiences back to Heide in a big way. We look forward to starting 2021 in a celebratory way and together as a community.”

Opening the Festival, the Melbourne International Jazz Festival will curate a series of jazz performances by Victorian-based artists across three Sundays in January including:  

Solomon Sisay | Sunday 17th January, 4pm  

World class saxophonist Solomon Sisay, who shot to fame with legendary Ethiopian band Axumite Band, will pay tribute to the Ethio-Jazz sounds endemic to his homeland for the first of three events presented by the Melbourne International Jazz Festival. Solomon has played alongside the greats such as Mahmoud Ahmed, Aleymehu Eshete, Ali Bira, Tsegaye Eshetu as well as many up and coming Ethiopian music stars.  

Nichaud Fitzgibbon | Sunday 24th January, 4pm  

A natural, charismatic performer and one of Australia’s favourite jazz stylists, Nichaud Fitzgibbon has been delighting Melbourne audiences for years. Hailing from the famous Fitzgibbon family, Nichaud’s musical pedigree spans three generations and is regarded as Jazz royalty.  

Allara Briggs Pattison | Sunday 31st January, 4pm

Allara Briggs Pattison is a Yorta Yorta musician, composer, filmmaker, and storyteller. Inspired by ancient oral traditions and using a double bass and loop station, Allara will take audiences on a cultural and spiritual journey, delivering a unique soul stirring sound.  

In collaboration with Songlines Music Aboriginal Corporation, Heide is proud to present Indigenous artists, dancers and storytellers across two weekends in February. Hosted by singer/songwriter and Songlines CEO Robert Bundle, the program includes:  

Djirri Djirri Dance Group | Sunday 7th February, 1pm to 2pm  

Melbourne’s only Wurundjeri all-female dance group and Traditional Custodians of Narrm (Melbourne), Djirri Djirri will perform dance and song in their mother tongue, Woiwurrung language, that represent creation, values, respect and protection of Country. They are all related by blood through Annie Borate, William Barak’s sister. Djirri Djirri support Wurundjeri Womens Business, Bunjil’s wings, Motherhood, Sisterhood, and Honouring of Ancestors.

Emma Donovan and The Putbacks | Sunday 7th February, 4pm

Acclaimed Indigenous Australian singer/songwriter Emma Donovan and soul band The Putbacks will share their love of classic American soul and the music of Indigenous Australia. Donovan is best known for her work with soul bands The Putbacks and The Black Arm Band project but she has also toured and recorded with Archie Roach and Ruby Hunter, Spinifex Gum, Christine Anu, Yothu Yindi, Jimmy Little and Paul Kelly among others.  

Uncle Larry Walsh: Storytelling | Sunday 14th February, 1pm to 2pm  

Uncle Larry Walsh, a local Aboriginal cultural leader and proud Taunwurrung man, will present an hour of storytelling in the Heide sculpture park. Inspired by his local Aboriginal community, plus his own Kulin ancestral blood connections to his country, Uncle Larry is one of the only senior Elders in Melbourne who focuses specifically on storytelling, ensuring the cultural continuity of his ancient oral traditions.  

The Deans | Sunday 14th February, 4pm

Critically acclaimed soul band The Deans present a soulful Sunday afternoon session in the Heide Sculpture Park. Described as a United Nations of Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians, The Deans were winners of The Age Music Victoria Award for Best Indigenous Act 2014, and were nominated for ‘Band of the Year’ in the prestigious Deadly Awards in 2007.  

Over the final weekend of February, Queer arts and cultural organisation Midsumma and Heide collaborate once again to deliver a curated program of music celebrating and supporting LGBTQIA+ communities and artists.  

All The Queens Men | Saturday 27th February, 2pm  

Come dance with All The Queens Men! LGBTQI+ Elders Dance Club is a social dance event for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and gender diverse and intersex elders and their allies. Attendees will learn new dances while connecting with other LGBTQI+ elders and allies at this joyous, interactive experience. A celebration for the whole rainbow community. All welcome. No dance experience necessary.

Diimpa X Forest Collective | Sunday 28th February, 4pm

A Midsumma Festival favourite, Forest Collective will use their unique style of contemporary classical music to bring new and exciting sounds to the Heide Summer Festival. For this special event they will join forces with Diimpa, who draws on his experiences as a proud, queer, autistic Gubbi Gubbi man to create worlds through soundscape and sonic ‘wizardry’.

The Heide Summer Festival closes with a Sunday session of contemporary Balkan brass music by celebrated Melbourne based band Opa! Bato.  

Opa! Bato | Sunday 7th March, 4pm

Opa! Bato is the only ‘Trubački Orkestar’ in Australia, performing authentic contemporary Balkan brass music from the rich traditions of Serbia, Macedonia and beyond. With its lively rhythms, soaring melodies and wild Turkish-influenced improvisations, this music has accompanied major events in the cultural life of these regions since the early 1800s.  

Heide Museum of Modern Art is implementing the physical distancing, increased hygiene measures, and capacity limits in accordance with Victorian Government guidelines. Due to COVID restrictions capacity is limited and booking is essential.  

For more information and tickets visit Heide website 

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