A kaleidoscope of colour, sounds, sights, flavours and fun will transform Ballarat in March when the 2016 Harmony Fest celebration unfolds in Ballarat’s CBD.
Harmony Fest 2016 will take place on Sunday 20 March - beginning with a spectacular ‘Parade of Cultures from the Town Hall at 11am.
Featured between 12pm and 4pm in Camp Street, Alfred Deakin Place, the Ballarat Art Gallery and the Mining Exchange will be a vibrant four hour live concert, international food, workshops, games, demonstrations, children’s activities and markets - uniting the community in a celebration that brings together culturally diverse traditions.
Now in its sixth year, Harmony Fest promotes the theme of ‘all of us’, with the event aiming to bring the entire community together to celebrate Ballarat’s wonderful diversity. This year’s event is being run in association with the Ballarat Italian Association Inc.
The popular Parade of Cultures will be a visual feast of many cultures and will commence with an official invitation and welcoming ceremony from Ballarat’s Indigenous community.
From 12 noon, dynamic Master of Ceremonies John Fitzgibbon will introduce the various rhythms, vocals and dancing from around the globe. A diverse range of performers will range from the ARIA award winning musician and songwriter Kavisha Mazzella to the infectious rhythms of Melbourne-based band Sol Nation, and will include;
Kavisha Mazzella AM
"A power and presence that's beyond words" Colum Sands
ARIA award winner and songbird Kavisha Mazzella original song's lyrical ingredients include humour, poetry, social justice and the spiritual. Combine this prowess with the voice of an angel and you have the experience of a Kavisha concert. Singing in English and Italian, she will take you on an uplifting boundary riding journey of well-crafted stories and songs ringing with echoes of Celtic, Fado and Gypsy influences that will strike a resounding chord within. With six solo albums under her belt, she has sung and given vocal workshops at national music festivals and abroad.
Kofi Kunkpe & Afro Diaspora
Led by Ghanaian / Ewe Master Drummer, Kofi Kunkpe, Afro Diaspora brings together exceptional West African artists for original, one off performances. Drawing on, and sharing the traditions of their homelands, Afro Diaspora deliver compelling rhythms, dynamic grooves and captivating moves direct from West Africa. Prepare to lose your shoes and shake your boom boom!
The Fighting Gunditjmara
A renowned traditional Aboriginal dance group, the Fighting Gunditjmara seeks to promote the existence of a living culture in the 21st century through their performances. The group provides powerful and dynamic performances through traditional methods and modern technology that will provide audiences with a unique experience. All five members of The Fighting Gunditjmara have been performing for many years promoting culture throughout Victoria, Australia and overseas.
Infectious rhythm, worldly lyrics and impassioned musicianship are just the beginning for any Sol Nation performance. From Dili to Cairns, Lisbon to Rio, Sol Nation draws upon a wealth of international musical culture to bring you a melting pot of Reggae, Samba, Funk, Salsa, East Timorese folk and African dance music. East Timorese vocalist Almeida is the voice of Sol Nation, soaring and weaving through the music in a mixture of English, Portuguese and Tetum, a product of his life experience living in several different countries during his homeland's occupation by Indonesia. All combined, Sol Nation has created one of the most exuberant, colourful, intoxicating and exciting live shows in Australia. With a charismatic, high energy, infectious live show, and a strong global conscience, Sol Nation guarantees a performance to remember.
Paris Inc is a four-piece girl group comprising Shavaun, Esra, Millie and local Ballarat girl, Larissa. In 2014 and 2015, the group appeared on the TV talent competition ‘X Factor Australia’ and both times they achieved the top 5 group stage. The group continued to develop their unique style, which is a refreshing, original experience of modern R&B /Pop.
Tarantella Dance Company
Melbourne Tarantella dance company will present a dynamic and original display of different styles of Tarantella, traditional dances of the south of Italy. The dance troupe is composed of people of different ages and mixed sexes, the number varies from 4 – 7 elements. The set is also enriched by live music with the company’s own musical ensemble, Sanacori, who interpret the traditional repertoire of the south of Italy and encourages audience participation.
Ballarat Ska Union
Ska is hip dance music originating in Jamaica in the 1960’s. Ballarat Ska Union will get you jumping, moving and grooving with its big dance sound. The group features Stella Savy on vocals and guitar, Bryn Hills wailing on trombone, Mick Timcke, John “JD” Davey and Scott Mangos rounding out the horn section. Mr Wayne Parker skanks on guitar and Barry Deenick, Geoff Hassall and Andrew “Vinnie” Vincent form the backbone of a super-tight rhythm section.
Filippo the Accordionist is a musician and roving performer who specialises in Italian music and singing. Filippo plays accordion, sings canzones and plays dances of Italy including many of the great favourites such asVolare, That’s Amore, Finiculi, Marina, Santa Lucia, andTinterella di Luna.