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Sun, 30 July


The Hacienda at Blue Tongue Berries

Short Straw with Ajak Kwai

Blue Tongue Berries & Music Victoria present a special series of Short Straw performances. This July we feature a musical performance by Icon of Australian Sudanese music Ajak Kwai.

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Short Straw with Ajak Kwai
Short Straw with Ajak Kwai

Time & Location

30 July 2023, 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm

The Hacienda at Blue Tongue Berries, 445 Northwood Road, Seymour VIC, Australia

About The Event

Join us for another Short Straw session, a unique and intimate afternoon of live music in our stunning off-grid strawbale venue the Hacienda. This July we feature a special musical performance by Icon of Australian Sudanese music Ajak Kwai. A performance not to be missed!

Ajak will be performing as a trio and will be joined by Kumar Shome & Matthew Rickson.

>>>Check out Ajak Kwai's music here

This Project is supported by Music Victoria and by the Victorian Government through Creative Victoria.

About Ajak Kwai

With the release of Let Me Grow My Wings, her aptly titled fifth studio album, Australia’s renowned songwoman of contemporary South Sudanese music, Ajak Kwai has established her footing firmly on the Australian music landscape. Now, she has engaged with some of Melbourne’s finest producers and musicians to bring to life an eclectic collection of twelve self-penned songs which reflect her observations, influences and connections since moving to Australia in the late nineties.

Flash forward two decades, and Ajak’s broadly inspired artistic achievements include a successful collaboration withs ARIA award-winner Sarah Blasko, becoming ambassador of the Melbourne International Arts Festival, recording with a group of industry stalwarts including Missy Higgins, and performing live at major festivals around Australia and internationally, including Mofo, WOMADelaide, Panama Festival and the Tamar Valley, Port Fairy and Woodford Folk Festivals.

But it was a rich musical journey that brought her here, starting in the small town of Bar on the Upper Nile, where growing up, she would sing at all the village events, and was a member of a local missionary choir. This idyllic life was brutally interrupted when the Sudanese civil war forced her to move to the capital, Khartoum. Soon thereafter, she left her family behind for the last time,  travelling to Egypt and joining a gospel choir, then starting an all female band called Bor Band, performing original and traditional Dinka songs, as well as many other musical styles she discovered during her eight years in Cairo.

In 1999, Ajak was accepted into Australia under The Humanitarian Aid Program. Then in her mid-twenties, she migrated to Hobart, Tasmania and joined the small Southern Sudanese community living there.

Now a seasoned performer and recording artist, Ajak, with her stunning, distinctive vocals fronts a four-piece rock band consisting of lead guitarist Kumar Shome, Matt Erickson on bass and Kofi Kunkpe on drums/percussion, occasionally joined by special guest musicians. 

A passionate activist for refugees and a radio broadcaster with weekly shows on TWO prominent Melbourne community stations, Ajak says it has been a long labour of love to finally bring her fifth album, Let Me Grow My Wings to fruition, because of her dedication to her causes.

Ajak has a deep connection to community spirits and looks forward to bringing her music to our region. 

The Program

2:00pm Cantina bar & courtyard opens for drinks

3:00pm First set

3:45pm Break

4:15pm Second set

Blue Tongue Berries is a licensed venue, drinks will be available at the bar throughout the event. 

All tickets are seated with only 50 tickets available.


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