Yarrabah’s history revealed in music
ASK anyone living at Yarrabah what the town’s annual festival means to them and they’ll tell you the same thing – it’s all about the stories of the locals.
The Yarrabah Band Festival was first brought to town in 2012 by Queensland Music Festival (QMF), but its history stretches further than that.
Yarrabah Brass Band leader Greg Fourmile told the Cairns
Post the band’s roots could be traced back to 1901.
“This band is part of our identity in Yarrabah. It’s a way to know our past,” he said.
“Every member who restarted the band in 2012 can trace a line through time to their own family members in the original band.”
Mr Fourmile said this week’s festival would have a nod to that long history hidden in the set list.
“We have a tribute to the past band members. It’s a church hymn, and we’ll play it because the band originally started with the churches in 1901,” he said.
“From there the rest is history.”
He said the township was determined to keep the music alive, no matter whether its partnership with QMF came to an end one day.
“We’re in the process of establishing a music program at a school-level and at a musiclevel. We see it as a permanent fixture in Yarrabah for the future. We want to make sure the community always has a music festival.”
Torres Strait hip hop artist Mau Power, who will perform at the event, said music was one of the strongest connections people living in indigenous communities.
“The way we use art is to document our culture, from the Torres Strait Islands all the way to the desert. That’s how we share our commonalities,” he said.
“From a young age I realised the art of hip hop is connected to indigenous cultures.
“But when we make this music we do it to document our culture.”
Yarrabah Band Festival features Paul Kelly with support from Vika and Linda Bull, electronica pop artist KLP, Mau Power, Kira Puru, Black Image, the Yarrabah Brass Band and local bands.
The festival runs from 1pm today at Jilara Oval. Entry is free, but a gold coin donation for the Yarrabah Seahawks Rugby League Club is welcome.
BIG EVENT: Paul Kelly will headline the Yarrabah Band Festival today. Picture: SUPPLIED
HIP HOP: Arthur Giso, Mau Power and George Dow will perform at Yarrabah today.