The Wongawilli band, based in the Illawarra, has been promoting, preserving and performing a rich tradition of Australia folk music, song and dance since 1987. Over the past twenty-one years, we have re-energised the old songs and tunes of the Australian settlers and continue to re-invigorate the tradition with new tunes and songs.
In recent years the band has performed internationally, throughout China, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Germany and New Zealand. At home in Australia, Wongawilli has also been performing to acclaim at folk festivals including Woodford, Port Fairy, Illawarra, Victor Harbour and has now performed a phenomenal 18 times at the National Folk Festival in Canberra.
The band name was inspired by the heritage coal mining village of Wongawilli which is at the foot of the Illawarra escarpment, south-west of Wollongong, NSW. The village has a community hall at which the band members still play for a weekly bush dance.
The band has 7 recordings to its credit including the newest selection - Australia Street. The last song based recording was Live at the Local in 1999 so it’s been a while!
Australia Streets are scattered across the cities, suburbs and towns of Australia. In them generations of Australians have made their homes, expressing their sense of who they are and where they come from. The songs and tunes on this new recording form part of a folk music tradition now part of that expression.
The recording includes 18 tracks with 4 instrumental medleys. The songs range from an arrangement of Waltzing Matilda using the Marie Cowan / Buderim Queensland and Craigielee March tunes to new songs about coal mining, beer, trains, the environment and migrants. There are also ‘new’ songs and tunes found in the depths of the National Library of Australia that have not been heard for 50 years.
We trust you will enjoy the sounds of Australia Street.
David De Santi
for Wongawilli Band, firstname.lastname@example.org, tel: 0409 57 1788
www.wongawillicolonialdance.org.au, PO Box 17, Albion Park, NSW, Australia