Home' Rhythms Magazine : 2018 May-June Contents 18 Rhythms
WOMADelaide, Port Fairy and Bluesfest might be
done and dusted for another year, but there’s plenty
of mileage left in the 2018 A-list roots music festival
On the horizon is a triumvirate of outstanding genre-specific
events, culminating with the biennial Adelaide Guitar
Festival (August 9-12), which this year will be headlined by
two of the world’s most renowned flat and finger picking
Nearly 30 years ago, Aussie gun Tommy Emmanuel
(pictured) and Brit whiz Albert Lee, who are both domiciled
in the USA these days, graced the grand opening of Johno’s
Blues Bar in Cairns, your correspondent’s long-time base.
Both delivered scintillating solo sets before joining forces
for a dazzling duet on Lee’s ‘Country Boy’ — a song that
helped to redefine country rock style guitar for a generation
Unfortunately, with the Nashville-based Aussie scheduled
to perform on the opening night and the L.A .-based
Englishman on the penultimate evening, a repeat
performance in Adelaide seems improbable. On the upside,
Tommy is due to duel with two special guests, Spaniard
Pedro Javier González — a flamenco specialist who has also
shared stages with the likes of BB King, John McLaughlin,
Pat Metheny and Paco de Lucía — and Richard Smith, a US-
based Brit, who, like his host, specialises in the fingerstyle
tradition of Merle Travis, Chet Atkins and Jerry Reed.
Before the latest incarnation of the Adelaide Guitar Festival,
a couple of major events await in Victoria which coincide
with the Queen’s Birthday long weekend.
The 2018 Melbourne International Jazz Festival, to be held
at various venues around the Victorian capital between
June 1 & 10, has a stupendous line-up. The festival’s ‘Modern
Masters’ feature lives up to its title in terms of saxophonists
alone, with James Brown’s right-hand-man Maceo Parker
heading a tribute show to Ray Charles and Branford Marsalis
— the subject of an article by your scribe elsewhere in this
edition — leading his renowned quartet.
In other Masters’ events, America’s leading double bass
player Christian McBride and top female drummer Terri
Lyne Carrington will be leading their respective bands,
New Jawn and Social Science. And, remarkably, 94-year-old
reeds maestro Marshall Allen, who I had the pleasure of
interviewing prior to the 2014 Sydney Festival, returns to
Oz with Sun Ra Arkestra, the legendary left-of-centre band
he inherited when his boss shuffled off this mortal coil (to
Saturn, one assumes, given his long allegiance to that planet)
back in 1993.
Madeleine Peyroux and Gretchen Parlato, divas that inhabit
opposite ends of the jazz spectrum, complete a marvellous
The festival’s ‘Exploration in Jazz’ series will involve high-
flying locals like the Australian Art Orchestra, Barney McAll
and Peter Knight. Heading the club sessions will be combos
led by stalwarts such as Bob Sedergreen, Jamie Oehlers,
Andrea Keller, Sam Keevers, Paul Williamson and the Cat
Empire’s Harry James Angus.
Folk will be to the fore at the National Celtic Festival in the
picturesque Victorian seaside town of Portarlington (June
8-11). Headlining this year’s line-up is the distinguished Irish
band Altan, who’ll be celebrating their 30th anniversary and
the release of a new album - facts more fully acknowledged
in an article elsewhere in this issue.
Lauded by the New York Times no less, the globe trotting
Paul McKenna Band will be the Scottish flagbearer.
Glaswegian McKenna writes stories of the common man
and sings with a vibrato that makes him immediately
Australian folk artists flying the Celtic flag at Portarlington
this year will include Trouble in the Kitchen and the Tim
Incidentally, Transglobal World Music Chart — a network
of world music critics and journalists that includes your
correspondent — has instigated a global Festival Awards.
TWMC’s HQ in Spain has already received more than 20
applications from four continents, including one from our
own WOMADelaide. My review of the latest incarnation of
that festival can be read at: rhythms.com.au
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