30 Jun 2016

One of the world’s most celebrated vocal ensembles, the Soweto Gospel Choir, will lead an unforgettable evening of inspirational music to be staged in the breathtaking outdoor amphitheatre of Munro Martin Parklands, on Saturday 3 September.

The uplifting, family-friendly concert will form a highlight of the final weekend of Cairns Festival 2016, which features 10 days of eclectic performances, workshops and community events that together showcase the tropical region in all its diversity.

Headlining this very special showcase of multicultural song, the four-time Grammy Award winning Soweto Gospel Choir will transport audiences with their soaring harmonies and distinctive renditions of international classics and South African freedom songs.

Hailing from Soweto in Johannesburg, South Africa, the 43-voice strong choir was fused in 2002 to celebrate the power of African gospel music, presenting a repertoire featuring traditional African songs handed down through generations.

The choir has performed for many great world leaders, including Nelson Mandela, US President Barack Obama and the British Royal Family, as well as recorded and performed with such greats as Bono, Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, Celine Dion and Diana Ross.

Winners of four Grammys, an Emmy Award and an Academy Award nomination for their work with Peter Gabriel, the Soweto Gospel Choir is a truly moving musical experience for audiences.

Local ensemble, Sounds of AustraNesia, will provide another highlight of the evening, performing their unique blend of song and story celebrating the diversity of multicultural North Queensland, as an entrée to the headlining entertainment.

Brought together by music educator and songwriter, Rubina Kimiia, and multi-instrumentalist engineer, Will Kepa, this talented group has performed at significant events including the Queensland Music Festival in 2014, as well as alongside respected musician, Archie Roach.

Audiences will be treated to a powerful finale collaboration between Soweto Gospel Choir and Sounds of AustraNesia, as together they imprint their soul-lifting explosion of musical passion upon Cairns’ newest community space.

Families are encouraged to bring a picnic and blankets, and arrive early to find a spot on the wide lawns of the region’s premier outdoor festival space, the reinvigorated tropical grounds of Munro Martin Parklands in the heart of the city.

Adding to the festival atmosphere, a range of food vendors will also be serving delicious meals and treats, while a licenced bar is also available (no BYO alcohol).

The Vaiana Nga Waka Polynesian Dancers will treat audiences to a vibrant performance to open the three-hour cultural showcase, which runs from 6 to 9pm.

Now in its 55th year, Cairns Festival 2016 is a 10-day celebration (Friday 26 August to Sunday 4 September) of our tropical lifestyle with performances, exhibitions, music and film – proudly brought to the community by Cairns Regional Council.

Tickets for Soweto Gospel Choir cost $40 (adult) or $35 (child) and are now available through Ticketlink at http://www.ticketlink.com.au/whats-on/family/soweto-gospel-choir-2016

For more information, visit www.cairnsfest.com.au