Thursday, November 17, 2011

Aaron Choulai, VADA and the Tatana Village Choir

This stunning collaboration between musicians from Australia and Papua New Guinea is led by Papuan/Australian jazz pianist Aaron Choulai - a 25-year-old albino prodigy, who now flits mainly between Melbourne and New York, having recorded three albums for prestigious US jazz label Sunnyside Records. The 16-voice Tatana Village Choir, from the Motuan village in PNG's Central Province, performs Peroveta Anedia (Prophet Songs) - traditional choral music sung in intricate modal harmonies with soaring, interweaving parts. Choulai brought the Choir and Melbourne jazz collective VADA together as an exciting musical collaboration in 2007 for the film We Don't Dance For No Reason [Ai Na Asi A Mavaru Kavamu], created for the 2007 Queensland Music Festival. The Choir are proud representatives of Motu culture and the traditions of Peroveta Anedia, brought to their island by United church missionaries as a means of bridging bible stories and traditional tribal music, though the sound eventually moved beyond the church into everyday culture. Accompanying the choir in performance is Choulai on piano at the helm of VADA, featuring Carlo Babaro on saxophone, Eamon McNelis on trumpet, Rory McDougall on drums, Shannon Barnett on trombone and Tom Lee on bass.

Aaron Choulai and Tatana Village Choir will perform "We Don't Dance For No Reason" is presented as one-off performance this Friday 18 Nov at Melbourne Recital Centre.

"We Don't Dance For No Reason" is a very special project- the Tatana Village Choir are extraordinary on stage, full of joy and energy. and their sound is like nothing you'll ever hear (unless you happen to be in a fishing village on the coast of PNG on your way to church). Great jazz artists are collaborating on the show directed by Papuan/Australian pianist Aaron Choulai. The music is interspersed with stunning film pieces made by Peter Szollosi which show the beauty and struggle of life in PNG.

The show is part of a double bill with Iconic Songs featuring Archie Roach, Neil Murray and Shane Howard- another special show where these three amazing artists share the stories behind their iconic songs. There is a special discount offer from MRC for a $25 ticket to the double bill show (full price tickets are $65 to it's a good deal).

The double bill starts at 7:30pm and We Don't Dance For No Reason is on after the interval at approx 8:40pm. If you want to book tickets you need to quote VADA for the $25 price. You can book via phone or internet, or buy them at the door (though the cheap tickets are limited and may get used up so it's best to book in advance)

Book online via this link and follow the prompts to enter the promo code VADA.