5 Shows not to miss at AWME this week!

The Australasian World Music Expo, affectionately known as AWME, is kicking off in Melbourne tonight, with various venues around the city set to host some of the world's (and Australia's) best blues, roots and world musicians over the next four days. The program is extensive and diverse, so if you're still trying to figure out what shows to check out, we've picked out our Top 5 as a starting point!

$18 + bf | | November 13th

Tonight's the night! From 7:30pm, head to the Toff in Town and get some excellent soul, Afro-folk and R&B into your life! Ms Murphy, the fierce music moniker of Karen Andrews, has been enjoying success off the back of her debut single "Ritual Union" and has been impressing on the live front through 2014 as well. Estère's fusion of bass, drums, guitar and vocal harmonies has made this artist reach the radars of the likes of Erykah Badu, who dug what she heard. Bongeziwe Mabandla received two nominations for his debut album Umlilo at the South African Music Awards last year, for his excellent hybrid of traditional Xhosa music, as well as soul, hip-hop and dub stylings. New Zealand singer songwriter Louis Baker has been garnering acclaim and praise for a well-crafted and heartbreakingly honest live performance, which will no doubt be a highlight of the AWME program.

Go on, start off your AWME strong.

FREE event | Midday - 2:00pm | November 14th

Taking over the Shebeen venue on Friday from midday, the Tjintu Desert Band will be performing in their beautiful native tongue of Luritja. Combining funk, rock, reggae and dub influences into a completely unique performance style, the collective has carved for themselves a strong position within the Northern Territory music industry and it's a presence that has been noticed outside the NT as well. Stewart Gaykamangu and Jacinta Price are two powerful performers in their own right. Jacinta's work with the Desert Divas is incredible, as is her soulful and heartfelt performances she's become known for. Stewart's mixture of Yolngu and English delivery makes for a powerful musical evocation of emotion as he sings about Aboriginal dreamtime tales, social issues and gospel tributes. His debut album will be released in early 2015 through CAAAMA Music and it's not going to come as a huge surprise if he comes away from AWME as one of the standouts from the live music program.

$25 + bf | | 8:00pm | November 15th

Also set to take to the Shebeen Bandroom is another trio of artists who will be sure to keep the Saturday night grooving right through after the official proceedings have wrapped. The iconic Frank Yamma is widely known as one of the country's most significant Indigenous songwriters and whenever there is the opportunity to see him perform, people always turn out in large numbers. An honest and passionate storyteller, Yamma will be launching his new record at AWME 2014. Bringing hip-hop and soul through to AWME will be Radical Son and Tha Feelstyle, the former who will also be launching his new album at this event! Radical Son aka David Leha has honed the fusion of hip-hop and roots music, while maintaining great and important social messages, well and it's going to be great to see this rolled out on the live stage. Highly acclaimed Samoan artist Tha Feelstlye brings his Samoan & English rap styles through to AWME 2014, as well as his latest album, Good Morning Samoa, which won him the award for the Best Polynesian Album at the NZ Music Awards!

$28 + bf | | 7:30pm | November 15th

This is going to be a huge event up at The HiFi on Saturday. The Grammy nomination act Hiatus Kaiyote will be coming together with a stellar line up of musicians for a night of music not to be missed. Myele Manzanza and his highly reputed music which is steeped in traditional African rhythms will be showcased in fine form, while Melbourne soul artist Hailey Cramer will continue to impress in what's been a fruitful 2014 for her on the live front. Another member of Melbourne's neb-soul family whose reputation as a brilliant performer and musician is quickly gaining momentum is Rita Satch - with music inspired by the UK underground and the harmonies made famous by Motown, she's one to see in the flesh.

18+ bf | Tickets: | 8:00pm | November 15th

Melbourne-based Bonjah will be performing alongside the popular Pierce Brothers, Adelaide's Timberwolf and Canadian musician Kim Wempe on Saturday night at the Ding Dong Lounge! Bonjah, who have made a name for themselves as one of the country's most dynamic live touring bands (yes, NZ, we've claimed them), have spent much of 2014 touring their excellent Beautiful Wild album and no doubt, a Melbourne show for AWME is going to be going down a treat.

The Pierce Brothers, having burst out onto the scene through 2014 as an act to be watching, have been bringing their debut EP It's My Fault to more and more crowds around the country and the response to it has been totally deserved. Adelaide's Chris Panousakis aka Timberwolf, has been having a similarly good year, earning acclaim from more live crowds and gaining a great momentum behind his fusion of folk and blues rock tunes. The lovely Kim Wempe, who rounds out this fantastic bill of musicians, will be bringing her new album Coalition through to AWME, as well as a dynamic live performance that has earned her much kudos in her native Canada and abroad.


For more information on AWME, head to