AWME 2015: The Conference Sessions & Live Music Showcases Not to be Missed!

The Australian World Music Expo (AWME) kicks off for another year in Melbourne this week, with a diverse and brilliant line up of artists scheduled to showcase across a range of the city’s music venues. The event is not only about the live music of course, with multiple conference sessions also programmed from November 12th – 14th set to bring industry folk together for discussions on preparing an artist for international careers, marketing, the industry within remote communities and more. With the likes of NGAIIRE, Jess Ribeiro and HOWQUA on this year’s live music program, we can’t wait to be amongst it all this year. If you’ve scored yourself a pass to AWME 2015, have a suss of the events on this year’s program we’re keen to check out.

In Conversation: Archie Roach with Clinton Walker

Easily one of Australia’s most well respected and beloved artists, Archie Roach will be appearing at AWME in conversation with writer Clinton Walker, discussing the former’s impressive and detailed career, including the 25th anniversary of Charcoal Lane, as well as Walker’s latest edition of Buried Country. The conversation session takes place in the Lower Playhouse Foyer at Arts Centre Melbourne on November 13th from 2:20pm.


Showcase: Mojo Juju, Emma Donovan & The Putbacks, Quarter Street & The Seven Ups

Get an intense load of rhythm and a killer fusion of R&B, jazz, soul and blues music into ya on Thursday night, when Mojo Juju gets together with the dynamite Emma Donovan & The Putbacks, Quarter Street and The Seven Ups. Mojo’s latest record, Seeing Red/Feeling Blue, has been another brilliant effort by the musician – arresting and incredibly entertaining, the music once again lines up with that irresistible live show presence Mojo Juju delivers each time. For Emma Donovan & The Putbacks, their LP Dawn was quick to strike a chord with fans around the country for its songwriting talent, the delivery of some raw and passionate soul music and all up, a unique approach. Quarter Street and The Seven Ups also each represent some heated and energetic party vibes; gritty and passionate whirls of salsa, funk and Nigerian Afrobeat are the name of the game with these artists respectively – a showcase definitely not to be missed.

Show Details: Max Watts (125 Swanston St), November 12th – 7:30pm.
Tickets: $25 + BF from HERE.

Conference Session: DESERT PATHWAYS

Presented by MusicNT, this session focuses on the professional networks and relationships forged out in Central Australian communities, where there exists possibly one of the most exciting burgeoning music communities in the country. For Aboriginal musicians establishing music careers for themselves in that area of Australia, of course, there are going to be hardships and more challenges that face them more than in another area of the country, so it’ll be great to gain an insight into some first-hand stories and outcomes that have been a direct result of such revolving door pathways in place to nurture the careers of musicians and the emergence of some strong industry leaders.


Rhoda Roberts (Director, Boomerang Festival/Head of Indigenous Programming, Sydney Opera House)


Adelaide Wood (Bush Bands Program Coordinator, MusicNT)
Stacia Gonion (Managing Director, The Seed Fund/John Butler Trio)
Greg Carey (Chairperson, Association of Artist Managers/Co-Director, Seed Management)
Eleanor Dixon (Singer-Songwriter, Rayella)
Phaedra Watts (Artistic Director, Nannup Music Festival)
Raymond Dixon (Rayella)

Session Details: Amcor Lounge, Arts Centre Melbourne, November 13th – 3:10pm.

Conference Session: APRA AMCOS Songwriter Speaks – Emma Donovan with Jess Beck

Emerging music talent Jess Beck, who is also performing at AWME with her band Pirra, will be in conversation with Emma Donovan about her influences and musical history, with Donovan’s presence also set to draw numbers as her profile and talented musicianship has positioned the artist as one of the country’s most exciting vocalists out at the moment. The ladies will be in session at the Amcor Lounge at Arts Centre Melbourne on November 14th from 11:20am.

Showcase: HOWQUA, Anna O & Yirrmal

These three musicians are a trio that will be proving to be one of the standout showcases on the AWME live music program for sure. In HOWQUA, Anna O and Yirrmal exists three unique and brilliant voices, bringing some painfully honest lyrics to life in a captivating style. HOWQUA is a compelling performer who has been making waves this year, truly wearing heart on his sleeve with recent shows. Anna O, coming to AWME from WA this year, landed on our radar with her album When the Winter Came last year – an enigmatic and endearing live performer, Anna is definitely an artist to watch. We also first saw Yirrmal performing at the NIMA’s up in Darwin this year and it wasn’t hard to see why he was featured at the ceremony – a stunning vocal talent who mixes both traditional and contemporary influences, the young singer-songwriter has been working both as solo artist and with his group, Yirrmal Marika & The Yolngu Boys – such a great talent from the Yirrkala community.

Show Details: The Toff in Town (252 Swanston St), November 12th – 8:00pm.
Tickets: $15 + BF from HERE.


Showcase: Henry Wagons & The Only Children, Cash Savage & The Last Drinks, Ruby Boots, Raised By Eagles

It wouldn’t be an expo without Henry Wagons making an appearance in some capacity. At AWME 2015, he appears with a great band in The Only Children, showcasing his latest material that came together out in Nashville (due out next year). Fusing blues and country flawlessly, Cash Savage & The Last Drinks have really become a musical force to beheld in the last few years. The six piece band is only getting tighter as a live unit and Savage’s unmistakable vocal quality is as always, brilliant. It’s no wonder international crowds have been wanting more and the band has accommodated, completing a run of European shows through this year. Ruby Boots has been a favourite of the AU’s for a little while now, with Bex Chilcott‘s vibrant and strong vocals bringing a flair to her alt-country music that is both entertaining and refreshing. Raised By Eagles have similarly been continuing to prove themselves a band to be taking note of, showing no signs of letting up on this great brand of country music they’ve been making their trademark through the year. A nominee for ‘Best Independent Country Album’ at this year’s Australian Independent Music Awards, the Melbourne band has been turning heads internationally as well, being invited to perform at the Americana Music Festival in Nashville as well.

Show Details: Max Watts (125 Swanston St), November 13th – 7:30pm.
Tickets: $30 + BF from HERE.

Conference Session: EXPORT READY

Focusing on the steps required when it comes to readying an artist for an international career, this conference session will see a selection of artist managers, artists and agents speak on what it takes to gain attention at trade fairs around the world. When it comes to marketing a product, establishing networks and developing long lasting relationships that will benefit the career trajectory of an artist looking to launch themselves abroad, there are many factors that come into play, namely the support team needed to help this all happen. For any artist looking for more direction, this one is a definite must-attend.

Moderator: Glenn Dickie (Export Music Producer, Sounds Australia)


Min Kim (General Director, Zandari Festa – South Korea)
Clara Iaccarino (Manager, Mama Kin/The Mae Trio)
Chelsea Wilson (Artist)
Regan Lethbridge (Agent, 123 Agency/Lemon Tree Music)

Session Details: Lower Playhouse Foyer, Arts Centre Melbourne, November 13th – 10:00am.

Conference Session: THE SONGLINES OF MUSIC

This conference panel looks at the importance of oral history within the development of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander musical landscape. Looking at how strongly the cultural element is represented within contemporary art forms, the session brings together three individuals with backgrounds in music and also film, to discuss the topic.

Moderator: Michael Hutchings (ATSI Music Office, APRA AMCOS)


Stu Ferguson (Artist, OKA)
Gina Williams (Singer-songwriter)
Peter White (Senior Curator Indigenous Connections, National Film & Sound Archive)

Session Details: Amcor Lounge, Arts Centre Melbourne, November 13th – 4:10pm.


Showcase: NGAIIRE, Ella Thompson, LATINAOTEAROA & Cumbia Cosmonauts

Be prepared to get fired up at this one, with some serious heat set to be brought to Swanston St. The generating hype surrounding NGAIIRE at the moment has been awesome to watch, and the fact that she’s going to be on a line up with equally as captivating vocals of Ella Thompson is very exciting. The latter’s debut album Janus has a rumbling quality to it, with the ‘electromelancholy’ burning through to the top brilliantly. DJ Bobby Brazuka and Jennifer Zea have created something unique in themselves with LATINAOTEAROA – a fusion of soul-funk, traditional and local flavours, adding musician and producer Isaac Aesili to mix to great effect. The Cumbia Cosmonauts, creation of Melbourne-based Moses Iten in collaboration with Thomas ‘Soup’ Campbell, brings together some great Caribbean rhythms with dub bass lines, synths and beats, all in all making for an irresistible live show experience.

Show Details: Max Watts (125 Swanston St), November 14th – 7:30pm.
Tickets: $22 + BF from HERE.

The Australian World Music Expo runs from November 12th through until November 14th. Head to for available delegate passes and full showcase information!.


This content has recently been ported from its original home on The AU Review: Music and may have formatting errors – images may not be showing up, or duplicated, and galleries may not be working. We are slowly fixing these issue. If you spot any major malfunctions making it impossible to read the content, however, please let us know at editor AT