A springtime revival of the Cairns live music and entertainment scene is set to kick off next weekend at the Cairns Performing Arts Centre (CPAC) with the Sounds of AustraNesia’s one night only show.

Playing on October 17, the ensemble showcases the diverse song and spirit of Cairns as it brings together musicians of Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander, Polynesian and Melanesian descent.

“Our music is uplifting, the rejoicing that occurs with the ensemble creates an atmosphere of cultural appreciation, musical and people appreciation,” said Rubina Kimiia, the Sounds of AustraNesia Manager who is of Cook Island and Samoan heritage.

Having performed over the years at countless local events and with talents such as Archie Roach, the ensemble prides itself on the use of traditional language and instruments that are woven throughout their musical storytelling.

“Language is a very important component in our songwriting. It’s a requirement that we integrate it into our stories. Many of us have had to go back to our Elders and ask them questions. Through asking these questions it’s allowed us to grow, appreciate our heritage and learn more,” Kimiia said.

“Cross-cultural storytelling is important to every community. For me it’s all about relationship building when you open up and tell your story, it comes with vulnerability and people respond to that.”

Kimiia said it’s a privilege to perform for an audience again.

“Reviving our entertainment scene is fantastic, however you look at it; artists and audiences alike look to live shows to move and be moved, connect and be connected in a way that only an in-person experience can provide,” she said.

“We’re excited to engage with our audience and to leave them better than when they came. That’s our role as artists. We’re tellers of stories, our own stories and music happens to be our medium and unifier,”

An extensive entertainment program will be rolled out at CPAC over the next few months leading up to Christmas. The entertainment reboot will host plenty of big names as well as local talent, with many events securing support from the State Government through Arts Queensland’s COVID-19 recovery package.

By Darby Ingram