NEWS &  PAST EVENTS

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FEB 14-19: 2022 
MarleneMarlene stars in The Sirens' Return

Set against the glorious backdrop of Port Kembla beach, The Sirens’ Return is a new music theatre work that reflects the spirit of place from the perspective of the women who embody it. Drawing on oral histories  from women living across different eras of the steel town, as well as First Nations and western mermaid mythology, The Sirens’ Return honours the diversity of women’s experiences through the emotional power of song. EVENT DETAILS.

Though the Siren’s Return is not about her life, Auntie Marlene Cummins says that the stories told in this new musical mirror her own lived experience growing up in the 50’s and 60’s in Queensland when racism and prejudice were overt. The production presents a metaphor for the way country survives and keeps going despite its hardships.

11/02/2022 BY BERTRAND TUNGANDAME sbs.com.au

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FEB 06: 2022 Marlene @ 'Sydney Summer Streets'

Catch Marlene and Jazz keyboardist Noel Elmowy perform on Sunday 6 February at Shannon Reserve as it joins the ‘Sydney Summer Streets’ takeover on Crown Street. The Surry Hills Vintage Market, a Shannon Reserve mainstay event, will be operating in its regular hours 7am till 6pm, with the addition of a live music stage with performances from 12 noon till sundown. EVENT DETAILS.

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JAN 26: 2022 Yabun 2022 - Marlene & Band are proud to be Celebrating 20 years of Yabun

Wednesday 26 January.  

Yabun Festival is the largest one-day celebration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture in Australia.

It takes place on 26 January and returns to Victoria Park (and surrounding venues) in 2022. First held in Waverley in 2003, this will be Yabun’s 20th year anniversary. Limited tickets available due to Covid or Livestream on Koori Radio.  EVENT DETAILS.

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​DEC 15: 2021 Come celebrate Mudgin-gal Womens Festival @ Redfern Community Centre

Featuring Christine Anu, Zipporah Corser Anu and Marlene Cummins. 

Come celebrate #100WomenDancing, Ngumpie Weavers, Sals Adornments, BBQ,

FREE EVENT

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​NOV 5: 2021 Marlene invites you to Stay Up Late with the MCA this Friday night

Friday 5 November 2021 line-up

6 – 7.30pm: Don’t miss performances by Aboriginal drag trailblazer Nana Miss Koori and a live jazz set with Marlene Cummins outside on the MCA Forecourt (weather permitting) 6.30 – 8.30pm: Screenings of Richard Bell’s Embassy conversations. 6.30 – 8.30pm: DJ set with crescendoll. FREE - EVENT DETAILS.

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​OCT 29: 2021 Moogahl Yarns: Episode 1 with Nardi Simpson, Marlene Cummins, Brenda Gifford, Troy Russell, Tim Gray

Nardi Simpson is joined by fellow composers Marlene Cummins, Brenda Gifford, Troy Russell & Tim Gray to have a yarn about being First People composers in the arts music scene of so-called Australia.

Moogahl Yarns is a series of long form conversations featuring artists from Moogahlin’s Performing Arts community discussing practices, inspiration, journey & passions in life.  Visit www.moogahlin.org for more. 

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​SEPT 26: 2021 Rise Up Singing! Songs for Peace 12:30pm - Raising Peace Festival 2021 

You're invited to join ‘Raising Peace’ a festival of over 30 organisations devoted to the pursuit of PEACE.

Marlene Cummins, renowned Indigenous blues and jazz singer - Folk singers, Margaret & Bob Fagan, Christina Mimmocchi and Margaret Walters who will lead an hour of Peace Songs – providing lyrics and inviting you to join in on Sunday 26th September at 12.30pm for an hour.

DETAILS HERE.

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​SEPT 6-8: 2021 BLAKSOUND 2021: Marlene Cummins Key Yarn Speaker

Presented by Digi Youth Arts and Vyva Entertainment and supported by QMusic and BIGSOUND, BLAKSOUND 2021 is a virtual Indigenous youth led music conference broadcasted globally online from Meeanjin. Co-curated by Sycco, Jem Cassar-Daley, DOBBY and Loki Liddle who are supported and mentored by Alethea Beetson, BLAKSOUND invites the music industry to listen and explore how the next generation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural and arts leaders can be placed at the forefront of industry conversations. Event Details.

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JUNE 26: 2021 Bondi Festival, 8:15pm Wayside Chapel, Bondi Beach 

Marlene presents a biographical journey through her music; a myriad of political, social and personal experiences that connect her lyrics and songs. With a mixture of original and traditional blues numbers, Marlene weaves beautiful melodies through both her vocals and her saxophone.

​Join Marlene for this special 1 hour concert. Event Details.

 

Note this Festival was cancelled due to the COVID lockdown.

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JUNE 19: 2021 FLoW [For the Love of Words] Mini Concert @ Parliament on King

SPECIAL GUEST Marlene Cummins, local musical legend and activist will open the show Acknowledging the Country we're meeting on, performing some of her original songs while surrounded by her amazing art! With local artists xTRILLIAMS, Bohifale and Gari Guru on the program, this will be a wonderful night of word, music, art and food provided for you with love from Parliament on King. Event Details.

 

Marlene's painting 'White Cranes' and others will be on exhibition and available for purchase.

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MAY 13: 2021 Making Change Happen @ Tranby: "Allyship into Action"

Tranby National Indigenous Adult Education & Training (Cooperative for Aborigines) is celebrating 64 years of education and activism. On Thursday June 3 from 10 am a deadly lineup of discussions, music, food, displays and workshops included entertainment from Marlene with music and yarns accompanied by jazz keyboardist extraordinaire Noel Elmowy.  Event Details. 

 

Photo © Shannon Elise Photography.

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MAY 18: 2021 Barangaroo and the Eora Fisherwomen: History High Tales (4)
Presented by Historic Houses Association & City of Sydney

A packed and enthusiastic crowd joined Marlene with Rex Goh on guitar and featuring special guest Leroy Cummins for an hour of music and yarns from 4:45pm to 5:45pm followed at 6pm - 7.15pm with Talks by Amanda Reynolds and Anna Clark. Amanda Reynolds introduces Barangaroo - a powerful Lore Woman - a Cammeraygal woman who lived during the time of the British invasion of Sydney. She tells of the fisherwomen who sailed the harbour and takes us on a journey to reveal histories of these master skippers, navigating their boats in the swell, hauling in fish, and wrangling infants in their tiny vessels. Event Details.

JAN 15-17: 2021 Sydney Festival: Musical Microparks in Erskineville

Ensemble Offspring's Pop Up events performed in inner-city microparks for Sydney Festival

Aunty Marlene Cummins and Bree van Reyk, perform an homage to the history of Indigenous blues singers of the 20th century. Accompanied by van Reyk on the vibraphone, Cummins sang three songs, two of which were made famous by Indigenous singer Georgia Lee in the 1950s and 60s. Down Under Blues and Yarra River Blues. The third piece, Pemulwuy, composed by Cummins, tells the story of the indigenous warrior of the same name. This piece was more personal and performed with fire.'

A review by Michael Kaufmann Limelight magazine January 16, 2021

​NOV 22: 2020 'The Story of the Miracles at Cookie's Table' by Wesley Enoch

A play reading directed by Shari Sebbens featuring Marlene Cummins, Wesley Patten, Angeline Penrith and Guy Simon.

 

As part of celebrating 50 Years of the Stables, Griffin presented a series of rehearsed play readings across 2020 of seminal works from the Stables’ canon. The readings were hosted by theatre aficionado John McCallum. The final play reading for the year was Wesley Enoch’s The Story of the Miracles at Cookie’s Table. Shari Sebbens directed this reading of Wesley Enoch’s powerful family drama exploring culture lived, lost and found, the strength of family, and the binding power of stories.

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​NOV 12-14: 2020 O.A.SIS at 107 Redfern

Marlene Performs her One Woman Show

 

New normal, back to normal, no normal. How we’ve missed the heady and sweaty and joyous euphoria of live performance! O.A.SIS is a moment of collective relief. O.A.SIS is an acknowledgment of the generations of women that hold us in hard times. O.A.SIS is a collective exhale with local artists in Redfern. O.A.SIS is a reflection back to the wisdom of original ancestors. Join us for an evening of performance in radical restoration! Marlene will perform each night between 9:30 -10:00pm at 107 Redfern. Event Details

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​NOV 4: 2020 NGARRA-BURRIA 2020 at Old 505

Featuring New Works by Marlene Cummins 

 

Marlene was honoured this year to be part of the Ngarra-Burria artist development program initiated by Dharug composer Chris Sainsbury. During the lock down Marlene collaborated via zoom with Chris and the other participants Nardi Simpson, James Henry,  Eric Avery and Will Kepa writing new music that premiered at the Old 505 theatre at Newtown. The works of the 2020 Ngarra-Burria composers are performed by program partner Ensemble Offspring. NGARRA-BURRIA ARE DHARUG WORDS MEANING “TO HEAR, TO SING”. Event Details.

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​JULY 18: 2020 LIVE AT BUTCHERS BREW

Marlene Cummins & Band Live & Streaming

 

Marlene and her All Star Band featuring Rex Goh (guitar), Noel Elmowy (keys), Craig Calhoun (bass), Calvin Welch (drums) and special guest Jason Morphett (sax) are back performing live at Butchers Brew Bar, Dulwich Hill on Saturday 18 July. There are limited in-venue tickets and the event will be streamed live around the globe! So tune in and get your live or streaming tickets.

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MARCH 7: 2020 GIRRAKOOL BLUES FESTIVAL

Marlene Cummins & Band Live at Girrakool 2020.

 

Marlene and her band will take the stage at Girrakool 3:30pm Saturday 7 March. Girrakool Blues Festival & BBQ is held in the Mt Penang Event Park Kariong, on the Central Coast NSW, situated conveniently between Newcastle and Sydney, and only a 2 minute drive from the M1 Motorway. Event Details

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JAN 14-18: 2020 BLACK DROP EFFECT

Bankstown Arts Centre | Sydney Festival Premiere 2020

 

Black Drop Effect.is a new play by Yuwaalaraay woman Nardi Simpson; storyteller, performer, and songwriter with Stiff Gins. Black Drop Effect is an immersive, multi-layered exploration of black and white, generational conflict, and the ongoing effects of colonisation.

Binno (William McPherson) is an Aboriginal elder and erstwhile member of a community dance group who is asked to present a series of traditional dances, alongside an actor reading extracts from Captain Cook’s diaries, for a 26 January celebration. Binno is unsure, until his straight-talking sister Beenie (Marlene Cummins) convinces him to teach the dances to three young men seeking connections with culture, country and their place in the world. Produced by Bankstown Arts Centre, and directed by Felix Cross.

© Text and image Sydney Festival 2020