Aboriginalarts & cultureCairns QueenslandCape York PeninsulaEFFINCUEfar north Queenslandindigenousmusic


LISTEN UP 2This Thursday afternoon, ABC Far North helped launch  a new CD of indigenous music from tropical north Queensland. Listen Up 2! is a collection of music by emerging indigenous musicians – and we launched it with a concert at the Union Jack pub in Cairns. Thank you to everyone who turned up, & who gave their time and talents to make it a wonderful afternoon of music and stories. The CD is available from the ABC Shop in Cairns.

This is the second Listen Up collection – the first was released back in 2008. It helped launch Cairns band The Medics on to the national music scene.

We hope that kind of good fortune awaits the musicians on Listen Up 2! There’s 21 year old Danny Bani from Thursday Island, who grew up on his father’s church music and the big ballad style of Aaron Neville and Lionel Richie.

Listen to Danny Bani & his band perform at the Listen Up 2! launch.

Cold Water Band come from the Wujal Wujal area between Cairns and Cooktown. They’re a five-piece outfit blending reggae and R & B – they love to get an audience up and dancing.

Listen to Cold Water Band at the Listen Up 2! launch.


The members of Cairns-based rock band Phoenix Rising started out making music in primary school in two different bands – now they’ve formed a “super band” before their 18th birthdays.

Listen to Phoenix Rising in action at the Listen Up 2! launch.


Hopevale’s Ivana Gibson began singing at age 10, inspired by her grandmother. She says she’s a country musician at heart, loves a good story and lifting people’s spirits.

Sister and brother duo, Colina and Nicholas Wymarra are also in the line-up. The pair from Murray Island had strong country influences as children and have now developed a contemporary reggae style.

Listen to Colina & Nicholas perform at the Listen Up 2! launch.


Listen Up 2! was produced by three champions of FNQ indigenous music – Nigel Pegrum, Will Kepa &​ Karl Neuenfeldt. Karl’s the man who first recorded Torres Strait music legend Seaman Dan. Karl is an associate professor at Central Queensland University

Will Kepa hails from Torres Strait, plays many instruments, he’s an audio engineer, in-demand session musician and producer. Will has worked with many FNQ bands and has been working on his own first album. And Nigel Pegrum is at the epicentre of the far north music scene. He played drums in the legendary British folk-rock band Steeleye Span, met the love of his life on an Australian tour and settled in Cairns, where he runs Pegasus Studios http://www.pegasusstudios.com.au/

Listen to Nigel talk about Listen Up 2!


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