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Established and rising Aboriginal Country Music Artists on Show

Established and emerging Aboriginal country entertainers will take to the stage of the Cultural Showcase at the Tamworth Country Music Festival next week.

Now in its eighth year, the program which begins next Monday, 19 January  includes ‘walk up’ performers. The six day event, centred around Viaduct Park, will also give performers the chance to busk from 11am-4pm each day.

The opening on Monday from 4pm will feature Nellie Dargan. Nellie began performing aged 10, and has performed at numerous events including The AFL Indigenous round – Sydney Swans vs Melbourne in front of 30,000 people, where she sang I am Australian.  Nellie has been a featured artist of the school spectacular and also appeared on the Living Black music program. Last year Nellie appeared on the talent show, X Factor.

Also appearing in the opening concert is rising country star, Rita Walford. Rita appeared in last year’s Cultural Showcase and was the support act to Heath Cullen at the Walsh Bay Arts Table dinner held in November last year to raise funds for the 2016 Regional Arts Australia conference and arts festival, Artlands, to be held in Dubbo next year.

Other featured artists duringthe week include Aimee Hannan, Billy Pitt, Roger Knox, Col Hardy and didJtal. Billy Pitt, winner of the 2014 Troy Cassar-Daley Indigenous Scholarship for the Academy of Country Music will hold a songwriting and performance masterclass on Thursday.

Aboriginal Arts Officer with Arts North West, project partner of the event said walk-ups were an opportunity for people to perform and get a feel for the stage for the very first time.

‘They can test new material or techniques on stage and gauge audience reaction, or just be able to put on their resume that they have performed on stage at the Tamworth Country Music Festival,’ she said.

The program also includes  cultural practitioners and craftspeople celebrating and promoting their talents and Aboriginal culture throughout the Tamworth Country Music Festival program.

The cultural program includes market stalls, rock painting, hat painting and an aboriginal dance workshop by the Gomeroi Dance Company.

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Watch Nellie Dargan on the SBS program, Living Black.