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Roger Knox - the Koori King of Country will headline Artstate Tamworth 2019

The program for Artstate Tamworth 2019 has officially been launched and among the highlights is the opening night performance by Roger Knox, aka the Koori King of Country or Black Elvis as he’s known in Country Music Circles.

Artstate is a four-year project by Regional Arts NSW that shines a light on excellence in regional arts practice and explores exciting possibilities for arts and cultural development across the state.

Roger Knox has been singing and performing since an early age and at 70 years of age Uncle Roger Knox is not slowing down any time soon. Born into an era when Aboriginal and Torres Strait performers could not easily get their foot in the door, Uncle Roger has dedicated his musical career to opening doors for First Nations artists.

A devastating plane crash in his early thirties threatened to cut short his promising career. With horrendous burns to a large part of his body, Roger returned to his home community of Toomelah Aboriginal Mission Station to heal. His Auntie Hannah used singing, bush medicine and ‘the old ways’ to heal him.

A strong advocate of drug and alcohol-free living, he has dedicated his life to uplifting his people’s spirit, performing regularly in jails throughout Australia Canada and the USA.

Reinvigorating Aboriginal culture is a lifelong pursuit for Uncle Roger and he has directed considerable energy into positive, enduring and creative projects for the benefit of his Aboriginal brothers and sisters.

Roger uses his voice to inspire, encouraging people to feel good, further encouraging them to strive to be the best they can be. Engaged in mentoring young Aboriginal musicians and performers he is a well loved and inspiring role model.

Singing is a significant part of Aboriginal learning and culture and he acknowledges its importance in bringing people together for healing, self-awareness and the awakening of their heritage.

Tamworth looks forward to welcoming Uncle Roger to the stage at Artstate later this year.

For information about Artstate Tamworth, head to  http://www.artstate.com.au/about-artstate/