This Friday evening November 25th, STVDIO will be broadcasting the closing night concert of the 2011 Melbourne Festival “notes from a hard road and beyond”, which feature some of the world’s most influential protest songs through the years. International performers including soul singer Joss Stone, gospel legend Mavis Staples, Rickie-Lee Jones, John Schumann, hip hop artist Emmanuel Jal with Australian singers including Something for Kate’s Paul Dempsey and Archie Roach will perform at Melbourne’s Sidney Myer Music Bowl.
Whilst the Occupy movement and the recent wars have yet to generate any torch songs of note, Friday’s concert will feature music from abolition to the civil rights movement, women’s suffrage to the anti-war sentiments of the 1970s. There is music by Billie Holiday, Bob Dylan, Woody Guthrie, Leonard Cohen, Pete Seeger and Green Day to form a soundtrack to freedom. Joined by Australia’s The Black Arm Band, it is a unique and joyous testament to the human spirit and the power of voice to rally and to unite.
More on some of the artists:
Mavis Staples (US) A member of gospel and soul legends The Staple Singers, Mavis Staples’ personal and musical history is enmeshed with the US civil rights movement and the life of Dr Martin Luther King. She sings This Land Is Your Land and the Staples Singers’ hit Freedom Highway.
Joss Stone (UK) Joss Stone is a soul singer-songwriter who at only 24, has sold more than 11 million albums and won two Grammys. She brings her soul vocal talents to I Am Woman, Feeling Good and I’ll Take You There alongside Mavis Staples.
Rickie Lee Jones (US) Rickie Lee Jones returns to Melbourne at the invitation of The Black Arm Band to sing a haunting rendition of Somewhere with Archie Roach.
Paul Dempsey Founder of Something For Kate, Melbournian Paul Dempsey recently launched his solo album Everything Is True. He performs Green Day’s political hit American Idiot and an emotional duet of Throw Your Arms Around Me with Joss Stone.
Emmanuel Jal (SUD) Born into the life of a child soldier in Sudan, Emmanuel Jal survived unbelievable struggles to emerge as a world-acclaimed hip-hop artist, spreading a message of peace and understanding. He performs Emma, his dedication to the rescuer who smuggled him out of war-ridden Sudan.
The Black Arm Band This coalition of Australian musicians includes iconic elder statesman Archie Roach, senior songman Shane Howard, yidaki virtuoso Mark Atkins and songstress chorus including Lou Bennett, Emma Donovan and Shellie Morris. Archie Roach performs a heart-wrenching acoustic version of Nick Cave’s Into My Arms.
John Schumann Legendary singer-songwriter John Schumann’s 1980s protest song I Was Only Nineteen captured the horror of the Vietnam War and the hearts of public worldwide.
Check out the video of Joss Stone singing People Get Ready.