Melbourne Festival and Multicultural Arts Victoria present

Visible Music Sessions

Connecting diverse artistic leaders and their communities to the Festival, Visible Music Sessions brings exceptional talent and new collaborations to the stage from some the bright stars of Multicultural Art Victoria’s Visible Music Mentoring Program.

From Kenyan funk soul to Ethio-Jazz to Hazara poetry, this inspiring selection of music and spoken word will be presented over the three Sunday’s at the Foxtel Festival Hub.


Louis Majiwa, The Lalibelas and Amaru Tribe ft. Nhatty Man with Oscar Jimenez

Louis Majiwa is a Kenyan funk-soul singer and songwriter whose style is defined by syncopating soulful multilingual vocals to his rhythmic acoustic guitar. Louis is the Artistic Director of North Melbourne’s Club Voltaire Thursday Sessions, where he features new live acts. An active member of the Melbourne music scene, Louis was part of the team that brought the inaugural African Festival to Melbourne. 

The Lalibelas, Melbourne’s newest Ethio-Jazz collaboration was founded in early 2014, by Ethiopian Bassist Yoseph H Bekele. The Lalibelas are firmly established in the unique fusion of traditional Ethiopian music, with jazz, Afro-funk, soul and Latin rhythms. The Lalibelas extend the boundaries of this genre, combining bass driven melodies, over-riding harmonica and saxophone solos, together with guitar, drums and keys. Melbourne audiences have responded with acknowledgement to the versatility of Bekele’s original compositions and the band’s performance. The seven members of The Lalibelas are professionally trained musicians, hailing from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and Melbourne, Australia.

The Lalibelas will be joined on stage by renowned Ethiopian singer Nhatty Man, a household name in Ethiopia. Steadily garnering new support in Australia through his vigorous live performance, Nhatty Man never ceases to get the crowd on their feet. Lalibelas & Nhatty are currently working with producer Oscar Jimenez as part of Multicultural Arts Victoria’s Visible Music Mentoring Program and have struck up a strong musical friendship.


Farkhonda Akbar ft. Lapkat

Hazara poet and cultural activist Farkhonda Akbar writes abstract text writing inspired by her historical wounds and dark experiences as a young Hazara girl. Having completed an undergrad and postgrad in International Relations and undertaking two internships at the UN Headquarters in NY, Farkhonda is dedicated to representing Hazara people worldwide and ensuring peace in her homeland Afghanistan. She is passionate about ensuring the Hazara Diaspora in Melbourne reconnect with culture in their new homelands, and recently ran three months of Hazaragi poetry workshops with young people and women in the community. Farkhonda is collaborating with producer, soundscape creator and spoken word DJ Lapkat as part of Visible 2015. Lapkat (Lisa Greenway) hosts La Danza Poetica on international radio station Groovalization and is actively working to extend the reach of the recorded story and bring the essential spoken word art to a greater global audience.

Cumbia Cosmonauts X Olugbade Okunade, Amadou Kalissa & Lamine Sonko

At the forefront of the growing global phenomena of both Nueva-Cumbia and the club sound Tropical Bass, Melbourne’s Cumbia Cosmonauts are known for their live shows, where each performance is a unique visual and sonic adventure featuring lasers, synthesizers, spacey surf guitar and silver jumpsuits. Olugbade Okunade, aka GP Saxy, grew up in the afrobeat capital of the world, Lagos, Nigeria. His career started as the master trumpet player in Fela Kuti’s band, Egypt 80 band, where he toured the world for 14 years. Now based in Melbourne, he has developed his solo career as GP Saxy, performing with various bands. Recently Okunade started his own project, Alárìíyá. Along with Doun Doun player Amadou Kalissa and Lamine Sonko, this collaboration will see Nueva-Cumbia take a trip back to its African ancestral roots.


Beatrice ft. Supina Bytol & Sinit Tsegay

A special collaboration brought together through MAV’s ReMastered Myths program see producer and lady beatmaker advocate Beatrice incorporate the trip hop vocals of Supina Bytol and Amharic rhythms and Ethiopian scales of 18 year Ethiopian singer/dancer and percussionist Sinit Tsegay. Over a series of creative development sessions the group will be writing all new content, representative of each of their unique cultural and musical backgrounds.

Reza Fazeli

22 year old Reza Fazeli began playing music three years ago in Iran. Originally from Afghanistan, his music pays respect to the language and folklore of his homeland. Reza is part of the 2015 Visible Music Mentoring program, working with acclaimed musician Taqi Khan and producer Ivan Khatchoyan to develop songwriting skills, knowledge of the music industry and record a profession track.

Saharnaz Kia

Persian singer Saharnaz Kia began singing in Brisbane with Scattered People, a group that brings forth the voices and songs of asylum seekers. She has performed at Woodford Folk Festival as part of a collaboration with Ethno Australia, the brings together musicians from all four corners of the globe. Now living in Melbourne, Saharnaz Kia is working with talented singer and instrumentalist Ria Soemarjo as part of MAV’s Visible Music Mentoring Program.