Shellie Morris and Djolpa McKenzie - appearing at the Blue Mountains Music Festival of Folk, Roots and Blues, 2020 - in Katoomba!

Shellie Morris

Multi-award-winning artist Shellie Morris is one of Australia's darlings featuring at festivals, corporate events and community events around the world.

The 2014 NT Australian of the Year and NAIDOC Artist of the Year, has graced stages from the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow (2014) to Darwin Festival in August and then on to Lajamanu community with AMRRIC. Shellie has featured with award-winning Black Arm Band, has collaborated with Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and co-wrote the music for an award-winning music documentary, Prison Songs, with Casey Bennetto (Paul Keating the Musical).

Shellie is multi-lingual, speaking parts of more than 17 Aboriginal languages and has worked with over 40 different communities, performing singer-songwriter workshops in different languages and styles. As an Ambassador for the Fred Hollows Foundation, she has helped raise awareness for the organisation and assisted their fund-raising.

In 2009 she travelled with Brazilian legend Gilberto Gil through different communities collaborating with musicians along the way as he featured in a documentary that tracked his journey.

From her work on the big stages with John Cale, Sinead O’Connor and Gurrumul Yunupingu to sitting round a campfire with a guitar, her music speaks of shared experience and backgrounds.

Shellie won the 2012 national Music in Communities Award from the Music Council of Australia. She is a two-time winner of Female Musician of the Year at the NT Indigenous Music Awards and her language album Ngambala Wifi Li-Wunungu (Together We Are Strong) created with the Borroloola Songwomen won 2012 and 2013 National Indigenous Music Awards.

In 2013, Shellie won a Deadly Award for her community commitment. She has been shortlisted to represent Australia in Brazil next year as part of a cross-cultural delegation.

 

Djolpa Mckenzie

Djolpa Mckenzie is an Anbarra-Diyama man from the community of Maningrida in West Arnhem Land. Previously the lead singer of the Wild Water band (who still occasionally gig around Darwin and the NT), he is also a  feature-artist in the Black Arm Band.

After 20+ years being with the 'Saltwater style' reggae, rock, dub band, Djolpa sets off on the journey to create his own music, his own style. Creating and recording six songs on the turfs of "Rrawa" (Home) - Maningrida where the magic happens. Where sunsets and the land inspire, where Life in Maningrida is like a dream.

His solo music is quite unique where the songs take you on a journey with lyrics portraying strong messages, telling stories about his people, the land, living in two worlds (Balanda World and Unbarra World) and some of the matters in society.

A mixed genre, a unique sound of Dub, island reggae, acoustic, intertwining traditional Diyama song. Where no songs sound the same.

Music that makes you feel—so take each song as it comes, as each story is told.