C5 Marloo’s Blues

  • April 30, 2023

    2.30pm - 3.40pm

  • Fairfax Theatre

    National Gallery of Australia

  • General Admission $70.00,

    Concession $63.00

  • In Association with

  • With Support From

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In association with SIMA, with support from the Australia Council for the Arts

 

“The life Marlene has lived is closer to the life of original blues singers like Muddy Waters than any contemporary American blues artist”  Richard Field, Producer

Your chance to hear one of Australia’s most authentic blues singers in action. Marlene Cummins aka ‘Marloo’ is a saxophonist, activist and proud Guguyelandji, and Woppaburra woman.   Growing up under the cloud of the Aboriginal Protection Act of the 1950s and 60s, Marlene had a grassroots upbringing in a very politically aware family. Marlene refined her skills as a blues saxophonist and songwriter at the Berklee College of Music Boston in the mid-90s and has been performing live for as long as she can remember.

​Also an actor and storyteller, Marlene released her first full-length album, Koori Woman Blues to coincide with the premiere of her biographical documentary film ‘Black Panther Woman’ co-written with Rachel Perkins. More recently, Marlene played the role of Beenie in Nardi Simpson’s play ‘Black Drop Effect’  which premiered at the Sydney Festival in January 2020.

Considered one of Australia’s foremost Indigenous blues writers and performers, Marlene knows the blues from an Aboriginal woman’s perspective.  In the tradition of legendary blues women Big Mama Thornton and Bessie Smith, her story is one of vulnerability, strength and, ultimately, survival.

Artists
Marlene Cummins, saxophone and vocals
Clayton Doley, organ, accordion and piano
Zoe Hauptmann, bass 
Calvin Welch, drums 
Rex Goh, Musical Director 

Get your tickets now

  • April 30, 2023

    2.30pm - 3.40pm

  • Fairfax Theatre

    National Gallery of Australia

  • General Admission $70.00,

    Concession $63.00

Buy Tickets Now

ARTIST Learn more about the artist

Artist Marlene Cummins

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Musician / Artist / Actor / Broadcaster / Story Teller

A Proud Guguyelandji and Woppaburra Woman

Born in the southwest Queensland town of Cunnamulla, Marlene’s traditional people on her Father’s side are Guguyelandji, and Woppaburra on her Mother’s side. The family then moved to Winton where Marlene spent her formative years. Growing up under the cloud of the Aboriginal Protection Act of the 1950s and 60s, Marlene had a ‘grassroots’ upbringing in a very politically aware family.

Marlene's life is the story of her people and she tells it through her art, her lyrics, her on-stage performance as both an actress and singer and more recently through documentary film making. Marlene refined her skills as a blues saxophonist and songwriter at the Berklee College of Music Boston in the mid-90s and has been performing live for as long as she can remember.

Marlene presents a biographical journey through her music; a myriad of political, social and personal experiences that content her lyrics and songs. With a mixture of original and traditional blues numbers, the centrepiece and original song is the stirring epic blues anthem, ‘Koori Woman’. Marlene dedicates this song to Aboriginal women everywhere as they were, in her words, ‘the backbone of the struggle’.