Performers 2021

Wirrina Bluegrass & Acoustic Roots Festival 2021 Performers

Monz Matsumoto

Montz Matsumoto’s unique music is a fusion of folk and bluegrass with a touch of Japanese and  Indian traditional styles. Montz began his music career 1987 with the legendary Japanese folk group Takaishi Tomoya & The Natasha Seven.  Later, he travelled to South India to where he studied traditional vocal and rhythm theory.  After returning to Kyoto, he formed a group with musicians including percussion player Robin Lloyd and mandolin player Miyazaki Katsuyuki. Their first CD was released in 1996.  In 1997, he supported Peter Rowan’s Okinawa Tour.  Living in Australia since 2002, he was awarded first place in Francis Folk Gathering Musicianship Contest and the Band Contest in 2003 and in 2004.  He released his second CD Banjo Moon in 2007. We are lucky indeed to have Montz on the big stage this year at Wirrina.

Mark Curtis & the Flannelettes

“An urban cowboy weaving wild thoughts into timeless tunes.”

Drawing influence from artists such as Wilco, Gillian Welch, The Beatles and Daniel Johnston, Mark Curtis has a gift for channelling the inner world in a way that is identifiable to any listener. He communicates the fragility of being human while keeping a certain playfulness. Drenched in harmonies, vulnerability, cynicism, longing and humour; complimented tastefully by Bonnie Aué and Michael Hutchison on upright bass and drums respectively, Mark Curtis and the Flannelettes are a fresh take on an old story. Their key successes so far include releasing three singles, playing the Music SA Umbrella festival, Fringe festival and the Adelaide Superloop 500 in 2020. With COVID lockdowns hopefully behind them, the group are excited to spend this year getting their music out there by playing shows, making videos, releasing singles and basically doing all the things that weren’t feasible for musicians last year.

Mark Curtis & the Flanelettes

Andrew Clermont’s Supper Club

It would simply not be a proper Wirrina Festival without Andrew Clermont’s Supper Club!  Born of Festivals from Fairbridge WA, The National ACT, Port Fairy VIC , Woodford QLD, and the Tamworth Country Music Festival NSW, The Super Club has appeared as far afield as Tallin in Estonia. Andrew brings to the stage a wonderful and varied array of musicians each time. There is always a wild card or two at The Supper Club—and it is exciting every time to witness the maestro at work with whomever he invites to play.

Bluegrass Junction

Bluegrass Junction are bluegrass royalty at Wirrina. The group grew from several lifetime’s obsessions for old-fashioned, hard-core, high-lonesome bluegrass. Bluegrass Junction plays a big repertoire of bluegrass classics as well as their own original music inspired by the tradition. Trev Warner, Nick Cawthorne, Geoff BridglandStephen Loss, and John Bridgland, joined forces to become Bluegrass Junction around 1997. Each band member began their music careers years before that, frequently playing bluegrass together in other bands since the early 1970’s. The result is an intuitive understanding of each other’s approach to playing and singing, and a song and instrumental list ‘longer than your arm’.

Bluegrass Junction
Image: Courtesy of Ian Fisk

The Cherry Pickers

Always a favourite at Wirrina, we welcome back Adelaide’s very own Cherry Pickers! The Cherry Pickers are a contemporary bluegrass band playing your favourite tunes from today and back in the day. Always on the search to uncover hidden bluegrass in any song, their tasty arrangements are reverent to bluegrass tradition. Coupled with their love of traditional tunes and their original songs, the Cherry Pickers make for an exciting and refreshing bluegrass experience. The Cherry Pickers appear regularly around Adelaide and have played at many festivals around the country including the National Bluegrass Festival, Mountain Grass, the Kelly Country Pick, JamGrass , the Fleurieu Folk Festival, Healesville Festival, Cullulleraine, Groundwater, Dorrigo Folk Festival and the Wirinna Bluegrass Festival. In 2016, the Cherry Pickers toured the US including playing at AmericaFest in Nashville Tennessee.

The Cherry Pickers are:

Mark Bandick:  Guitar, vocals
Paul Cooper: Banjo, vocals
Rob Cooper: Dobro, vocals
Lou Evangelistis: Mandolin, vocals
Mae Napier:Traeger: Fiddle, vocals
Gage Stead: Bass, vocals

The River Pearlers

The River Pearlers are Henk Groot, Ashley Turner, and Tony Schick. As ‘regulars’, each are well-know to the Wirrina community, performing previously in various configurations. Henk’s song writing, vocals and musicianship, are supported beautifully with Tony’s upright bass and Ashley’s magnificent fiddle playing. The River Pearlers will not disappoint! Be there:)

Images: Courtesy of Ian Fisk

Scott Creek String Ensemble

Aspiring musicians of the future, the Scott Creek String Ensemble are a committed and vibrant group from Scott Creek Primary School—a small rural school in the Adelaide Hills. All performers are 12 years and under. The ensemble perform at community focused events including: Dream Big Festival 2019, Adelaide Festival Centre, The Hutt 40th Birthday, The Hutt Repair Cafe community event, the Fleurieu Folk Festival 2018, and Stirling Laneways 2019. Their 2021 lineup instruments are three violins, two guitars, and one ukulele.

Dee Trewartha from the popular folk duo the Fiddle Chicks is the group’s teacher. The Fiddle Chicks have performed for many years at festivals around the country including Wirrina, Woodford Folk Festival, the National Folk Festival, Fairbridge Festival and the Fleurieu Folk Festival.

Scott Creek String Ensemble

Nice Verdes

Nice Verdes are Indie World Troubadours who hav been performing and travelling together since 2003. They draw from the sounds of Cuba, Africa, Colombia and more to create their own style of Rootsy Highlife.

Nice _verdes
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