See Melbourne’s musical stars align on New Year’s Eve 2015 as Fed Square presents a concert featuring some of the very best talent the city has to offer.
Combining a powerhouse live show of music and entertainment and a great spot to watch the city fireworks, Fed Square’s free New Year’s Eve celebration will be a party to remember. From African beats to modern electronic, jazz to Japanese folk, and R&B to soul, The Square will be brought to life in brilliant fashion – reflecting Melbourne’s rich and diverse music scene.
African dance group, Asanti Dance Theatre will shake things up with a high energy set fusing acrobatics, live percussion and dance, followed by a show-stopping performances from So You Think You Can Dance 2014 finalist Nadiah Idris, Melbourne soul songstress Thando (The Voice 2014), and Jason Heerah and the Chosen Ones (X Factor 2014).
Other artists taking to the stage include Noriko Tadano and George Kamikawa, Wadaiko Rindo, Kaiit Waup, Nhatty Man and DJ Thomas W Butt.
Sing and dance your way to midnight as Melbourne’s stars celebrate the year that was with a show-stopping rendition of Pharrell Williams’ “Happy”!
- 8pm | Asanti Dance Theatre – Australia’s Got Talent 2011
- 8.45pm | Noriko Tadano and George Kamikawa featuring Wadaiko Rindo
- 9.15pm | DJ Thomas W Butt
- 9.25pm | Nadiah Idris – So You Think You Can Dance 2014
- 9.35pm | Thando – The Voice 2014
- 10.30pm | Asanti Dance Theatre
- 11pm | Jason Heerah – X Factor 2014 – featuring Nhatty Man, Kaiit Waup, Thando and dancers
- 11.55pm | Performance of “Happy” by Jason Heerah and band featuring Nhatty Man Kaiit Waup, Thando and dancers (choreography by Nadiah Idris).
- 12am | Performance of “Auld Lang Syne” by Jason Heerah
- 12.05am | DJ party set
- 1am | Event concludes
Asanti Dance Theatre
Asanti Dance Theatre perform with highly captivating and unforgettable power, precision and energy. Opening the evening with a Ghanaian ritual performance that draws on dance, live music and song they will bring the festival spirits into the space and bless the celebrations! Following this, join them in a set that fuses traditional street festival-style performances with founder Appiah Annan’s contemporary takes and spellbinding acrobatics and agility.
Noriko Tadano and George Kamikawa
Noriko Tadano plays both traditional Japanese folk songs (minyo) as well as original pieces on the Tsugaru Shamisen (Japanese Banjo). She has been playing Shamisen since she was 8 years old and has performed in Japan and at Festivals and events all over Australia. Noriko’s ability and drive to cross over between traditional and modern Japanese music has recently seen her perform with renown blues and jazz musicians and traditional Japanese musicians. George hails from Japan and has spent the last 10 years honing his skills to become an exemplary country blues artist. His playing is typified by its raw energy and broad tonal range-from delicate harmonics to searing rips and slides on guitar, soulful singing and driving rhythms on harmonica.
The performances of Wadaiko Rindo Japanese drumming, taught and led by Toshi and Junko Sakamoto, are spectacular visual displays of stamina and strength with the vibrations produced on stage seeming to energise the whole audience. Toshi and Junko and their drummers are in huge demand performing both throughout Australia and internationally. Traditional Japanese drums are known as taiko or wadaiko drums.
In 1996 Toshi Sakamoto began teaching Taiko (Japanese drum) in Melbourne and currently teaches 13 taiko classes with a total of 130 students. In 1998 Toshi and his wife, Junko, formed Wadaiko Rindo which is comprised of students from his advanced class. The title Wadaiko Rindo pays homage to the name of Toshi’s former drumming team (Rindo Daiko) in his hometown in Kumamoto in Kyushu.
Wadaiko Rindo has performed in many places around Victoria as well as in Tasmania, ACT, New Caledonia and Fiji. The performances of Wadaiko Rindo are spectacular visual displays of stamina, strength and humour, with the vibrations produced on stage energising the whole audience.
Nadiah is recognised for her underground specialty style of Dancehall called RAGGA FUZION, which she showcased on the multi-Emmy Award winning TV series, So You Think You Can Dance Australia, earning her spot in the Top 20 of Season 4. Through training with Raw Dance Company, she has extensive experience in Musical Theatre, Hip Hop, Technical Jazz, Funk Tap, Afro Jazz, Samba, Ballet, Acrobatics and many more styles. During this time, Nadiah also extended her skills to aerial circus arts and trained for over 2 years in Tissu, Lyra and Static Trapeze. She has quickly gained recognition in the local and international dance industry due to her freestyle and choreographed performance skills, unique movement, appearance and versatility to perform various styles.
DJ – Thomas W Butt
Thomas W Butt is a DJ, double-bassist, producer, teacher and recording artist based in Melbourne, Australia. With 20 years of industry experience, Thomas is no stranger to the finer points of performance and has proved it at literally countless festivals, clubs, beaches, boats, boat houses, stadiums, arenas, VIP rooms, buses, warehouses, bars, rooftops, and city squares across the world. Thomas currently tours and performs nationally and internationally as DJ Lazer Ferrari, and as a double-bassist with live acts True Live, Kid Radio, and Riot City. Thomas has developed a unique DJ style based on his wide and varied musical knowledge and taste. His DJ sets are renowned for the expert blending of the best of modern electronic beat music with the finest global sounds from the 50’s to the present. He also works as a session musician, records and produces his own music, designs sound for theatre, circus and burlesque, and works as a producer, teacher and mentor with atrisk young people both in and out of detention centres. Thomas has played alongside many well known artists across the globe, and is credited on recordings that have been released through numerous labels, including Ninja Tunes, Tru Thoughts, Illusive, Mushroom, Shock, Elephant Traks and Sakifo Records.
Melbourne soul songstress Thando is bringing her powerhouse live show to the Federation Square stage to usher in the New Year. Backed by her 7 piece band, her music draws inspiration from the likes of Jill Scott, Whitney Houston and Alicia Keys and pays homage to R&B and Soul influences, with a contemporary flair and exciting live show. This special show will showcase all her original material as featured on her debut EP ‘Digital Love Letters’. Thando has taken a new direction with her live set; incorporating choreography, costumes and cabaret. Citing the music of Jill Scott as an influence, her music is described as “a cosmic journey to love and fulfillment”. Thando’s live set incorporates electronica elements while still respecting traditional soul and R&B with raw funk, heavy bass lines and a 3 piece backing vocal ensemble with a whole lot of sass.
Jason Heerah with guests Thando, Nhatty Man and Kaiit Waup
Jason Heerah and the Chosen Ones
Named as “the best singing drummer in the world” by the 2014 Australian X Factor Judging panel, where he finished in the Top 6, Jason Heerah is a talented and experienced live musician currently based in Melbourne at his Jammin’ Heerah St. Studios. Specialising in drums, percussions, vocals, and producing and song writing, Jason was featured on Australia’s Drum Scene Magazine’s Top 20 New Millennium Players list in 2000 after winning “Australia’s Best Up and Coming Drummer” at the age of 17. Since then, his career has seen him living and recording at in LA (2001), most notably at the Ocean Way Studios on Sunset Boulevard; performing as a session singing drummer on shows such as Australia’s Got Talent, Molly Meldrum’s Countdown, Hey Hey its Saturday, and working on the Asian talent show, Sutasi, filmed in Singapore. Other than performing 3 shows at the world famous Glastonbury Festival and supporting the Beverly Knight tour of the UK along with OMAR in 2011, Electric Empire has also travelled and supported artists from around the world, including London based acid jazz giants Brand New Heavies, Mayer Hawthorne and the county from Detroit U.S.A, Bilal from Brooklyn NYC, and most loved New Zealand based band Fat Freddies Drop on their first national tours of Australia. Aside from his extensive career, Jason proudly endorses Meinl Percussion & Cymbals, DW drums, Vater drumsticks and Evans drumheads.
Kaiit Waup is a signer from Melbourne’s Eastern suburbs, currently at high school and pursuing her passion for music. Kaiits’ mother is Torres Strait Islander and Italian, and her father is Papua New Guinean and has a huge range of musical influences growing up. Her current influences include the unique sounds of SZA, the up-beat jazz inspired Amy Winehouse and the witty lyrics of Childish Gambino. Kaiit expresses her passion for music through lyric writing, singing and trying out new musical instruments and hopes to collaborate with a range of artists to create hr first EP.
With a mesmerising stage performance and a huge smile always intact, Nhatty lacks anything but energy. Nhatty’s life has gone in a million ways he never anticipated. After dropping out from a civil engineering degree in his second year, he started a new journey as a DJ. This entrance into the music industry sparked a new desire to become a songwriter, penning the hit song Alekafam for well-known Ethiopian artist Zeritu Kebede, amongst others.
Nhatty soon found his own voice singing with the legendary Ethiopian band Express, which propelled his career as a singer and found him fronting numerous bands and playing many of the clubs around Addis Abeba. Now garnering a solid fan base around the country and featuring with some of the biggest name artists within Africa, it wasn’t long before he became a household name, after his first single Amrogne hit the Ethiopian market.
Nhatty’s musical movements have now found him living in Melbourne, Australia. Since relocating in 2014, he has already built new audiences through performing at the Melbourne Festival, the Workers Club, the Evelyn and the Gasometer Hotel. He has performed live on radio, with Ethio-Jazz band The Lalibelas, as part of PBS FM’s Studio 5 Live series and on ABC Radio National and collaborated with local bands Ras Jah Know, Royalty Noise and Amaru Tribe. In 2015 he created his debut audio story as part of the Collaborative Radio Project between PBS & Multicultural Arts Victoria, which received two awards in 2015: CBAA Award for Excellence in Training and the VMC’s Meritorious Service to Community Award. You can hear the audio stories on MAV’s Soundcloud here.