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Byron Bay Bluesfest

Airileke and Rize of the Morning Star

Airileke and the Rize of the Morning Star are musical pioneers and fighters for freedom traversing a timeless sonic globe without frontiers. Front man Airileke [pronounced Irie-leck-eh] is a percussionist, producer, composer, activist, recording, global events facilitator and, in the words of Britain's Songlines magazine, a "cause for celebration". Born in Australia with roots in PNG Airileke grew up between the shores of both PNG and the Top End. He grew up learning traditional drumming from his ancestral village of Gabagaba (Drumdrum) near Port Moresby, the region's ‘sing sing’ grounds for drums, dance and ceremony. Airi's unique sound melds progressive ideas with beats of ancient Melanesian culture. Hip-hop production, fierce log drumming, Papuan chants, atmospheric soundscapes and samples from the front line of the Free Papua Movement combine to evoke one of the region's darkest stories: the illegal occupation and ongoing oppression of West Papua. Urgent, fiery and innovative, this is the new sound of urban Melanesia.

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