I had the opportunity to be present for an interview between Olive Knight and 3CR’s Rhythm and Blues journalist Werner Martin for his Hot Damn Tamale show aired Saturday nights between 7 – 8pm. The interview is jammed full of interesting information as well as tracks and discussion about her latest album Heroes and Lamentsproduced by Desert Feet Records.
Below is the audio of the last half of this fascinating interview for listening pleasure. Full interview below.
Kankawa Nagarra (Olive Knight) is an Indigenous elder from the Wangkatjungka community in a remote part of the Kimberly. Among her many attributes, Kankawa is a powerful gospel blues singer / songwriter.
Olive is in Melbourne for two major reasons. Firstly, she is employed as a teacher and mentor at Wesley College for the indigenous students.
Secondly, Olive is currently preparing for her performances with Hugh Jackman in the national concert tour of his new show Broadway to Oz which will be premiering at Melbourne’s Rod Laver Arena on the 24 November.
This is the fourth concert tour that Olive has performed alongside Hugh Jackman.
Not long after she produced her first album Gospel Blues at the Edge of the Desertwith her Blues mentor Ivan Zar she was invited to debut in Jackman’s 2011 sell-out hit concert Back to Broadway.
The Retreat Hotel in Sydney Road, Brunswick Melbourne, hosted a very special event with performances by long time friends, Western Australian blues artists’ Ivan Zar and Olive Knight.
Singer / songwriter, deadly guitar and harp musician Ivan, first encountered Olive when he was touring the Kimberly through the Aboriginal communities during the 1990s.
Back in the 1990’s Olive Knight whose tribal name is Kankawa Nagarra was already a Gospel singer and leader in her community. She was so inspired by Ivan’s high voltage energy, abundant raw talent and knowledge of the Blues, particularly Delta Blues, that she tracked him down in 2010 to be her mentor and produce her first album.
In 2011 Olive Knight was discovered by Hugh Jackman, who helped propel Olive to achieve worldwide fame performing in Hugh Jackman Back to Broadway along side her son, artist / singer Clifton Bieundurry and Nathan Mundraby playing didgeridoo.
In November this year Olive Knight will again be part of a national tour in his latest stage production Hugh Jackman from Broadway to Oz again accompanied by her son Clifton and Nathan.
Ivan and Olive are both powerful blues artists, both with extraordinary and rich histories. They are the real deal when it comes to Blues and they both continue to touched and inspired people from all walks of life.
Performing Sunday 1st November 2015 at The Retreat Hotel, 280 Sydney Road, Brunswick between 5 – 7pm.
Born in Alexandria, Egypt in Memphis Street,Ivan Zar migrated to Western Australia with his parents age 13. He was drawn to the Blues at an early age and taught himself to play the harmonica and Delta Blues style guitar. In 1968 he began writing his own songs and formed his first band “King Biscuit Co”. Since then, Ivan has supported many of the international touring acts as either a solo performer or with one of his many subsequent bands.
Noted for his raw and passionate, rhythmic country blues on his trademark Dobro Ivan has traveled extensively throughout the Kimberly promoting blues and mentoring blues artists.
This coming Sunday Ivan will be joined by a special guest in Kankawa Nagarra (Olive Knight)who is a Walmatjarri elder from the community of Wangkatjungka. Olive and Ivan first meet while Ivan was touring the outback in the 1990’s. In 2010 Olive commissioned Ivan to produce her first album. Not long after Olive was making her Broadway debut with ‘Hugh Jackman, Back to Broadway’, supported by her son, fellow singer Clifton Bieundurry and didgeridoo players’ Paul Boon and Nathan Mundraby.
In November and December this year Olive will again be performing with Hugh Jackman in Broadway to Oz on a national tour.