Tag Archives: Ivan Zar

Blues legend Ivan Zar & Werner Martin

I had the opportunity of filming a live to air interview at 3CR between Blues journalist / presenter Werner Martin and visiting Blues legend Ivan Zar.

Ivan painted a picture through word and song about his experiences touring indigenous communities throughout the Kimberley over a 20 year period. Fascinating to say the least. And I will present that footage in the not too distant future for your viewing pleasure.

In the interim, I would like to inform our readers about some gigs that are coming up later this week where you can catch Blues legend Ivan Zar performing  with Melbourne sensation Ezra Lee.

COMING GIGS:  Ezra Lee & Rocking Ray with special guest Blues legend Ivan Zar

The Drunken Poets

Thurs. 26 Feb. 2016

65 Peel Street, Melbourne

8 – 10 pm

The Dogs Bar

Friday 26 Feb. 2016

54 Acland Street, St Kilda

8 – 11.30 pm


The Night Sky is a Jewellery Shop Window

20 Artists

Yarra Hotel Abbotsford

Friday November 13th @ 8pm free entry!


I first met Damon Smith while accompanying Western Australian Blues legend Ivan Zar to Damon’s home.

We were there to discuss a documentary that Damon is currently producing on Ivan’s life and times.

I was immediately impressed by Damon’s well polished appearance, polite manner and straight shooting honesty.

As a stay at home dad of a three year old and chief carer of Jerry Lee his sixteen  year old dog and equally old cat Hannah, I quickly realised that this is a man that does not waste his time!

His home is immaculate and his beautiful native garden leads to a tiny, yet impressive recording studio designed and built by Damon in his spare time.

I discovered that Damon Smith is a man of many, many talents.

As a singer/ songwriter/ musican/ performer and producer Damon has created a space for a diverse selection of songwriters to come to perform one original song and one cover of an artist that inspires them. The 29 artists currently on his website come from all over the country and overseas to record their original songs in this extraordinary environment.

Every artist plays on the studio guitar named Zach Glickman and the music is performed in ‘one take’ in an effort to capture the raw, unbridled, essence of a song, including all the wobbly bits, which help to make a song truly memorable.

The Night Sky is a Jewellery Shop Window


Ivan Zar, Olive Knight and the Blues

images by Kerrie Pacholli © pationpics.com

Western Australian Blues legend Ivan Zar.
Western Australian Blues legend Ivan Zar.

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.

Gospel Blues singer / songwriter Kankawa Nagarra, known around the world as Olive Knight.
Gospel Blues singer / songwriter Kankawa Nagarra, known around the world as Olive Knight.
Blues artists' Ivan Zar on harp and Kankawa Nagarra known as Olive Knight.
Blues artists’ Ivan Zar on harp and Kankawa Nagarra known as Olive Knight.
Old friends and colleagues Olive Knight, Ivan Zar and Blues radio journalist Werner Martin.
Old friends and colleagues Olive Knight, Ivan Zar and Blues radio journalist Werner Martin who hosts Hot Damn Tamale Blues show on 3CR community radio on Saturday night.

Legendary bluesman Ivan Zar

Performing  Sunday 1st  November 2015 at The Retreat Hotel, 280 Sydney Road, Brunswick between 5 – 7pm.

Delta Bluesman Ivan Zar
Delta Bluesman Ivan Zar.

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.



Kankawa Nagarra (Olive Knight)
Kankawa Nagarra (Olive Knight)

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.

The Blues unrooted

 Blues … a pulse of the soul … for some a gateway to salvation and others a mystical resonance, either way the Blues is a timeless rhyme that hits our core.

Williamstown’s Way Out West Roots Music Club today hosted the June 2015 benefit concert for 3CR’s R&B shows’ Nightowls On Rhythm presented by Steve Fraser and  The Hot Damn Tamale  presented by Werner Martin.

The afternoon featured top Rhyme and Blues artists from around the country with Sweet Felicia & The Honeytones featuring Fast Eddy Boyle, the legendary Delta Blues artist Ivan Zar from Perth, Dan Robinson’s Wild Cherries, Phil Manning (Chain) and Backwood Creatures.

Blues fans, that do not already know, listen up …

Way Out West Roots Music Club is run by a dedicated group of volunteer enthusiasts and is located at the very well decked out Williamstown RSL. Not only does this venue have GREAT ACCOUSTICS the club hosts both local and international roots musicians and endeavours to support and promote young artists by giving the vast majority of gig funds directly to the performers!

To find out about upcoming gigs go to Way Out West Roots Music Club.

Perth's Delta Blues man Ivan Zar
Perth’s Delta Blues man Ivan Zar
Sweet Felicia & The Honeytones
Sweet Felicia & The Honeytones
Fast Eddy Boyle
Fast Eddy Boyle
Steve Fraser and Werner Martin
Steve Fraser and Werner Martin