The Australian Ukulele Showcase – one of the highlights of the Cairns Ukulele Festival, promises to be the biggest yet with four show-stopping uke acts ready to shine!
The event will showcase the ukulele in various forms, from manouche to jazz to a starring role in international comedy star George Smilovici’s brand new comedy show. George will be joined by festival favourite, the talented Nicky Bomba – with the Montgomery Brothers and French Connection completing the entertaining line-up.
Presented by Tiki Ukuleles and the Cairns Ukulele Festival, the Australian Ukulele Showcase will be held at the prestigious Hilton Tiki Ukulele Lounge on Friday, July 5 from 7.30pm.
Nicky Bomba and George Smilovici
Returning to the festival stage is Maltese-born Nicky Bomba, who played with his band Bustamento, last year. A vibrant performer he brings his knowledge and enthusiasm from working with artists from Africa and the Middle East, to the Caribbean. Spending many years honing his reggae, ska and mento expertise he always performs a fun show with a great sense of community.
Nicky has built a solid reputation in the music industry via many projects including writing and performing with his band Bomba, the newer and ARIA nominated Bustamento, conducting the Melbourne Ska Orchestra, playing drums for the John Butler Trio. He is also the Artistic Producer or the Multicultural Arts Victoria ‘Visible’ project.
According to Cairns Ukulele Festival director Gaby Thomasz: “Anyone who attended last year’s festival will remember the joie de vie that Nicky brings to the stage with his unique brand of music and ability to join forces with the festival talent on offer. Where ever Nicky plays there’s a party!”
George Smilovici said he was also looking forward to bringing his mix of comedy and uke playing to the Cairns festival, which runs from Thursday to Sunday, July 4 to 7. The only comedian to top the Australian and New Zealand music charts, and USA music and comedy charts with his hilarious hit monologue, “I’M TUFF,” George has headlined and performed alongside acts including U2, Joe Cocker, Talking Heads, INXS, Tiny Tim, Midnight Oil and Joan Rivers at venues all over the world.
The Montgomery Brothers and The French Connection
Also sharing the spotlight at the showcase are the Montgomery Brothers, well-known in Cairns and popular performers at festivals around Australia. Don’t miss their virtuosity on the fretboard and cajon.
Rounding out the stellar quartet is The French Connection, a solo show by Canberra-based Chris Vevers who has woven a unique and entertaining solo uke show, all with a French connection. A frequent festival performer from Melbourne to New York, he’s sure to wow with an eclectic mix of all things French from traditional and jazz manouche by artists such as Michel Legrand and Django Reinhardt to iconic Parisian recordings by Diana Krall and Duke Ellington.
Dinner and show package
A new addition to this year’s festival program will be a dinner and show package with a pre-show buffet dinner at the Hilton Six Degrees Bar, also on Saturday, July 5 from 6pm onwards. Dinner guests will be entertained by live acts from all around Australia.