Taking Roots (Music) to Australia – An Irish and Ghanaian Celebration

Top L to R: Oliver Cechini, Nettey Nettey, Ross O’Donovan, Frank Martey, João Almeida, Yao Derkyi
Middle L to R: Panyin Derkyi, Nana Aba Derkyi, Kakraa Derkyi, Carissa Lee
Bottom: Kwame Wilson

In May 2023 Sydney’s Gaelic Club was the venue for a unique musical event that combined Irish and Ghanaian song and dance in a celebration of the connections between the two communities. The gig at the Gaelic Club in Devonshire Street was the culmination of a project that brought together Irish and African musicians who rehearsed and devised new material which combined Irish and African instruments and rhythms. Taking Roots (Music) to Australia is a short documentary that goes behind the scenes to explore this process.
The Irish musicians are Oliver Cechini (uilleann pipes), Cam Sami (accordion, vocals), Carissa Lee (guitar), João Almeida (flute) and Ross O’Donovan (fiddle, vocals). 
The African band is Karifi who are an 8 piece Ghanaian drum and song ensemble. They draw on the traditional music of their homeland and use song, percussion, chant and dance in their lively and energetic performances. Musicians are Yao Derkyi (balaphone & vocals), Nettey Nettey (atale drum), Frank Martey (atampan drum), Panyin Derkyi (doum doum drum and dance), Kakraa Derkyi (conga drum and dance), Nana Aba Derkyi (atampan drum and dance). Irish and Ghanaian traditional dancers add to the colour and majesty of the occasion.

Taking Roots (music) to Australia also features interviews with the musicians which explore the experience of migration to Australia which is common to the performers from both cultures.

The project was organised through the Irish National Association and Africultures with support from the Stronger Communities initiative of Multicultural NSW. Project producers were Enda Murray, Fatma Mohammed and Paul Mortimer.
Documentary directors are Enda Murray and Natalie O’Neill.

Taking Roots (Music) to Australia premiered at the Irish Film Festival in Sydney in 2023.

The Taking Roots (Music) to Australia documentary can be viewed below. Just click on the video to view.

Taking Roots (Music) to Australia Concert Photos

Taking Roots (Music) to Australia Premiere Photos

Tell us what you think! Write to us at info@irishassociation.org.au

We’d love to hear your feedback.

The Taking Roots (Music) to Australia project was made possible by a grant from Multicultural NSW.

The Taking Roots (Music) to Australia project is a collaboration between the Irish Film Festival, the Irish National Association and Africultures. 

Sponsored By:

Web Credits:

Concert Photography: Dom Beckett
Other Photography: Various
Web Creation: Natalie O’Neill
Director: Dr Enda Murray & Natalie O’Neill