For the second year running, Settlement Services International (SSI) is partnering with Australian Women in Music Awards (AWMA) to turn the spotlight on culturally diverse female artists and music practitioners through the SSI Diversity in Music Award.
In a groundbreaking initiative to promote diversity and equality in the Australian music industry, SSI and AWMA have joined forces to support six female artists from diverse backgrounds to attend the 2019 AMWA program between 8-9 October in Brisbane. The two-day program includes a series of forums, a keynote address, networking opportunities and the Awards ceremony, concert and party.
The six women that SSI will take to the 2019 AWMA program include:
Angela Paez (aka ANGE): An alternative R&B singer-songwriter from Barcelona, Spain, ANGE’s music has been described as flavourful and emotive. She has self-released her first two singles and has already received attention from publications like Life Without Andy, TheMusic.com.au, Purple Sneakers as well as plays from Triple J, FBi Radio, 4ZZZ and MTV Australia.
Angela Rosero: A Colombian artist who has captivated Australian audiences with her combined talents in acting and singing. She is the lead singer of the well-acclaimed Sydney dance orchestra Cumbiamuffin. In 2010, she established a creative space called “La Sala” where she produced high-quality artistic events with a strong focus on community development.
Behiye Suren: A passionate singer and songwriter from Turkish/Arap Alevi background who produced her first EP ‘Season of Plums’ in 2010. The album rotated on SBS and FBi Radio stations before she toured in Australia, Dubai, Beirut and Turkey. Behiye was featured in Kuwaiti Airlines Magazine, Time Out Istanbul, and on television in Turkey and Lebanon.
Jessica Paraha: A multi-disciplinary artist with a career spanning across film, television and radio production. As an Ngati Hine Māori woman who comes from a long line of storytellers and myth-makers, Jessica’s practice is community-minded and aimed at engaging and empowering her community to celebrate their voices. Wearing many hats, Jessica is the co-presenter and co-producer of FBi Radio’s weekend breakfast radio show The Weekend Overhang with Daisy Catterall. The show celebrates diverse music, with a focus on First Nations and LGBTQ artists.
Sylvia Zambrano: A well-established music practitioner that has a long career in the music industry spanning across Latin America and Australia. Sylvia has led the production of large-scale concerts including Latin star Marc Anthony. Since relocating to Australia, Sylvia has been developing the music careers of various Australian bands. In 2017 she was a presenter at the Australian Music Week conference and was part of the production crew of the Bigsound Festival.
Vyvienne Abla: A well-established producer, artist and tour manager that has been working in the music industry for 15 years. In 2007 she founded Vyva Entertainment, and 2015, the 4ESydney Festival. Vyvienne refers to Hip Hop to empower others, with a focus on integrating industry, education and community to create unique pathways for young and professional artists.
Armenian-Lebanese jazz composer and artist Zela Margossian was one of six female artists who had the opportunity to attend AWMA with SSI in 2018.
This year, Ms Margossian will not only be attending the Awards ceremony but will also be taking centre stage and performing her composition piece on piano with Zoe Hauptmann (bass), Ali Foster (drums), and a member from her band, Zela Margossian Quintet, Stuart Vandegraaff (clarinet).
Ms Margossian’s music has been described as “Armenian folk-jazz”, “ethno-jazz” or a “fusion of folk and jazz with traditional Armenian musical influences”. In November 2018, the quintet released its debut album, Transition, which was recently nominated for an ARIA Award in the Best World Music category.
Ms Margossian has performed internationally with piano solo recitals in Beirut, Yerevan, New Jersey, Montreal and Sydney, including a performance with the Lebanese National Symphony Orchestra. With her band, she has made appearances at festivals such as the International Women’s Jazz Festival 2017 and the Beirut International Jazz Festival 2018.
Ms Margossian said she was honoured to perform at the Australian Women in Music Awards this year.
“I’m so grateful to be part of such an important women’s music movement and to share the stage with so many of Australia’s finest female artists and musicians.”
AWMA, the brainchild of Founding Executive Director and Sydney-based music producer Vicki Gordon, has been established to recognise and acknowledge the value, achievements and contribution of women across all areas of the Australian music industry. AWMA is also committed to redressing the underrepresentation of women on the main stage, on radio, in festival line-ups, as award recipients and in the boardrooms of the Australian peak music industry bodies.
Ms Gordon said, “AWMA’s vision is to lead with generosity, to insist that our society benefits when musicians and those who work with them are empowered from a diversity of places, cultures and identities.”
SSI Arts & Culture Program Manager Carolina Triana said that the unique partnership between AWMA and SSI created a platform where culturally diverse female artists could become recognised for their talents and contributions to the Australian music industry.
“Through joint commitment and collaboration the opportunity provided by AWMA to cast the spotlight on women of all backgrounds, is unprecedented,” Ms Triana said.
“It’s inspiring to see talented women like Zela have the opportunity to reach new and mainstream audiences while maintaining their unique cultural heritage.”
AWMA recognises the contribution and value of First Nations and multicultural performers by acknowledging excellence in artistry and musicianship, technical and production skills, cross-cultural development, songwriting, humanitarian work, classical music, music journalism, music photography, filmmaking, management, leadership and more.
SSI Communications Officer Rebeka Selmeczki
M: 0468 998 300