What started out as a small music program in Ramingining 12 months ago has flourished into the unique group of men that now call themselves The Arafura Swamp Band. Joel Moreta (CDP Activity Coordinator) who started the project describes the early days of the program as “a lot of hard work, there was a lot of driving around knocking on the doors of the guys who signed on to be a part of the program but on some days just didn’t feel like coming, it wasn’t easy, but the vision of the music program was very strong”.

As Joel, the CDP team and participants continued putting in the hard work, they started seeing victories in attendance climbing, budgets for new equipment and Yolngu writing their own music and songs, from all this the vision for what they could do next only continued to grow. 

Recently the program and band took a big set forward as The Arafura Swamp Band were given the opportunity to travel into Darwin to record 3 of their originally written songs. In Co-Operation with Charles Darwin University & Foldback Media, the Band & Team spent an afternoon in the CDU Theatre recording their music and creating what can only be more incredible opportunities ahead.

Martin Gaykamangu (lead vocals) recently said “this band is really good, it’s good to see the younger men working with me and showing the others the right way forward” adding “I’m too old to be famous but maybe they (the younger members of the band) will be the next Yothu Yindi”.

Stanley Gaykamangu (drums) “it has been good to work with ALPA and CDP, all the staff have really helped us put this band together, during our practice sessions we have lots of young up and coming performers watching and joining in”.

 We would like to acknowledge all the hard work that the band and our staff have put in, there is great anticipation to see what the Arafura Swamp Band will work on next. The band are really looking forward to performing at a series of upcoming music festivals in the East Arnhem land communities of Gapuwiyak, Ramingining and Milingimbi (Yurrwi). We are sure that the band will perform well and inspire many more up a coming artist.