State Library celebrates Queensland’s deadly brothers of Indigenous music

State Library of Queensland’s Deadly Brothers exhibition will showcase five Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander musicians whose voices have changed the soundtrack of our state.

State Librarian Janette Wright said the Deadly Brothers exhibition would provide an Indigenous perspective on the Live! Queensland band culture program taking place at State Library from 11 May to 15 September.

“Music has always been at the heart of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures. This exhibition depicts how that music has evolved in Queensland over the years,” said Ms Wright.

The exhibition will profile the sounds and stories of Harold Blair, Mop and the Dropouts, Black Image, Classik Nawu and The Medics, presented through interviews, personal items, lyrics, ephemera and the music itself.

“Deadly Brothers shines the spotlight on Indigenous men whose inspiration is drawn from their culture, and who have made their name in music across a range of genres from the 1940s to today,” said Ms Wright.

“Queensland’s musical story would be incomplete without them.”

Deadly Brothers will provide a musically focused sequel to the female-only Flash Women exhibition which profiled successful Indigenous women through the scope of fashion.

Deadly Brothers will run in kuril dhagun at the State Library from 11 May to 15 September.

A diverse public program of events celebrating Queensland’s rich musical history will also be running alongside the exhibition.

On Sunday’s through July, SLiQ Flicks are looking at Indigenous innovators with free screenings of Wrong Side of the Road, Harold, From Little Things Big Things Grow, and Bran Nue Dae.

Yarnin’ Time will be held in Inala on Tuesday 9 July at the Indigenous Schooling Support Unit, with a focus on locally-grown musical talent.

On Saturday July 13, Golden Days will celebrate the important role dance halls and gatherings have played in Indigenous communities by recreating the days when the music was brassy and the dance halls were alive. Learn the steps at dance classes and dress your best for an evening of celebration with live performances by The Ragtag Band and a cabaret showcase featuring highlights from Steven Oliver’s musical ‘Black Queen, Black King’ in the Red Box.

Other upcoming events include A Night by the Fire with Torres Strait Islander band Classik Nawu on Tuesday 6 August, and A night by the fire with respected storyteller Angus Rabbitt and new generation creator Kyel on Tuesday 3 September.

For one final day of Live! music on Saturday 14 September, State Library will sing to the rhythms of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander performing artists. From lyrical activists to operatic solos, drumming circles to choral interludes, experience the musical diversity of Queensland’s First Nation peoples.

Deadly Brothers
Open daily 10am–5pm, 11 May–15 Sep | Free
kuril dhagun, level 1, State Library of Queensland

SLiQ Flicks: Indigenous innovators
Sundays, 2pm | Free
State Library of Queensland

7 Jul – Wrong Side of the Road (M, 1983, 80 min)
13 Jul – Harold (G, 1994, 60 min)
21 Jul – From Little Things Big Things Grow (G, 1993, 60 min)
28 Jul – Bran Nue Dae (PG, 2009, 82 min)

Yarnin’ time in Inala
Tue 9 Jul, 11am | Free, bookings 3842 9061
The Learning Place, Indigenous Schooling Support Unit, 47 Kittyhawk Ave, Inala

Live! Second Saturdays: Golden days
Sat 13 Jul, 3pm–9pm | Free, bookings 3840 7768
Cash bar open from 5pm | State Library of Queensland
View the day’s timetable at

A night by the fire with Classik Nawu
Tue 6 Aug, 6.30pm | Free, bookings 3842 9061
State Library of Queensland

A night by the fire with Angus and Kyel
Tue 3 Sep, 6.30pm | Free, bookings 3842 9061
State Library of Queensland

The Gathering
Sat 14 Sep, 1pm–6pm | Free
Knowledge Walk, level 1, State Library of Queensland

Visit for the full Live! program.

Media enquiries:
Cinnamon Watson Publicity  |  0432 219 643  |

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