Revisiting the EMC

Revisiting the heady days of the North Perth Ethnic Music Centre 1983 - 85

Sunday 26 June 2022, 6pm

The former and much-loved North Perth Ethnic Music Centre was the brainchild of Sydney-based musician, Linsey Pollak, who in 1982 saw the potential for a of a music venue in Perth that would feature the music and cultural heritage of immigrant musicians and dancers whom hitherto had very limited audience exposure outside their own communities. The North Perth Ethnic Music Centre (the antecedent for what became Kulcha in Fremantle) was based at the Lesser Hall adjacent the North Perth Town Hall. Quickly it became a a hub of extraordinary vitality, where Australian-born audiences were discovering for the first time the remarkable cultural depth on offer in their own backyard.

Among the many performers seen at the EMC there were arguably two stand-out groups that captivated audiences. The first was a trio of expatriate Chilean musicians and former miners who arrived in WA around 1980, Los Chaskis. Exponents of Andean traditional music, their ebullient and virtuostic concerts are still vivid in the memory today. The second big attraction was The Roma Band, a Macedonian Romany trio that featured superb clarinettist, Vefke Arsnalovski. A prodigious improvisor, when Vefke played his metal clarinet, the electricity in the room was palpable.

In this walk down memory lane, Hemispheres convenor, Mark Cain (who worked at Curtin University’s Radio 6NR at the time) will talk about the early days of the EMC and feature archival recordings of both The Roma Band and Los Chaskis and other significant EMC artists. Fremantle photographer, Michael Gallagher, who documented many of the performances at the EMC during this time will present an accompanying slide-show recapturing the era. Some of Michael’s printed photographs will also be on display at the venue.

As an extra treat, in a Zoom conversation with Linsey Pollak (from Maleny Qld), we will discuss the founding of the centre and some of Linsey favourite EMC moments.
So please join us for this nostalgic meander down the alleyways 1980’s multicultural Perth.

Tickets here:

Revisiting the EMC
Sunday 26 June 2022
6.00PM (Doors open at 5.00PM)
PS, 22 Pakenham St, Fremantle