KRISTIAN Benton will be swapping the sands of the Coffs Coast for an absolute desert early in the new year, and in the process flying our flag at Australia Day celebrations he will never forget.
The local didgeridoo maker and player will be the guest of the Australian embassy in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, on January 26.
He will perform at the Hilton Hotel alongside legendary singer-songwriter Russell Morris and Kristian’s services have also been retained for workshops at international schools and to play at an ‘Aussies Abroad’ gathering on January 28.
“I’m really looking forward to it. I hope to gain more experience and hopefully it will lead to more performances. I don’t really know what to expect from my trip, but I will just go with the flow and enjoy it,” Kristian said.
“I’ve played a lot of festivals in Australia, but I haven’t been overseas yet.”
Australian embassy representatives in Abu Dhabi contacted Kristian when they spotted his music on an indigenous music website and they asked if he could perform for them.
Kristian is a proud descendant of the Ngemba tribe of Brewarrina and his strong appreciation of Aboriginal culture began at an early age.
“I’ve learnt traditional playing from North East Arnhem Land and I’ve played it since I was about 18 – that’s when I took it seriously and started making and playing the didgeridoo at the same time. It got hold of me. Being part-Aboriginal I always had an interest in it and I wanted to learn it properly.”
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