Thursday, August 24, 2023


Mackay and Whitsunday Life

Saluting The Sun

Coming back to their roots, Sun Salute will be cruising into Airlie Beach this weekend for the Great Barrier Reef Festival.

Formed in the cool snow of Falls Creek in Victoria, duo Jarrah Kurth and Tane Tokorangi moved up north to the warm climate of Airlie Beach and created the Sun Salute band with its seven other band members.

“Over the course of the last few years, we grew into a seven-piece band, as we began playing records and needed more instruments,” explains Jarrah, who is on the drums for Sun Salute.

Together, they called Airlie Beach home for five years, before each of the members made their way south, some to Byron Bay, others the Sunshine Coast, and some in Melbourne.

But the energy of the music never left them, with the members regularly travelling for shows and to record new music.

“When we do come together and play, it’s a great energy on stage,” said Jarrah.

“We love playing together and we’re all great friends, and I think people can feel that.

“It’s a special special energy, and we’re just stoked to come back to Airlie Beach.”

On the line-up is Tane Tokorangi, with melodic vocals and guitar, Airlie Beach local Dylan Hammond on bass and vocals, Saia Latau with the keyboard and vocals, and Nestor Galapia with percussion.

Chris Booroff on guitar and trumpet, and Chelsea McNeiley on saxophone, are also welcome additions.

Sun Salute have become a synonymous staple on the reggae, roots, and funk scene, with eclectic electric tunes and the perfect vibes for a Saturday night performance.

Returning to Airlie Beach almost yearly, this will be the first time the full band performs for the Great Barrier Reef Festival.

“We began in Airlie, it’s where we grew the band and we’re excited to be able to play in front of lots of familiar faces,” said Jarrah.

And lucky for Airlie Beach, Sun Salute will perform one or two of their unreleased upcoming tracks, for the crowd.

“It’s all funky reggae, good vibes, good energy, and good connection,” Jarrah said.

“To get everybody together to be able to write new music, yeah it’s a bit challenging, but this just makes it so much more special to be able to spend time together in the studio writing and playing, it’s a lot of fun.

“And everybody in the band is a songwriter, everyone’s got creativity.

“So many ideas and so much inspiration to bring to the music, we’re never short of any ideas musically, it’s just getting together and getting it recorded.”

How would you describe your music?
“You know, if you had to describe it in one word, it would be connection; connecting with the audience, the audience connecting with us on stage, with the music, and connecting with yourself.”

WHAT: Sun Salute for Beats On the Beach

WHERE: Airlie Beach Foreshore, Beach Stage

WHEN: Saturday 5 August, from 6pm

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