Sirocco (Australian band)

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Years active1980–present
LabelsAustralian Broadcasting Corporation
Past membersBill O'Toole
Andrew de Teliga
Guy Madigan
Michael Atherton
Paul Koerbin
Peter Carolan
Peter Jacob
Paul Jarman
Martin Tucker
Doug Kelly
Chai Chang Ning
Robert Bester
David Hudson
Hugh Moran
Sabahattin Akdagcik
Gang Xue
Jonathan Xue
Mark Cain

Sirocco is an Australian music group that began in 1980 with three musicians: Bill O'Toole, Guy Madigan and Andrew de Teliga. In 1981 Michael Atherton joined and the group recorded their first album Paths of the Wind.

They have been nominated for an ARIA Award for Best Indigenous Release in 1987 (Voyage),[1] for Best Independent Release in 1990 (Port of Call)[2] and for Best World Music Album three times, 1995 (The Wetland Suite), 1996 (Stars and Fires) and 1999 (Falling Leaf).[3]

The concept of the band was to find inspiration from the numerous cultures in Australia. When Sirocco started, the music scene in Australia was classical, rock, jazz and a little folk. However the numerous migrant cultures, such as Chilean, Turkish, Arabic and Irish, had a vibrant music culture. Sirocco tapped into this and brought many of these expert musicians into the band for guest performances.

The early albums and performances were known for the unusual array of instruments rarely seen outside their community, including the oud, cittern, cabrette, kaval, dumbe, tupan. Their instruments were mixed and matched in the same way as the Australian population. Their performances were wild, always getting the audience up and dancing—"the excitement of rock and roll, the improvisation of jazz and the musicianship of classical". Of interest, they performed at lots of weddings because many marriages in Australia were across cultures. The bride and groom came from very different cultures and it was only Sirocco who could perform their music in such an Australian manner.

They are well known for innovation and it was demonstrated in their concert in the endangered Macquarie Marshes in 1993 and the concert with the Dayaks in central Borneo.

Sirocco now have 14 albums released and a video. They have toured over 32 countries including India (four times), Laos, Nepal and Pakistan, and were the first Australian group to tour both Russia and China.


  • Paths Of The Wind (1982) - Arika Records
  • Earth Dance (1983) - Arika Records
  • Voyage (1986) - Larrikin Records
  • Port of Call (1989) - Jarra Hill
  • The Breath of Time (1990) - ABC
  • A Celtic Breeze in the Antipodes (1992) - Jarra Hill
  • Australian Voyage: Folk-Rock Symphony (1992) - Arc Music
  • The Evergreen Realm with Chai Chang Ning (1992) - Jarra Hill
  • Wetland Suite (1993) - ABC
  • Stars & Fires (1995) - ABC
  • Zephyr (1996) - ABC
  • Falling Leaf (1998) - ABC
  • Under the Southern Sky (2003) - private release
  • The Essential Elements (2003) - ABC
  • Young Australians with Sing NSW Choir(2005) - ABC


  1. ^ "ARIA Awards. Best Indigenous Release", Australian Recording Industry Association
  2. ^ "ARIA Awards. Best Independent Release", Australian Recording Industry Association
  3. ^ "ARIA Awards. Best World Music Album", Australian Recording Industry Association

External links[edit]