In an Australian exclusive performance, the celebrated African American artist, art educator, and singular musical voice Lonnie Holley explores the haunting but exuberant sounds of cultural decay.

Lonnie Holley


Bennelong Point
2000 NSW

Sydney Opera House
Lonnie Holley
Lonnie Holley

Event Details

Visionary outsider, cult experimental performer, musical surrealist: 69-year-old African American artist Lonnie Holley is a junkyard poet of modern culture, and he’s bringing his unique sonic improvisation to the Sydney Opera House’s evocative Utzon Room for an exclusive Australian performance.

As mythical as he is musically gifted, Holley was born in racially segregated Birmingham, Alabama, the seventh of 27 children, raised by a burlesque dancer and traded, he says, for a bottle of whiskey as an infant. Since the late ’70s he has dedicated his life to improvisational creativity, moving between sculpture, found art, and music born of struggle and curiosity. Holley’s music, performed with spacey loops, jazzy percussion, and stream-of-consciousness vocals, is improvised on stage, recalling Gil Scott-Heron, Alice Coltrane, Miles Davis, Arthur Russell, and Tom Waits, and he has collaborated and toured with Bon Iver, Dirty Projectors, Animal Collective, Bill Callahan, Julia Holter and more. Holley’s latest, MITH, was hailed as one of the records of 2018.

General Public tickets on sale Friday 22 March 2019.

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Access and Inclusion

  • Companion card - The Companion Card is for people with a significant permanent disability, who always need a companion to provide attendant care type support in order to participate at most available community venues and activities.
  • Wheelchair accessible - Access to the venue is suitable for wheelchairs (toilets, ramps/lifts etc.) and designated wheelchair spaces are available.