Melbourne Ska Orchestra

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Melbourne Ska Orchestra

After amazing crowds worldwide and scoring two ARIA nominations consecutively, the Melbourne Ska Orchestra have taken some well deserved time off to focus on their new album.

According to the group’s energetic and charismatic leader Nicky Bomba, “there are some really nice surprises happening with our new material.”

Commenting on the scale of the band’s size, Bomba laughed while explaining how recording has been a “full on vision to get all those players in one place at one time,” likening the process to trying to organise a soccer team with 30 players who like to go out for coffee’s every five minutes.

Expanding on the Orchestras direction for this release, Bomba explained, “With this new album we want to really place things with a genuine sense of depth. A big thing within the sound of the orchestra is creating different settings and that’s what we have been really focusing on,” he says. “What we are doing at the moment is renditions of some songs because a good song is a good song so it can translate through any genre and style.”

Focusing on world music, the Ska Orchestra have spent a lot of time trying to hone in on complex styles and genres usually represented in certain countries.

“I think our first album was an indication of where we are coming from with the Ska influence, but our other albums including Sierra Kilo Alpha which we won an ARIA for, is definitely an advancement on the genre,” Bomba reveals.

“We feel that we fit in the realm of international ska; we try to bring everything to the table from funk to Latin and even some folk at times. We definitely know where our genre started from; at the moment we have actually been doing a podcast on the history of ska so I think our role at the moment is on this international global scale,” he says.

“We understand the mechanics of traditional ska and we will always have elements of traditional ska, but at the moment we are a lot more interested in creating hybrids of genres.”

The Melbourne Ska Orchestra will be bringing the band down to next years Port Fairy Folk Festival to perform as part of The Pouges Songbook show, and Bomba can’t wait to show the crowds what the Ska Orchestra has been working on.

“For a band like us to exist, there has to be a genuine love for the music so it’s turned into a real family affair. We love playing music and we love having fun with the crowds. With Port Fairy, which we haven’t played before with the band, we are excited to share what we do to the audience there.”

When & Where: Port Fairy – Friday 9th – Monday 12th March, 2018
For more info visit

Written by Alex Callan