Kankawa Nagarra (Olive Knight)

Singer Songwriter

Kankawa Nagarra is a Walmatjarri Elder and blues singer-songwriter from the isolated desert community of Wangkatjungka in WA’s East Kimberley. She fell in love with the blues after hearing it on the radio as a young woman, the music reminding her of the repetitive sounds and rhythms of the traditional Aboriginal music she was brought up with in the desert. She did not own her own guitar until she was 40 but went on built an international career as a touring artist, singing the blues in her own language and has releasing three albums since then. 2019 saw her on the road in the USA and Europe with Hugh Jackman as part of his production, “The Man, The Music”.

This unique and inspiring performer is also a well-respected elder, teacher, mentor, human rights advocate, and deserves to be recognised as a national treasure. Kankawa has collaborated with David Hyams (harmonica, guitar) and Lucky Oceans (pedal steel, dobro) for the “Songs For Freedom” national tour in 2023 and will be joined by Lucky and David for her JNF 2024 show.