Biography - Music From My Soul
Dallas Jon Vea Vea – also known as ‘Inky’ - was born in 1956 in Maryborough and still calls Hervey Bay home.
His indigenous cultural connections are to the ‘Spirit of Land’ people near Warra, Dalby, Jimbour, Chinchilla and western Bunya Mountains, as well as to Cherbourg community, and the 'Undumbi' people near Glass House Mountains.
Jon also has cultural connections to Vanuatu, specifically to Walaha Passage - Nduindui on Aoba Island, to Belavoko - Pic Malo on Malo Island, and thru kustom adoption to Ambrym Island.
His Mother and two Aunties were popular local professional singers much admired for their vocal harmonies. His South Sea Islander Grandmother was famous for her garden parties. Inky as a youngster was soon expected to become part of the entertainment at these successful fundraising events.
He later joined local band Main Course and learned more about the art of live performance at pubs alongside his musically talented Cousins.
Joining the Queensland Railways, Jon traveled widely through South East and Western Queensland. He suddenly felt a strong desire to learn the guitar, like his Aboriginal Father. A fellow worker was only too happy to lend Jon the guitar he kept in the boot of his car.
Hours of dedicated practice followed...
Moving to new opportunities working for Commonwealth Government employment services, Jon joined the Country Music scene of Bundaberg as well as playing every weekend in a successful duo Kiwi Konnection. One highlight during this time was playing solo to a crowded stadium at a Bundy Bears Football grand finale. Another highlight was his original song ‘My Father’ being given airtime on ABC Regional Radio.
His strong sense of social justice eventually saw him move into paralegal work with indigenous people in Burnett Region, then later Fraser Coast. Settling once again in his home town Hervey Bay, Jon joined Mike Knight and his Swing Trio. Here he gained confidence in 'laid-back and easy' Swing Jazz. Jon composed more original songs, including ‘Pain In My Heart’, 'Magic Spell', 'In My Room', 'Answers', and ‘Condamine Crying’.
When the opportunity came to take a job at Chinchilla as an Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Officer ‘walking the line’, Jon did not hesitate. At last he had a chance to return to the traditional custodian lands of his Aboriginal Grandfather near Warra on the Western Darling Downs. With a renewed sense of belonging as a proud member of the Cobble Cobble clan, he created another original song titled ‘Through My Grandfather’s Eyes’. Again it was given airtime on ABC Regional Radio. Jon hopes one day to create and stage a musical production based on his Grandfather’s life story.
Over the past decade Jon has enjoyed wonderful musical collaborations with other talented Fraser Coast musicians. These have included Hervey Bay Council for the Arts, Rinkydink, Mojo, Sounds on Sunday, and The Acoustic Jabiru. As a songwriter/composer, Jon is a member of the Australasian Performing Rights Association Ltd (APRA) and enjoys mentoring other musicians of all ages in aspects of live performance. He finds it very satisfying to help them discover their strengths and become more confident performers.
In 2013 Jon was awarded the Fraser Coast NAIDOC 'Senior Male Community Person of the Year' for his contribution to the local community and to indigenous culture. In 2016 Jon received a Fraser Coast NAIDOC 'Songlines Individual Award senior category' for mentoring Lilly Pilly Choir. He also shared the 2016 NAIDOC 'Songlines Group Award' for the initiative of promoting live music, free to the public, at a new performance venue 'Yawar' (meaning song/corroboree) in Pier Park Urangan.
On May 27 2017, a live-performance premiere of Jon's originals titled 'Music From My Soul' was filmed at the Bond Store Museum Maryborough. (This event acknowledged the 50th anniversary of the historic 'Yes" Vote referendum that resoundingly supported recognition of indigenous people in the Australian census.) The new compositions showcased included: ‘Final Farewell’, ‘Living The Dream’, ‘See You In The Dreamtime’, and 'Wangari Cries On K'gari. The CD and DVD titled 'Music From My Soul' are now available for purchase. (Orders can be made via contact page.)
On receiving a special request for permission to base choreography on 'Wangari Cries on K'gari', Jon responded by creating a Dance Remix. This was performed for the first time by indigenous students in the 'Beach to Bush Cultural Enrichment' program at Torquay State School.
By popular demand, 'Music From My Soul' was performed again on 23 September 2017 at ZPAC Theatre in Hervey Bay. This time The Acoustic Jabiru trio performed, with special guest Aboriginal dancer Aaron Henderson providing 'Welcome To Country', didjeridu soundscape, plus new choreography for 'Wangari Cries On K'Gari'.
In November 2017, Jon was selected to participate in 'By The Beach' Indigenous Music Residency. This was a precursor to performing for the *Bleach Festival held concurrent with the Commonwealth Games in April 2018. He also performed for The Big Bundy BBQ for the Royal Visit of Prince Charles to Bundaberg.
In 2018 Jon Vea Vea undertook a regional community tour performing in the Aboriginal communities of Cherbourg, Palm Island, Mungalla, Yarrabah, and Hopevale, as well as Cooktown, Charters Towers, Maryborough and Gin Gin. This project was supported by the Queensland Government, through Arts Queensland. Whilst on tour he recorded two new originals: 'Always Somebody's Fool' and 'As Long As You Stay In Your Place'.
During 2019 Jon enjoyed a duo partnership with Lachlan Court (keyboards) and energetic gigs with a new 5 piece band called Nite Groove.
'Inside My Room' Lyrics and music by Jon Vea Vea Recorded at Walaha Studio 2008