The Man they call the Banjo/Dennis O’Keefe

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Dennis O’Keefe and Felix Meagher

Nature of event: Live On Stage : The Man they call the Banjo

Where: Chelsea Yacht Club, Chelsea, Victoria

When: Saturday 10th May @  7:30pm Cost: Tickets $37 inclusive of light supper

Further information: The Man They Call the Banjo… Chelsea media release

Dennis O’Keeffe 

Dennis O’Keeffe’s, one of Australia’s most respected music researchers, singers and writers died earlier this year after losing a battle with cancer.

Mr O’Keeffe had conducted extensive research into the origins of the iconic Waltzing Matilda and performed it for years at the Warrnambool May Racing Carnival where the tune was first heard in 1894 by Christina Macpherson, who later passed it on to poet Banjo Paterson, who wrote the lyrics.

In 2012 Mr O’Keeffe launched his book about ‘the secret story of Australia’s favourite song’. His research was regarded as ground breaking in delving into the real history behind what is often regarded as Australia’s unofficial national anthem. The story has been incorporated into a musical, The Man They Call The Banjo, by Mr O’Keeffe’s brother-in-law Felix Meagher and filmed by the ABC during a performance at Camperdown last year. Mr O’Keeffe was raised in the Killarney district in a large family that traced its history in the area back to the 1850s. He  graduated from Monash University in 1999 with a graduate diploma of arts in Australian folklife studies, but gained most of his experience in writing and performing at least 40 songs based on Aussie stories. ‘The Man they call the Banjo’ continues to play in venues around Victoria.

Full story:  The (Warnambool) Standard