The Cat Empire, the MSO and world-class flamenco artists are putting on a show to remember

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The Cat Empire, the MSO and world-class flamenco artists are putting on a show to remember

The Cat Empire
Words by Staff Writer

The Cat Empire's new era is a bold and vibrant reinvigoration of one of Australia's most exciting bands.

So you don’t need us to tell you that their upcoming collaboration with Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and world-class flamenco artists, Richard Tedesco, Johnny Tedesco and Chantelle Cano will be one of the most colourful musical events of the year.

The MSO previously collaborated with The Cat Empire’s Felix Riebl and Ollie McGill on the sensationally successful Spinifex Gum Concerts back in 2022, so it was only a matter of time until they were drawn together again.

The Cat Empire with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra

  • Dates: Thursday 22, Friday 23 and Saturday 24 August, 7.30pm
  • Venue: Hamer Hall, Arts Centre Melbourne
  • Tickets: on sale 10am Friday 28 March at

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New influences and band members in The Cat Empire will see the band lean heavily into the vibrant worlds of Afro-Cuban, Seychellois Kreol, Brazilian and of course, flamenco music. Award-winning musical force Grace Barbe, hailing from the Indian Ocean islands of the Seychelles, is on bass and vocals.

To Cat Empire fans, Daniel Farrugia’s drumming won’t be unfamiliar. He’s toured with the band multiple times and is one of the most in-demand live and studio drummers in Australia. Also bolstering the percussion section is Neda Rahmani – a dear friend of The Cat Empire whose love of language and community has connected her to Afro and Brazilian drumming cultures in Australia and around the world.

They’ve proven themselves to be very exciting flamenco musicians. One song off their hit latest album, Owl, has “an epic flamenco moment” with a “blazing” trumpet solo following the final chorus for the last section of the song. “I think it’s probably the most ambitious epic sound that we’ve ever managed to record,” Felix Riebl told us recently.

In this special concert at Hamer Hall, The Cat Empire and MSO will be performing some exciting new material as well as The Cat Empire classics re-invented for the orchestral world.

Get tickets here.