Bali Spirit Festival, Ubud Bali May 1-5, 2024

Yoga Dance Music Healing

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Nicky Bomba

Nicky Bomba

Multi-Instrumentalist & Vocalist


Nicky Bomba scatters recording devices around his home the way other people scatter reading glasses.

“The studio is my favourite place to be, creating, bringing something to life,”

Nicky has been a blazing creative spark in Australian music for decades: drummer in the John Butler Trio on classic albums Sunrise Over Sea, April Uprising and Flesh & Blood; the driving force behind Melbourne Ska Orchestra, the giant brass collective that grew from a one-off gig in Melbourne to play stages from Bluesfest to Glastonbury and win ARIAs for best world music album in 2016 and 2019. He is a multi-instrumentalist, producer and songwriter who has played in bands from Bomba to Bustamento and worked with greats like Joe Camilleri (their 2005 album Limestone) and Ross Hannaford (the Bomba-produced 1996 album Ross Hannaford Trio is reissued on Bomba’s label Transmitter Records).

Born in Malta, Bomba and his family moved to Melbourne when he was a baby. In 2007 he helped his father Nicol Caruana make an album of folk songs, Malta. In 2020 they were able to spend precious spend time together before his father passed away. The healing power of music is a vital element in the making of Food & Shelter and songs like Changels, which refers to the guiding spirits Bomba feels close to him in times of change and pain.

Self-sufficiency has long been one of Bomba’s personal goals. That’s why he taught himself the art of recording in the first place, to keep musical control at his fingertips. If it ever came to a point where a musician couldn’t even be in a room with musical collaborators – a time where we were all locked down in our homes for an extended period, for example – there would still be a way forward. Food & Shelter is the first album he has made where he plays, writes and sings every note, all recorded in the studio at his home in the beautiful mountain country of north-eastern Victoria.

Nicky will be performing on stage several times at this year’s festival, with his two bands Melbourne Ska Orchestra & Bustamento and with Punnu Wasu.

He will also be teaching workshops, see his schedule, here