Emma Donovan

Emma Donovan

Highly celebrated, ARIA-nominated, award-winning Indigenous singer and songwriter Emma Donovan has been touring the country for over 20 years, performing soulful songs, and sharing powerful stories with audiences around the globe.

Emma first appeared on the stage with her renowned family band The Donovans, performing church song renditions with her mother Agnes, her five uncles and maternal grandparents Micko and Aileen.

Emma has toured and recorded with the best in the Australian music scene including Paul Kelly, The Teskey Brothers, Paul Grabowsky, Spinifex Gum and the late Uncle Archie Roach and Aunty Ruby Hunter. Emma is now best known for her work with greatly admired Melbourne rhythm combo The Putbacks and the extraordinary Black Arm Band project. Her collaboration with The Putbacks has won multiple awards including best Soul/RnB album 2021 (Crossover) and 2022 (Under These Streets) at the AIR Awards and Best Soul, Funk R&B or Gospel Act, Best Group and Best Album for ‘Crossover’ at the 2021 Music Victoria Awards.

On her mother’s side, Emma is part of the famed Donovan family of singers of the Gumbaynggirr people, of what is now known as Northern New South Wales. On her father’s side, Emma is of the Yamatji people, of what is now known as Western Australia.

Emma regularly performs songs in Gumbaynggirr and Noongar traditional languages, and shares stories to provide her audiences with an understanding of Country and community.

“Emma’s voice is everything you’d want in a soul singer. She’s the real deal.” – Wax Poetics
"Donovan can front a well-oiled soul band in her sleep” – Rolling Stone

Local Support Act: Jayden Lillyst

Jayden sitting on a sand dune with scrubland behind him, playing an acoustic guitar.

Jayden is a Kerrupjmara man from the Gunditjmara Nation, living and working on Gunditjmara Mirring.
By day he is a DhauwurdWurrung Language Consultant who is passionate about story telling and sharing his journey through song.

Jayden will open the evening with a short set at 7:30pm.




  • Wednesday, 10 April 2024 | 07:30 PM - 09:00 PM


Portland Arts Centre, 4A Glenelg St, Portland, 3305, View Map

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