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Will Kepa : Associate Artist

Photo of Will Kepa

Will Kepa is a Torres Strait Islander multi-instrumentalist, audio engineer and producer currently based in Canberra studying at ANU School of Music.

After learning to play the guitar in 1998, he enrolled in the Indigenous Music Program at the Tropical North Queensland TAFE in 2000. Graduating with a Diploma in Music, he has become a much sought after musician (drums, bass, guitar and ukulele), songwriter and arranger.

Will has performed with the likes of Johnos Blues Band, Phil Emmanuel, One Drop Reggae, the Briscoe Sisters, Wilma Reading, David Hudson, Kamerunga, Tribe Of Jubal, and Seaman Dan on a regular basis. His skills have taken him to many of the major festivals around the country, such as the Byron Bay Blues and Roots Festival, Woodford Folk Festival, the Dreaming Festival, Port Fairy Folk Festival, the National Folk Festival, the Fairbridge Festival of World and Folk Music, Bellingen Global Carnival, Womadelaide Sounds of the Planet.

Will has also toured internationally with the Torres Strait Dance and Cultural Group Ariw Poenipan in American Samoa for the Festival of Pacific Arts, for special shows for the East-West Center at the University of Hawaii (Manoa), and with Tribe Of Jubal to Papua New Guinea. He has also toured with the Badu Island Aibai Dancers to the Australasian World Music Expo (AWME) in Melbourne. He is the manager of the Kulkal Baba Saibai Island Dancers, presenting their show at CIAF 2009 and AWME 2010.

Working in the recording studio has kept Will very busy over the past few years, as a session musician, music director, audio engineer and producer. Will has produced and co-produced numerous albums including: Zennith Boyz, Patrick Levi, Cygnet Repu, Seaman Dan and Arts Queensland's Listen Up emerging artist compilation CD. He has been involved extensively with documenting of Torres Strait Islander music and dance. Documentary CDs/DVDs have been produced for six communities in the Torres Strait region and one community in the Northern Peninsula Area. These unique projects have given Will the chance to increase his skills as an audio engineer and producer, by being guided and mentored by ARIA-award winning producers and fellow colleagues Dr Karl Neuenfeldt and Nigel Pegrum. A radio documentary about these projects was broadcast on Into the Music by ABC Radio National. Will has and continues to collaborate with major organisations such as Arts Queensland, Australia Council for the Arts, National Film and Sound Archive, State Library of Queensland, National Library of Australia, Torres Strait Regional Authority and Central Queensland University on various recording, archival and performing projects.

In 2019, Will joined Ngarra-Burria, an artist development program intended to build bridges for First Peoples musicians to step forward, further develop their composing skills, and connect with the art music sector. The program was initiated by Dharug composer Chris Sainsbury, and the words 'art music' here refer to the vast spectrum of contemporary classical/new music, contemporary original jazz and improvisatory practice, experimental practice, including sound art and installation, computer music, and more. Ngarra-Burria is proudly supported by the Australian Music Centre.

Biography provided by the composer

Collaborated with



Mentored by

Christopher Sainsbury


Selected Commissions

  Work Commission Details
Digital sheet music sample Ailan Opping : for flute, clarinet, vibraphone & cello (2020) Commissioned by Ngarra-Burria.