The Rhythm Hunters
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The Rhythm Hunters

Gosford, New South Wales, Australia

Gosford, New South Wales, Australia
Band World New Age


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This band has not uploaded any videos


The best kept secret in music


"Jenolan Thunder | The Rhythm Hunters"

Jenolan Thunder is an inspiring musical pilgrimage using the power of Japanese Taiko style choreography amidst the disciplined, yet powerful frenzy of Taiko drumming.

The Grand Arch, at Jenolan Caves, was transformed by The Rhythm Hunters into a cross genre experience of dance, martial arts and music. Acting as a celebration of cross-cultural influences from Japan to Indigenous Indonesia The Rhythm Hunters have created Australasian Physical Drumming.

The majesty of the Grand Arch became an ancient space providing an indigenous and primal connection to earth via the medium of music. The arrival of didge player, Ian Hakker from the rocky ledge above heralding primordial echoes, predates the performer’s entrance from the road, as they appear like a swarm of cicadas, stopping periodically to drum.

Beginning with Jungle Funk from The Rhythm Hunters new cd, Cicada Factory and using Indonesian frame drums and Balinese gongs as the basis, we were transported by the high energy and groove of a style similar to that of Afro/Cuban percussion. The performance was wild, yet particular. The sheer physicality and masculinity of the male drummers collaborates strongly with the empowered female presence of Jody Lorrae, who encompasses both matriarch and warrior woman.

The transition from high energy and funk, initiated by the piece Talingen a blend of Indonesian Harp and Shakuhachi flute offers an ethereal quality that is haunting, poetic and sweet. Performers positioned on the rock face of the cave wall added to the stillness and ambience of the music.

The second half began with Warrahmatoulah, also from the new Cicada Factory cd, an Indonesian prayer sung by the multi talented Artistic Director, Rendra Freestone and accompanied by dancer, Alfira O’Sullivan. The song originally from Aceh, Indonesia acts as an offering and prayer to promote good will and religious peace. The reverence and sentiment within the music created a hypnotic and sacred mood.

The Rhythm Hunters easily shone and inspired showcasing their skills as musicians with a distinct and finely honed musical craftsmanship. We were taken on an unusual and captivating musical journey that was mesmerising. The intensity of the drums combined with the poetics of dance and martial arts was irresistible. Fluidity of movement and melody offered a magical fusion.

The energy of the performers and music constantly surprises, often, emphatically crazy. Suddenly melts into exotica, heralding a unique but harmonic blend of melodies. Jenolan Thunder presents as unusually stylistic shift for The Rhythm Hunters whose previous performances are usually quite raw in comparison.

This performance however, has solidified a youthful group of performers, combined with the presence of didge player, Ian Hakker and saxophonist, Lee Hardisty who double the resonance with time honoured sounds, entirely appropriate for the ancient strength of The Grand Arch.

The Rhythm Hunters are clearly a favourite with the audience. Many of who have travelled long distances to be there to enjoy this unique and wonderful musical experience. - Australian Stage Online


Soundscapes-- 2004
Live at Matcham Hall-- 2005
The Cicada Factory-- 2009



The Rhythm Hunters fuse the thunder of taiko drumming with remote indigenous Islamic music from West Sumatra, Indonesia. Expect to see taiko, frame drums, kettle gongs, bamboo flutes, didgeridoo, fast island log drums and West Sumatran folk songs woven into a dramatic visual spectacle. Escape to long echoes in hidden valleys of distant laughter, primal ceremony and the beat of a lone drum. Infectious multi - instrumentalist, Rendra Freestone is fast raising the profile of his Sumatran heritage with this dramatic fusion.The Rhythm Hunters have their home base on the central coast at The Rhythm Hut. Located centrally in Gosford members if the group teach weekly drumming classes including classes in Japanese Drumming, African Drumming, Drumming for Kids, Didgeridoo to name a few.

Background Information

In 2005 The Rhythm Hunters were selected in the top 20 emerging folk and world music artists to perform at the Australian Folk Convention in Canberra. Since that time The Rhythm Hunters have gone on to perform at The National Folk Festival, The Dreaming, The Woodford Folk Festival, Parliament House Canberra and Sydney, Museum of Contemporary Art, Luna Park, Edagowa Gardens, Darling Harbour Indonesian Bazaar Indonesian Consulate, Sydney Town Hall, Sidetrack Theatre, Paddington Town Hall, CoastFest, Peats Ridge Festival, Australian Gymnastic Championships and Government House, Sydney – Festival of Flowers.In the corporate sector The Rhythm Hunters performed for the Australian Astra Awards (2007), The Australian Entrepreneur of the Year Awards (2008), and Australian Business Management Awards (2008) and Itoshu International Product Launches in 2009 to name a few.

In 2009 The Rhythm Hunters were invited to perform in Indonesia at the 14th Yogyakarta Gamelan Festival and The Pekan Kebudayaan Aceh (Closing Ceremony) in Banda Aceh.The Rhythm Hunters perform nationally as part of Pans Events Cultural Infusion program specializing in Indonesian and Japanese shows.

Artistic Director - Rendra Freestone

As a musical director Rendra has directed music for the closing ceremony for CoastFest over two years coordinating over 150 musicians in both instances. In 2006 Rendra was the artistic director of ‘Spirit Valley Dreaming’ known as The Dusk Drum Event on New Years Eve at the Peat’s Ridge Festival. Rendra composed the directed music for over 180 musicians in this groundbreaking event.

Through Gosford City Council, Rendra has been musical director for The Australia Day Lantern Parade in Woy Woy and The Award Winning Cultural Event, 5 Lands Walk.In 2007 and 2008 Rendra directed Jenolan Thunder, collaboration between The Rhythm Hunters and Jenolan Caves Heritage Trust. This was a sold out event in the grand arch of Jenolan Caves.