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The Wombats play traditional and contemporary Australian folk songs, dances and music and and visited the North American Folk Alliance Convention in Vancouver and parts of the US west coast in February, 2001. They play a range of instruments featuring piano, violin, accordion, guitar and mandolin.

The Wombats:

thewombatssmall.JPG (15042 bytes) | Biographical Band Notes |
| The Players & their Instruments |
| What they said about The Wombats |
| North American Feb 2001 Tour Dates |
| Musical Links |
| About Wombats |

| Links about Wombats |
| Band Contact Details |

| 200dpi JPG higher quality version of promotional photograph, 51kB |

Band Contact Details:

David De Santi, email:
ph (61) 2 4257 1788, fax (61) 2 4257 1787, mobile 0409 57 1788
PO Box 17, Albion Park, NSW, 2527, AUSTRALIA

Biographical Band Notes

Australia and the World celebrated the 'best ever' Olympics in Sydney in 2000. One of the highlights of the Olympics was the late night television program called The Dream presented by Roy Slaven and H.G. Nelson. Their cheeky mascot for the program was a wombat called Fatso who became the darling of many of Australian and overseas athletes and fans.

So in honour of Fatso and the many other unique wombats living in Australia, a new traditional Australian folk band called The Wombats   has emerged from its burrow and toured the west coast of North America in February 2001.

The band includes three members of one of Australia's premiere dance and folk music bands - Wongawilli. Wombat members David and Tania De Santi are the only original members of Wongawilli still playing with the band which was formed in 1987. David plays piano accordion and is also the Director of the Illawarra Folk Festival at Jamberoo, the biggest little folk festival in the world, and secretary of Wongawilli Colonial Dance Club Inc. Tania plays the piano in a vamping style giving a distinctive accompaniment to the dances tunes and sensitivity to the songs.

Jane Brownlee, the third wombat and Tania's sister, also plays in Wongawilli and has a special connection with the Sydney Olympics having played in the spectacular Opening Ceremony. She was heavily disguised as one of Australia's great folklore heroes, Ned Kelly, and played fiddle in the Tin Symphony section of the Ceremony.

Bruce Cameron, the fourth facially furred wombat, is from Bathurst, west of Sydney and is a fine mandolinist and guitarist playing with such notable undiscovered groups such as the Nodding Thistles, Eight Mile Swamp Creek Bush Band, and the BogFrogs! Bruce is also the coordinator of the Bathurst Folk Club and presents folk radio on his local community station.

Both Bruce and David are also committee members of Folk Alliance Australia.

The Wombats play traditional style Australian folk music which Wongawilli has become renowned. One of Wongawilli's CDs, titled Australian Tradition, has been released in North America by Musica Pangaea. The music for dancing has its roots in the real tradition of 'bush' musicians collected in the field by folklorists. Members of the band are also active publishers of this material, see website: This site has been compiled by David De Santi and also has a number of articles about musical and dancing traditions in Australia; worth reading to get an insight into Australia's cultural development.

The Wombats   can present a 'Bush Dance' featuring Australian social folk dances, a concert featuring songs and tunes and workshops on various aspects of Australian music and life or a combination of these. Samples of Australian tunes the band plays.

Some of the dances The Wombats can present include

Quadrille formation dances (4 couples in a square set)

  • Santoys Quadrille
  • Galop Quadrille
  • Lancers Quadrille
  • Polka Cotillion
  • Waltz Cotillion
  • Wombat Quadrille
  • The Grand March, danced traditionally at the start of the evening and before a quadrille

Couples Dances

  • Berlin Schottische
  • Pride of Erin
  • Frangipani Waltz
  • Prince of Wales Schottische
  • Varsoviana
  • Kings Waltz
  • Princess Polka
  • Brown Jug Polka
  • Dutch Hoe Waltz
  • Barn Dance
  • Manchester Galop

Longways sets dances

  • Country Bumpkin
  • Haymakers Jig
  • Flying Pieman
  • Sandhurst Diggers
  • Double Sir Roger de Coverley
  • Bullockies Ball
  • Virginia Reel
  • La Galopade

Circle Dances

  • Adelaide Race Day
  • Circle Waltz
  • Circassian Circle Pt 2
  • Jubilee Jig
  • Stockyards
  • Blackwattle Reel
  • Jacaranda Dance
  • Circle Galop

Other formations

  • The Tempest
  • Waltz Country Dance
  • Spanish Waltz
  • Jolly Miller Waltz
  • Devil's Triangle
  • La Gursa
  • Dashing White Sergeant

Bruce and David are also Committee Members of Folk Alliance Australia and will be attending the North American Folk Alliance Convention in Vancouver in February 2001 in official capacity.

The_Wombats_1.JPG (40036 bytes) The players:

Jane Brownlee - violin, viola, piano
Tania De Santi - piano
Bruce Cameron - guitar, mandolin
David De Santi - piano accordion

this photo was specially crafted to make Bruce look good and thirsty

What they said about the Wombats:

Many thanks for a wonderful time - the valley is still smiling and saying what a fun show you created for us. Let me know when you are in the states again.

George and the other critters at the San Gregorio Store, California 

North American 2001 tour dates:

Wed 14th to Sun 18th February - supporting the Australian showcase at the North American Folk Alliance Convention

Monday 19th February - Concert and Bush Dance for Seattle Folklore Society, Lake City Community Center - 12531 28th Ave. NE, Washington State.

Tuesday 20th February - Concert and Bush Dance, Woman's Club, 9th and Walnut, Spokane, Washington

Wednesday 21st February - Concert and Bush Dance in Thorn Creek Grill, 520 South Main, Moscow, Idaho.

Friday 23rd February - Concert and Bush Dance, International Music Hall & Bistro, 120 East Main Street, Grass Valley, California

Sat 24th February - Bush Dance for the Sacramento Country Dance Board, YWCA auditorium at the corner of 17th and L Streets, Sacramenti, California (location map)

Sun 25th February - Concert at the San Gregario General Store, 30 miles south of San Francisco

Tue 27th February - Concert at the Henfling's Firehouse Tavern, Ben Lomond, California

Band Contact Details

Musical Links

Folk Alliance Australia
Folk Australia
Australian FolkClub Online

Wongawilli Band Gig Guide
Wongawilli Band Page
Wongawilli Band Recordings & Details
Wongawilli Colonial Dancers

Introduction to Australian Bush Music and Dance

Australian Folk Festival 

Illawarra Folk Festival at Jamberoo

Illawarra Folk Club

About Wombats:

The wombat is a burrowing animal. It can weigh up to about 60lbs and grows to about 3 feet long. It is a nocturnal animal, sleeping during the day and grazing on grass and plants during the safety of the dark hours. It is a marsupial like a lot of Australian animals, but its pouch faces down, so it doesn't get dirt in it as it digs.

There are four different species of wombat. The three animal types are the common Wombat, the Northern Hairy Nosed Wombat (endangered) and the Southern
Hairy Nosed Wombat and the fourth is a species of folk musicians willing to provide their warm and furry music for you.

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Links with information about Wombats

Wombats - Project work on the endearing burrowers features good colour photos and some info on the different species.
Northern Hairy-nosed Wombat details
Read about Wally and his fellow marsupial friends. View the picture and find out more about the species.
Common Wombat - Large, heavily-built marsupial that can be found in forest-covered mountainous areas of South East Australia. Includes photograph and text.
Bendigo - Wonderful Wombats - Scroll through this essay on one of Australia's most loved marsupials. Contains photographs and links to other sites within.
Wombat - The Common Wombat is a nocturnal marsupial and lives in forests in eastern Australia. A Common Wombat ranges from 90 cms long and its tail is 25cms long. It weighs up to 40 kilos. It has a very strong built body and very short stumpy legs.
wombat - This is a wombat This wombat can be found in forests, mountains, and coastal plains in South Eastern Australia. The wombat is a stumpy-legged, chubby animal with short dark brown hair. It is an herbivore.

| Biographical Band Notes | The Players & their Instruments |
| North American Feb 2001 Tour Dates |
| Available Dates for Bookings | Musical Links |
| About Wombats | Links about Wombats | Band Contact Details |

Related Links:
| Australian Bush Music and Dance | Events | Australian Traditional Performers |
| Australian Folk Festival | Illawarra Folk Festival | Illawarra Folk Club |
| Wongawilli Band Gig Guide | Wongawilli Band Page |
| Wongawilli Colonial Dancers |

This page created by David De Santi, Last revised: January 12, 2003.