Band Biography


And just like that the Melbourne Ska Orchestra turns 20 Years Young!

Formed in 2003 Melbourne Ska Orchestra is an orchestra with a difference. Comprising up to 26 members this juggernaut contains some of Australia’s finest musicians and performers. Helmed by the energetic and charismatic Nicky Bomba (John Butler Trio, Bomba, Bustamento) Melbourne Ska Orchestra are more than just a band, they are an experience to behold.

The band’s debut self-titled release resulted in sell-out national shows, multiple major festival appearances, three international tours, and many awards and nominations. Their sophomore release Sierra-Kilo-Alpha, secured that band its first ARIA award in 2016. Never shying from a challenge the band set a high bar by undertaking the mammoth mission to release a song every week – for an entire year. The resulting 52 songs compiled into a four-album box set, One Year Of Ska earned the band a second ARIA award in 2019.

Melbourne Ska Orchestra’s live performance is explosive and infectious. Their unique take on the genre of Ska has wowed audiences all over the world. From Montreal to New York, Istanbul to London, Tokyo to Mexico and with the approval of Reggae and Ska pioneers like Stranger Cole, Owen Gray, Carlos Malcolm, Ranking Roger and Neville Staples the Melbourne Ska Orchestra sound is resonating with audiences worldwide – young and old.

B2015 2 MSO-11


Release History – 

2013 – Melbourne Ska Orchestra – Self-Titled (double vinyl, CD and digital release)
2016 – Sierra Kilo Alpha (Vinyl, CD and digital) – ARIA Award – Best World Music Album 2016
2017 – Saturn Return (USB and Digital)
2018 – Ska Classics (CD and Digital)
2018 – TV and Movie Themes (CD and Digital)
2018 – Read All About It (Digital)
2018 – Transmission Fridays (Digital)
2019 – One Year Of Ska (CD box set and Digital) – ARIA Award – Best World Music Album 2019
2020 – Live at The Triffid (Digital)
2023 – 20 Years Young – Best of MSO (digital)
2023 – Something Strong (single – digital)
2024 – Aston Is The Man (single – digital)


Awards and Nominations – 

Aria Awards
2013 Nicky Bomba & Robin Mai – MSO Engineer of the Year Nominated
2013 Melbourne Ska Orchestra Best Blues & Roots Album Nominated
2014 The Diplomat Tour Best Australian Live Act Nominated
2016 Sierra Kilo Alpha Best World Music Album Won
2017 Saturn Return Best World Music Album Nominated
2018 Ska Classics Best World Music Album Nominated
2019 One Year of Ska Best World Music Album Won
2020 Live at the Triffid Best World Music Album Nominated

Music Victoria Awards
2013 Melbourne Ska Orchestra Best Global or Reggae Act Won
2016 Melbourne Ska Orchestra Best Global or Reggae Act Won
2018 Melbourne Ska Orchestra Best Global or Reggae Act Nominated
2023 Melbourne Ska Orchestra Best Reggae and Dancehall Work Nominated



Youtube views – 
Get Smart – Music Video – 10,813,072 views
Best Things In Life Are Free – Music Video – 2,203,087 views
Lygon Street Meltdown – Music Video – 1,266,414 views






WOMAdelaide, SA 2012, 2022
Byron Bay Bluesfest, NSW 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2019, 2022, 2023
Golden Plains Festival, VIC, 2013
Caloundra Festival, QLD, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2023
Queenscliff Festival, VIC 2013 & 2015
AWME (Australasian World Music Expo), VIC 2013, 2014 & 2016
Bigsound, Brisbane QLD 2013
Wave Rock Weekender, WA 2013
VIVID Festival, Sydney Opera House NSW 2015
Falls Festival, VIC 2008, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015
Splendour In The Grass, Byron Bay NSW 2016
TEDx Melbourne VIC 2019

Bali Spirit Festival 2024
Global Ska, Mexico City, Mexico 2023
Guama Festival, Mare Island, New Caledonia 2020
WOMADNZ, New Zealand 2013
Hamilton Gardens Arts Festival, New Zealand 2014
Glastonbury, United Kingdom 2014
Montreal International Jazz Festival, Canada 2014
Festival D’ete de Quebec, Canada 2014
Dundas Square Toronto, Canada 2014
Northern Lights Festival Boreal, Ontario Canada 2014, 2015
Beaches Jazz Festival, Toronto Canada 2015
Vancouver Folk Festival, Canada 2015
Sierra Nevada World Music Festival, California US 2015
Boomtown Fair, Winchester UK 2016
Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Scotland UK 2016
Kaya Festival, Wales UK 2016


International Headline Shows:
The Forge, Camden London UK – SOLD OUT 2014
The Garage, London UK 2015 & 2016
Garaj Istanbul, Turkey 2015
The Observatory, Orange County US, 2015
BB King’s Blues Bar & Grill, New York US 2015

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