The cancellation of a festival to celebrate the arrival of the Burmese Kachin community in Wagga will not stop a group of local musicians from sharing their culture with the city.
Rvzi, a group of musicians from the Kachin in Myanmar, began playing together at Burmese church services in Wagga.
On October 31, they will take the stage at the Wagga Civic Theatre as a band to perform a range of traditional and contemporary Burmese songs, including from the Rawang people in Kachin.
Band member Phongsar Konglang said the group decided to perform to help raise funds for Burmese refugees stranded in Malaysia due to the coronavirus pandemic.
He said the group had their own experiences of how difficult finding work and supporting a family could be as a refugee in Malaysia, and the pandemic was making it even harder.
"They are really affected with the COVID-19," he said.
"We really hope to Malaysia refugee people, they will feel better."
Po Tiwangce said some of those stranded in Malaysia were close friends of the band.
"They're still seeking for opportunity to go to other countries, not only Australia but America, Canada and all over the world so they're just waiting," he said.
Pongram Rawang said one of the places they wanted to help was a refugee school in Malaysia he used to volunteer at which has suffered from the loss of income in the community.
"Right now they've closed the school, because no sponsor and because of all the job losses of the kids' parents," he said.
While some of the band members had previously travelled to capital cities to play as part of major Burmese music festivals, Po Tiwangce said the Civic Theatre performance would be their biggest locally.
"It's a privilege to do something like this, this is next level stuff," he said.
The concert comes after a planned Manau Festival in Wagga to celebrate the arrival of Kachin people to the community was postponed because of the pandemic.
Phongsar Konglang said the band had future plans to continue sharing their music and helping those less fortunate.
"We want to do more of our cultural songs and then I think we want to share all the different kinds of music to the people," he said.
The concert will be held at 7pm on Saturday, October 31 with tickets available from the Wagga Civic Theatre.