Black and white photograph of the Mokambo Orchestra. This photograph relates to the Museum's collection of music stands which belonged to the Mokambo Orchestra and which feature in the photograph.

The Latin-American band Mokambo was formed by Italian-born brothers Ugo and Bruno Ceresoli in the early 1950s. The band, consisting primarily of Italian-born performers, performed at dances and receptions around Melbourne for over thirty years. Original orchestra regulars included: Ugo [button accordion], Bruno [double bass], Jo Muhrer [singer], Renzo Conte [drums], Alberto Caselli [saxophone], Guido Maiorano [trumpet], Nino Cabrera [trumpet], Ken Withbourne [piano] and Giuseppe Alessandrello. Regular venues included: La Cumparsita Hall (also known as Mokambo Hall) corner Kay and Canning Streets, North Carlton; Fitzroy Town Hall, San Remo Ballroom at 365 Nicholson Street North Carlton, and the Circolo Italiano Cavour (Cavour Club) in South Melbourne.

Description of Content

Eleven band members, including one female singer. Band leader Ugo Ceresoli with accordion at far right. There are six music stands standing in front of band members across front of stage.

Physical Description

Black and white photograph on paper.


This photograph documents music stands which are rare examples of material culture from music band ensemble activity which tend to be ephemeral and not survive. They enable the representation of diverse popular performance in Melbourne in the 1950s and 1960s, particularly significant for the culturally-specific composition of the band members, yet broad popular appeal of the style of music. The photograph and related musicstands also represent the importance of dance and music events as ways to bring communities together.

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