Australian World Music at its best
 

Mara! Big Band's triumphant launch!

Photography by Grant Leslie

 

The Mara! Big Band exploded onto the Australian music scene in March 2022 with the Parramatta Riverside Theatre premiere of their stunning new work Zashto? as part of the SIMA Jazz Now Summer Festival.

 
Jessie Cunniffe from Sydney Morning Herald described the concert as "... a triumph and a treat".
 
Read full review here

 

2022 dates:

Friday 13 May - Canberra Street Theatre

Saturday 27 August - Springwood Live at the Village Music Festival

Saturday 24 September - Bathurst Memorial Arts Centre

Friday 14 October - Wollongong Illawarra Performing Arts Centre

 

Photography by Grant Leslie

Mara! Big Band line up...

 
Sandy Evans - soprano & tenor saxophones

Paul Cutlan - Eb & Bb clarinets, sopranino, alto and tenor saxophones & piccolo

Lloyd Swanton -double bass

Llew Kiek - bouzouki, baglama, mandolin, acoustic & electric guitars

Mara Kiek - voice & percussion

Andrew Robson - alto and baritone saxophones

James Greening - trombone, pocket trumpet & tuba

Sam Golding - flute, trumpet & tuba

Gary Daley - piano accordion

Jess Ciampa - drums & percussion

Jenny Dornan - voice (soprano)

Jarnie Birmingham - voice (alto)

 
Mara! Big Band's Zashto? project is supported by the Australia Council for the Arts, Create NSW and Blue Mountains City of the Arts Trust.

In April the band commenced recording Zashto? at Studios 301 in Sydney, for release on CD later in the year.

For more information on Mara! Big Band and upcoming tour dates click here

Mara! Big Band EPK

 
 
 
 

Mara! and Martenitsa new album

 

Photograph by Wayne Leatham

 

With recording sessions at Megaphon Studios, Universal Forbes St, and the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, Mara! and Martenitsa's exciting next CD is currently being edited.

This will be a CD devoted to showcasing a wealth of previously unrecorded works composed and commissioned especially for Martenitsa Choir and the Mara! band.

Composers include Llew and Mara Kiek, Paul Cutlan, Laura Bishop and Sandy Evans in addition to Bulgaria's premier choral composer, the late Ivan Spasov. Librettists include Stephan Kozuharov, Marcia Malinova-Anthony, Silvia Entcheva and Mara Kiek.

Engineers Steve Morley, Chris Doherty and associate producer Guy Dickerson are also contributing their expertise.

 

 

 
 
 
 

Crossroads: work continues on new album

Mara and Llew, with Padrig Sicard from Quimper and Yann Cariou from Concarneau, aim to complete a new album for their group Crossroads next year. Planned to be released in 2020, the project won't be continued until international travel restrictions are eased, enabling Llew and Mara to travel to Britanny for furher recording. We hope this will be possible soon. For more news

 

 

 

 

Tra Parole E Silenzio Mara! and Martenitsa's latest CD

Tra Parole e Silenzio is a celebration of life's most precious and enduring treasures - love, home, family and friends, so exquisitely expressed in the poignantly tender poems of Eduardo Di Giovanni and stunningly interpreted by Mara! Band composers and performers Paul Cutlan, Andrew Robson, Steve Elphick, Llew Kiek, Mara Kiek and Sandy Evans, in collaboration with Silvia Entcheva, Naomi Vaughan and the magnificent Martenitsa choir. More about Tra Parole e Silenzio.

 
CD available from our online store.

from Froots (UK) Dec 2012

"The Sydney Morning Herald once referred to Mara! as "the Dom Perignon of (Australia's) World Music Bands", it was perhaps a touch premature, but this collaboration between the group and their Bulgarian-style choir certainly meets that appellation...an unqualified success with its feeling of fresh adventure, sumptuous singing and depth of musical experience."

Read Tra Parole CD review in "The Australian" of April 14, 2012

 

 
 

Listen to some of the music from Tra Parole E Silenzio:

Track 1: "Prima Della Sera"

Watch video featuring "Partii Ch'era Il Giorno di Natale" studio recording (from Tra Parole E Silenzio CD), featuring archival stills and live footage from Woodford Festival amphitheatre stage on Dec 31 2011.

 

 
 

This month's featured videos:

M'en Allant Sur la Lande

CrossRoads, from "De Partir...C'est Mon Plaisir" featuring Llew and Mara Kiek, Padrig Sicard, Yann Cariou, Steve Elphick and Bagad Cap Caval drummers

 

Mara! Electronic Press Kit here

 

 

 

Key photographers: Karen Steaines, Regis Lansac, Steve Turner, Jo Van der Meer, Tracey Schramm and Jim Rolon. Designers Michele Turcsanyi and Ibi Szentirmay. Webdesigner Bradley Major