Welcome to Mara Music - Australian World Music at its best

Mara! big band takes off in 2022

The Mara! Big Band project is the fulfilment of Mara's long held dream to create a bigger, bolder version of her dual ARIA award winning Mara! band, featuring the cream of Australia's jazz and world music illuminati. To the Mara! band's all-star line-up (Sandy Evans, Paul Cutlan, Lloyd Swanton, Llew Kiek) Mara has added seven key players including the welcome return of Andrew Robson on alto and baritone saxophones plus James Greening (trombone & pocket trumpet) Sam Golding (trumpet & tuba), Gary Daley (accordion), Jess Ciampa (drums & percussion) and singers Silvia Entcheva and Jarnie Birmingham.

In 2020, with support from CreateNSW, Mara commissioned 5 composers (all current or former members of the Mara! Band) to compose a original suite for this new ensemble, setting poetry by Australian migrant and refugee poets, with stories of displacement, hope, longing, despair and resignation in their search for a dream... a new life in the "lucky country".

The Mara! Big Band will be touring the new suite with the support of the Australia Council for the Arts.

The pandemic forced the project to be postponed twice in 2020 and 2021, but the tour has now been rescheduled to March 2022, with concerts in Parramatta, Wollongong, Bathurst and Canberra. In August the Mara! Big Band will feature at the Live at the Village Music Festival in Springwood.

You can expect some intricate textures covering Anglo/Celtic, Balkan and Middle Eastern sonic worlds.

"a once in a lifetime gathering"...."a killer line up"

The World Premiere performance of 'Zashto?" is March 2nd at Parramatta Riverside Theatre as part of the SIMA Jazz Now Summer 22 Festival.

For World Premiere tickets and more information

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


Mara! and Martenitsa new album update

With recording sessions at Megaphon Studios, Unversal 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 in mid 2021. 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