November 24: Mara! 35th Anniversary Concert with Martenitsa Choir @ Camelot Lounge - SOLD OUT!
Mara! celebrated 35 years of performing their uniquely Australian brand of world/jazz/fusion around the globe, with a concert at Camelot Lounge on Sunday 24 November 2019.
 
Joined by long term collaborators, Martenitsa Choir, Mara! took a look back at their extraordinary musical journey over the past three and a half decades. They played hits from their seven CDs (2 ARIA winners & 2 ARIA nominees), including 'Sezoni' and 'Tra Parole e Silenzio', two classic albums of original music featuring the exquisite voices of Martenitsa and thier magnificent soloist Silvia Entcheva. 
 
It was a night to remember with Camelot Lounge packed to the rafters and the band and choir playing up a storm that lasted nearly 3 hours, displaying their remarkable skill, virtuosity and originality throughout.
The audience included staunch fans, new faces seeing Mara! and Martenitsa for the first time and some English fans who remembered first seeing the band in the UK in the mid '80s.
 
At one stage, Lloyd graciously surrendered his bass so that Steve Elphick, (who played with Mara! for 27 years) could take the stage to play the arresting Sephardic song  'Por ayi paso un kabayero'.

A highlight of the night was the performance of guest Bulgarian kaval player Ivo Karamanliev, a rising star whose virtuosic playing enhanced both the traditional and original repertoire. 
 
Martenitsa choir showcased new repertoire, including one beautiful piece of Bulgarian liturgical choral music by the legnedary Dobri Hristov, which featured the remarkable voice of Martenitsa's female tenor, Jennie Lin.
 
 

 
 "....different sound-worlds kept opening up like fresh vistas on a maritime journey…ultimately it is the collective imaginative responses to its influences that makes Mara! such a bright jewel in Australia's world-music crown." SMH (Sydney) 2016

… "The Dom Perignon of Australia's World Music Bands" – SMH (Sydney) 2005

…“ All elements faultlessly fall into their place, (and) coupled with the virtuoso musical spectacle that they offer, their fusion is a wonderful experience.” De Standaard (Belgium) 1999 

“…an extraordinary, fascinating performance.” Weser Kurier (Germany) 1997

"... a coup de charme which goes right to the heart." Le Telegramme (France) 1994 

"...there is a brilliant simplicity that reminds us at times (if one needed to make comparisons with the area of pop music) of the communicative urgence of Violent Femmes or certain strongly lyrical pages of the Cocteau Twins..." Tim Tam (Italy) 1991    

…“Beautiful, better than new... the music is more than the sum of its components... oblique, unexpected, witty... each musician interested in what the other players produced that night – that of course inspired one.” TAZ Bremen (Germany) 1990  

"... sensational...the connection that spans the traditional melodies and modern jazz expressionism creates a unique mixture which stands alone...is pure and has been elevated to an art form..." Pforzheimer Zeitung. Stuttgart (Germany) 1987

 "... MARA! predate the current vogue for jazz and roots music. What they offered was a glorious melange of traditional and contemporary..."Glasgow Herald (Scotland) 1986

 "... their virtuosity and unexpected instrumental manoeuvres are breathtaking..." Folk Roots (England) 1985

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