“The Dom Perignon of our World Music Bands” – Sydney Morning Herald
Over three decades, Mara! have developed a unique musical style which fuses world music with modern jazz expressionism, adding influences from rock to early music, while journeying through Anglo-Celtic, middle Eastern, Balkan and Mediterranean traditions. Mara!’s highly evocative original works are musical mirrors in which these flavours find their dazzling reflection.
Fronted by the remarkable and magnetic voice of Mara Kiek, Mara! has brought its virtuosic concert performances to audiences in 21 countries. Collaborative performance projects include their legendary album of original music Sezoni (Real World Records) with the 25 voice Bulgarian/Australian Choir Martenitsa producing a lush musical feast. In 2000 they performed a 10-night season of the aerial spectacular Homeland (featuring music from Sezoni) with death-defying acrobats Legs on the Wall for the Sydney Olympics – and again at the Berlin LiteraturWERKstat Festival in 2003. In 2005 the Mara! and Martenitsa ensemble toured Sezoni to WOMAD Reading and the Koprivstitsa Festival in Bulgaria. In 2001 Mara! collaborated with the Queensland Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir in Brisbane to perform Mara Kiek’s magnificent Neizvestnoto . In 2004 Mara! and Martenitsa previewed and broadcast their new suite of original music in Italian Tra Parole E Silenzio at Fox Studios in Sydney, then in 2012 they released it on CD and presented it at WOMADelaide 2013.
Mara!’s musicians are among the most highly regarded world and jazz players in Australia. Together in Mara! they create one of Australia’s most exciting, innovative and uplifting ensembles.
Mara! are regular performers at world music festivals around the globe. For WOMAD, for example, Mara! has performed at WOMADELAIDE (Aus) 92,97 and 2013, WOMAD Reading (UK) 97, 2000 and 2005, WOMAD Morecombe (UK) 94, WOMAD Auckland 99, WOMAD Singapore 99 and WOMAD Expo (Hannover) 2000.
Mara Kiek – vocals and percussion
Llew Kiek – guitar, bouzouki, baglama
Sandy Evans – tenor & soprano saxophones
Lloyd Swanton – double bass
Paul Cutlan – alto & soprano saxophones, clarinets