New Year 2012 at Woodford Folk Festival
Mara! and Martenitsa performed over 4 days at Woodford festival, featuring the launch of the CD Tra Parole E Silenzio at the Grande, New Year's Eve at the Amphitheatre, 2 shows at the Concert stage, and a Folklorica event (Eurovison All Stars Cabaret).
Dance-meister Gary Dawson lead dances at all our shows, and a dedicated dance workshop; and Martenitsa assisted Llew and Mara in giving a voice workshop. We all really enjoyed the gigs, our last with our dear friend bassist Steve Elphick for a while, the weather was great and the organisation phenomenal!
The video of Partii Ch'era il Giorno di Natale, which you can see from the Mara Music home page, features some footage of the Amphitheatre souncheck.
March 12: "The Planet" ABC Radio National
featured a large part of Mara!'s 2001 ARIA winning CD "Live in Europe", and our friends Chaika
In April: ABC Radio National Book Reading
John Cleary's "You Can't See Round Corners" featured the Mara! band performing Mara Kiek's "Sorella" from the Sorella CD as its theme and incidental music- downloadable from the ABC Radio National website.
Tra Parole E Silenzio CD Launches in March and April:
Mara! and Martenitsa presented their series of 3 CD launches of Tra Parole E Silenzio in the Blue Mountains, Wollongong and Sydney.
In Springwood, a packed hall was mesmerised by the concert, held for Live at the Village. Guest bassist Dave Ellis joined the band with surprise guest Andrew Robson - long term collaborator and co-composer and performer on TPES. This was Mara!'s second appearance for Live at the Village, but the first for Martenitsa.
The Red Rattler and the Illawarra Performing Arts Centre hosted the TPES Sydney and Wollongong CD launches. Two fantastic nights of music were enjoyed by Mara! fans. Guest bassist for both these concerts was Zoe Hauptmann. Tim Clarkson deputised for Sandy Evans in Wollongong, and Andrew Robson performed with us again at the Red Rattler. It was a thrill to work with Tim and Andrew as always.
The IPAC event was presented by the Wollongong Conservatorium of Music, and was preceeded by an afternoon Vocal Workshop from Mara and Llew, also at IPAC.
In May, June and July:
Mara! spent 2 weeks in May touring for Musica Viva in Schools in the Riverina region of NSW. From Wagga Wagga to the far west of NSW Riverland, the tour included some remote schools, schools im regional cities like Albury, Wagga and Griffith, and a very special perfomance at a Wagga Juvenile correctional centre. As performers this last was one of the most rewarding concerts we have ever done; for the audience a chance to participate, show their skills and interact on musical terms with us as visiting performers.
Mara! also performed in Metropolitan North for MVIS in May, June and July. Brett Hirst and Brendan Clarke share the schools' bass chair, and Tim Clarkson, Sandy Evans, Paul Cutlan, Nick Bowd and Richard Maegraith share the 2 horn chairs.
Mara! presented a special evening of their music on Friday June 1 at the Sound Lounge, Seymour Theatre Centre as part of the SIMA International series of concerts. Mara! were invited to perform when McCoy Tyner was forced to cancel 2 nights at the Centre. Mara! 's regulars Sandy Evans, Paul Cutlan and Llew and Mara performed 2 sets with guest bassist Lloyd Swanton (Necks, Catholics), in what was a very exciting evening of world music.
Fresh from a triumph at the Brisbane festival with Meryl Tankard and Elena Katz-Chernin in MAD, Mara returned to join the Mara! band for a show at Camelot Lounge. Lloyd Swanton had recently returned from a European season with The Necks and performed his second concert with the band.
Thanks to engineer Guy Dickerson, the sound in Camelot was exemplary, and was one of the talking points after the show.