May-June 2018: Mara! to Melboune for Musica Viva in Schools
Mara! performed in Melbourne commencing Sunday May 20 on a solid 2 weeks of touring in Melbourne and environs for Musica Viva in Schools (MVIS).
 
Joining Mara and Llew Kiek for the trip was maestro Dave Ellis on double bass, who has regularly toured with Mara! for Musica Viva over the last three years. Dave has a long history with the MVIS project in other groups too, apart from the amazing variety of work throughout his career - Sydney Symphony, West Australian Symphony and countless tours with international and Australian jazz, pop, world music and variety artists.
 
Paul Cutlan took up the wind chair for week 1. It was a real thrill for Mara and Llew for Paul to be joining us for this week, as his teaching commitments have prevented him from doing this regularly over the last couple of years. Paul has been part of the Mara! family for more than 20 years, having performed with Mara! on many international concert tours in Europe, Asia and Canada, and right around Australia. Paul has also performed on Musica Viva schools tours with Mara! in Singapore and Hong Kong, apart from thousands of shows in Australia.
 
We welcomed Sam Gill, one of Paul's students a few years ago (and who has also studied with Sandy Evans), and now an emerging artist and bandleader on his first interstate tour with Mara!. Sam took up the wind chair in week two of the Melbourne tour. It is very special when we have been able to watch a young musician develop as Sam has done, and he is completely at home with the essence of the band's aesthetic!

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