Q&A Scene: Ilana Cravitz of The London Klezmer Quartet


Tell us about your new single/ album/ tour?
London Klezmer Quartet Calling is our third album since we formed in 2009. We went into the studio in Melbourne this time last year, and now we’re touring our new material for 6 weeks in music venues, local halls, schools, festivals, art galleries – even a vineyard! We’re looking forward to getting back into the sun for more of that legendary Aussie warmth and hospitality.

How would you describe your sound in food form and why?
We’re like a dark Belgian chocolate bar with fruity fondant inside – rich with some intensity, can be bittersweet, but with an essential lighter side. Moreish! The band has been described as bringing you the subtleties of the original tradition, combined with a kick-the-chairs-over ability to party, so you get the picture.

Which song resonates most strongly and why?
Forn forstu fun mir avek (You’re Leaving Me). A Jewish woman laments her lover going away to the Czar’s army: a song on the eternal themes of love & loss. It’s sung in Yiddish – an endangered language – by Indra (also our double bass player) in a really evocative way.

Any on the road anecdotes?
The ignition barrel of Indra’s car came away in her hand one morning when we were in Glen Iris (VIC), due at a school gig far outside Melbourne. Our host was about to drive to a funeral but lent us her car, so we piled in and got there in time (just) within the speed limit. Thanks Pam!

Where do you draw inspiration from?
Our cultural backgrounds, travels and musical experiences. So while our music is firmly grounded in Eastern European Jewish tradition, we have a medley that combines a Latvian folk song (Indra’s heritage) with a Russian folk tune and an original melody; tunes in unusual time signatures by Susi, who as well as being an inspirational klezmer clarinet player is really into Balkan music; a kolomeyke (dance) tune of mine that’s got a bit of English folk in it as well as the Jewish element; and Carol’s tune ‘Kiev to Karrada’, which features a klezmermised version of an Iraqi folk song she has from her Sephardic Jewish background, as well as her Arabic-style accordion solo.

What’s next for you?
A bit of R&R after the tour (at least 2 days!) then back to the round of concerts, weddings, bar mitzvahs… We’ve got a busking festival coming up in Switzerland in August, as well as a raft of fun gigs. Details at www.londonklezmerquartet.com/gigs.html

What’s your scene?
World/folk. Acoustic and proud of it!

About the The London Klezmer Quartet

“When Buraczewska sang, all the earthiness, profound melancholy and celebratory joy you could desire came surging to the fore via her vast, singular contralto.” Sydney Morning Herald, 2014

At the end of their last highly successful visit to our shores in early 2014, the London Klezmer Quartet (LKQ) recorded their third album, ‘LKQ Calling’, in Melbourne. Their previous CD, ‘Butterfield Green N16’, garnered rave reviews internationally and the new one has already been described as ”the best album so far” (Trad & Now). The band’s growing Australian fan base, built over three tours in as many years, is bound to respond enthusiastically to the latest material and bring in new fans at live shows when the band returns in 2015.

Critics have hailed LKQ as having a confidence that few groups achieve even after years of playing together. Their tight ensemble work and collaborative approach draws in music devotees from across the board, and the 2015 Australia tour reflects this wide appeal: as well as playing well over a dozen concerts and two festivals, LKQ will be taking time to run their popular workshops for amateur and professional musicians, and to enthuse the next generation with a series of performances in schools. LKQ Performances this time around will take place in an amazing variety of venues: from art galleries; vineyards; synagogues; museums; bowling clubs and classical halls, to world, folk, and community music venues and festival stages.

“With artistry like this, the music doesn’t have to be reinvented” (Simon Broughton, Editor Songlines)

www.londonklezmerquartet.com/reviews.html. www.londonklezmerquartet.com/epk.html.



Wed   4th Lismore City Bowling Club, Lismore NSW – Workshop 5.30pm, Concert 7.30pm $25/$20 or both $40/$35 www.trybookings.com/GQXJ
Thurs 5th   Mullum Civic Hall, Mullumbimby NSW   7.30pm $30/$25 www.trybookings.com/GPTD
Frid.   6th    5 Church St., Bellingen NSW   7.30pm $25 www.5churchstreet.com
Sat.   7th   Wauchope Arts Hall, Wauchope NSW 8pm – $25/$20 Tickets at door
Sun.   8th   Newcastle Synagogue, Newcastle NSW – Matinee Workshop $30/$25/$20 3 – 5.30pm www.trybookings.com/GQXI
Wed   11th Sydney Jewish Museum, Sydney NSW 7.30 pm $35/$30 rsvp@sjm.com.au or (02) 9360 7999
Frid.   13th Harvester Moon, Portarlington VIC   8pm $30 show $70 dinner and show www.harvestermoon.com.au
Sat.   14th   Melbourne Recital Centre – Matinee 4pm & Evening Performance 8pm $38/$28 www.melbournerecital.com.au
Sun.   15th Minya Vineyard, Conneware VIC – 3.30pm Matinee $35 incl. glass of Minya wine www.theminya.com.au
Thurs. 19th Sydney Conservatorium Open Academy – Workshop 6 – 9pm $75 www. openacademy.sydney.edu.au
Sat. 21st   Maitland Gallery, Maitland NSW – Dance Workshop 3pm, Concert 6pm $25/$20 www.mrag.org.au or (02) 4934 9859
Sun 22nd North Shore Temple Emanuel , NSW – Matinee Children’s Workshop & Community Concert
Sun 22nd Camelot Lounge, Marrickville NSW 7.30pm $30 /$25 + bf www.stickytickets.com.au/22523
Tues 24th Delmar Gallery, Ashfield NSW 7.30pm $30 + bf www.trybookings.com/GRDJ
Fri. 27th   Petersham Bowling Club, Petersham NSW 8pm $30/$25 + bf johnsgigs@gmail.com
Sat, 28th Clarendon Guest House, Katoomba NSW 8pm $30/$25 + bf www.clarendonguesthouse.com.au
Sun. 29th Clarendon Guest House – Matinee show 1pm www.clarendonguesthouse.com.au $30/$25 + bf


Frid. 3rd to Monday 6th   The National Folk Festival, Canberra ACT
Thurs. 9th Workshop, Temple David, Mount Lawley, Perth, WA 7-9pm www.trybookings.com/GQML
Frid. 10th to Sun 14th Fairbridge Music Festival, WA www.fairbridgefestival.com.au



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