Scene News: London Klezmer Quartet Calling Australia Tour

4 March to 12 April 2015

“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.

Klezmer now has wide appeal in Australia, bolstered by LKQ’s virtuosic and enthusiastic approach to bringing not just the repertoire, but colourful anecdotes about its origins to audiences, helping to make the music accessible. This is the soulful and celebratory music of Jewish eastern Europe – and wider afield – at its most beguiling and seductive: LKQ combines the subtleties of the original tradition with a kick-the-chairs-over ability to party.

LKQ’s material reflects the sacred and secular experiences of klezmorim across centuries and continents, and their ‘old and new traditional’ tunes move audiences from toe-tapping to tears to in moments. Indra Buraczewska’s powerful voice, ‘Yarraville’ Yiddish and Latvian heritage bring a whole new sound world to the group, adding spice to playing that showcases her musical dexterity and maturity on the double bass and that of Susi Evans (clarinet), Ilana Cravitz (violin), and Carol Isaacs (accordion). The tour will feature songs from the new album including Moses Medley – ‘Let My People Go’, performed in a rollicking bluesy style book-ended with evocations of Moses wandering in the desert and the joy of the promised land; Bulbes, a Polish song of praise for potatoes; Shnirele Perele (String of Pearls), a powerful Yiddish women’s song; and Hei, Melnais Cigans, a melange celebrating both the Gypsy and Jewish ways of life.

LKQ’s performances are infused with klezmer history, both past and ongoing: on this CD, alongside ‘trad. Anon.’ pieces are works penned by the band themselves, and melodies by living composer and accordionist Emil Kroiter; 19th-century fiddler Avrim Bughici; Joseph Hoffman – whose trumpet-playing great-granddaughter transcribed this tune from his band book especially for LKQ to record; and clarinetist Naftule Brandwein. Brandwein was renowned for ‘drinking, alleged association with mobsters, and a tendency to wrap himself in fairy lights, sweat and electrocute himself’!

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)



 Wed   4th Lismore City Bowling Club, Lismore NSW – Workshop 5.30pm, Concert 7.30pm $25/$20 or both $40/$35

 Thurs 5th   Mullum Civic Hall, Mullumbimby NSW   7.30pm $30/$25

Frid.   6th    5 Church St., Bellingen NSW   7.30pm $25

 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

Wed   11th Sydney Jewish Museum, Sydney NSW 7.30 pm $35/$30 or (02) 9360 7999

Frid.   13th Harvester Moon, Portarlington VIC   8pm $30 show $70 dinner and show

Sat.   14th   Melbourne Recital Centre – Matinee 4pm & Evening Performance 8pm $38/$28

 Sun.   15th Minya Vineyard, Conneware VIC – 3.30pm Matinee $35 incl. glass of Minya wine

Thurs. 19th Sydney Conservatorium Open Academy – Workshop 6 – 9pm $75 www.

Sat. 21st   Maitland Gallery, Maitland NSW – Dance Workshop 3pm, Concert 6pm $25/$20 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

Tues 24th Delmar Gallery, Ashfield NSW 7.30pm $30 + bf

Fri. 27th   Petersham Bowling Club, Petersham NSW 8pm $30/$25 + bf

Sat, 28th Clarendon Guest House, Katoomba NSW 8pm $30/$25 + bf

Sun. 29th Clarendon Guest House – Matinee show 1pm $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
Frid. 10th to Sun 14th Fairbridge Music Festival, WA