Saray Iluminado : Sephardic concert at Hobart Synagogue
Melbourne world music ensemble Saray Iluminado will perform in Tasmania for the wonderful Cygnet Folk Festival Jan. 8-10.
This special concert at the historic Hobart Synagogue will feature the songs and tunes of the Sephardic Jews who were expelled from Spain in 1492 and later settled in the Balkans.
Join Saray Iluminado for an intimate performance of Sephardic repertoire that celebrates universal themes of love, grief and the unique Sephardic Jewish life in the cities of Sarajevo, Mostar and others.
“Hauntingly evocative music and songs from Bosnia and Herzegovina and Sephardic Jewish Romances thrilled the audience” MaryLou Jelbart, Fortyfivedownstairs
“Trifkovic seemed to carry us all across time and distance, into a world entirely made of her haunting voice.” Chetna Prakash, The Big Smoke Online Magazine
Saray Iluminado’s first full-length album “Nightingales in the Rose Garden” explores the musical traditions of Sevdah and Sephardic music and delves into the alchemy of the Balkan soul. The sounds of Saray Iluminado are a musical mirror revealing the four reflections of the Balkan spirit: the Slavic, the Ottoman, the Mediterranean and the Jewish.
Nela’s captivating vocals and storytelling intertwine with Ernie’s soaring violin and mandolin sounds. William’s distinctive and deft rhythmic patterns on oud create an intimate dialogue with the mournful sounds of Kelly’s ney and clarinet. This album is a continuation of Saray Iluminado’s musical journey: its repertoire celebrates the rich traditions of the cosmopolitan artistic Balkan cities such as Sarajevo and Mostar.
Ensemble members and guest artist:
Nela Trifkovic (voice) is a Bosnian-Australian composer and singer brought up singing Sevdah and Sephardic music with her father’s bands in south-eastern Bosnia and, later, in Sarajevo and Belgrade. She arrived in Australia during the Bosnian war and went on to study music at WAAPA, followed by a PHD in composition at the VCA.
Ernie Gruner (violin, mandolin, voice) is Australia's leading Klezmer and Sephardic musician and has been profiled in Seth Jordan's book on world music in Australia. He appeared on ABC TV’s “Spicks and Specks”, performs regularly with Bohemian Nights, and has recorded Sephardic music with Soleluna and Melisma.
William Thompson (oud, lute, voice) is drawn to the music of ex-Yugoslavia, as well as Balkan and Mediterranean music. He has performed Sephardic music with medieval music ensemble Troveresse, and has appeared as a soloist with the Astra Chamber Music Ensemble.
Kelly Dowall’s (ney, clarinet, dayereh) studies of the ney flute have led her to Istanbul, and a more recent involvement with Sevdah in Sarajevo. Kelly has performed with traditional and contemporary world music groups including the Australian Arabic Orchestra, Muziz, Kashkul Ensemble, Tulip Garden and the Transbalkan Express.
Hobart, TAS, Australia