Based in Sydney, Chaika take their name from the Bulgarian word for ‘seagull’. They create a beguiling and original sound-world, blending 4 female voices with Clarinet, Violin, Piano, Accordion, Double-Bass, Guitar and Percussion.
Chaika meet Mzaza on The Mountains Tour - Vision Gallery
A fantastic night of balkan, jazz, gypsy & folk with Chaika & Mzaza
Chaika – The Mountains Tour – Launching the new album ‘I Monti’
Chaika draws influence from folk traditions, jazz and classical music to create a beguiling and original sound-world. Described as ‘cinematic, deeply touching and meditative’, as well as ‘exuberant, virtuosic and uplifting’, Chaika’s strength is the elusiveness of their style.
Their latest release ‘I Monti’ (The Mountains), is a collection of both original and traditional pieces, gently wandering through foreign lands, emerging with an enchanting tale to tale.
‘It is easy to be enchanted by the beauty of their four-part harmony vocals’
– Tony Hillier, The Australian
‘Beautiful! I love the way your pieces often abruptly shift gears, and how the textures change - how we're bopping along with an instrumental when suddenly we're into four-part female vocals… Most of all I love the soul with which you imbue your pieces’
- Martin Wesley-Smith (Australian composer)
Emily-Rose Sarkova: Accordion, Piano, Vocals
Laura Bishop: Percussion, Piano, Vocals, Accordion
Susie Bishop: Violin, Vocals, Guitar
Laura Altman: Clarinet, Vocals
Johan Delin: Double Bass, Vocals
Rendra Freestone: Percussion, Vocals, Guitar.
Mzaza presents a show like no other, with powerful, sultry multilingual vocals and sounds and rhythms from faraway places. A show that will make your heart beat and your feet dance.
Influenced by her Spanish Sephardic roots, French-born front woman Pauline Maudy sings in French, Spanish, Ladino and Turkish. Together with her talented instrumentalists she creates a unique blend of influences from the Mediterranean, the Balkans and the Middle East. Mzaza’s songs are inspired by tradition – gypsy passion, flamenco exuberance, the feel of the desert, and the spirit of the French wordsmiths.
Mzaza’s sold-out shows across Australia and rave reviews have been demonstrations of confidence in the band. Jaw-dropping technique and unique compositions have earned them performances at major music festivals including Woodford Folk Festival, Queensland Music Festival, and the National Folk Festival. Mzaza has supported artists of international standing such as Yasmin Levy (Israel), and Barro Banda (Turkey), and has two releases that have received national and international airplay.
The group’s 2011 album Journey Over Skin celebrates Mzaza’s collaboration with Flamenco guitarist Andrew Veivers. It is distributed nationally and receives airplay on ABC Classic, Radio National, Triple J, SBS and Qantas. Two of the tracks were highly commended in the Queensland Music Awards 2011. The album was featured as Album of the Week on Kanaliena Radio in Greece.
The band’s accomplished multi-instrumentalists play violin, kamanche tarhu (a spikefiddle of Persian ancestry), guitar, double bass, accordion, kaval and ney (Balkan and Turkish end blown flutes), darabuka (Turkish hand percussion), cajon, tapan and bendir (frame drum).