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Klezmer is the folk idiom of the Jewish people – the music of dance halls and weddings, The Kugels bring these exciting and evocative songs to the stage, sharing their passion and skill with audiences. From heartfelt laments to wild dances traditional music is woven together with compositions by NZ Arts Laureate Ross Harris. A shared love of this music has drawn together the combined talents of these musicians - all prominent soloists in their own right.
The ensemble features the highly expressive sound of violin, clarinet, accordion and bass, laced with the multi-talented reeds of Debbie Rawson on soprano sax, clarinet, bass clarinet, and the Maui Xaphoon. A wide palette of sound is produced by these versatile musicians, and their concerts are presented with a commentary which is informative, entertaining, and engaging.
"The band is tight, with Debbie Rawson and Robin Perks by turns plaintive and zesty on reeds and fiddle, while Harris' compositional ingenuity, over 23 short pieces, is staggering".
William Dart NZ Herald
Deborah Rawson studied clarinet at Canterbury University and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London. She returned to New Zealand and became established as soloist, chamber and orchestral player, university tutor, and founding member/leader of several chamber ensembles [Zelanian Ensemble, Pro Musica, Constanza Trio, Tango Virtuosi, Klezmer Café!, Saxcess, Galvanised, and others].
She is a featured soloist on many cds and sound tracks for the NZSO and New Zealand film and television industry, Deborah has toured many time with Chamber Music New Zealand and orchestral activities have included principal clarinet of Sinfonia of Wellington, and contract orchestral soloist with the NZSO, performing on all members of the clarinet and saxophone family.
Robin Perks studied violin in Christchurch, Wellington and Berlin (at the High School for Music and Performing Arts) and was a founding member and Concertmaster of the NZ National Youth Orchestra for three years. In Berlin he performed for several years with the Orchestra of the German Opera was a member of the BBC Training Orchestra, Bristol, the Orchestra of the Royal Ballet Touring Company (England), the Southwest German Philharmonic (Konstanz), and the NZSO. He has always had a particular passion for Klezmer, and other World Music genres, and has performed in the Café Klezmer Band and more recently The Kugels.
Arts laureate Ross Harris is one of New Zealand’s leading composers. He has written more than two hundred compositions including opera, symphonic music, chamber music, klezmer and electronic music. He has won the prestigious SOUNZ Contemporary Award more times than any other New Zealand composer. Harris received a QSM in 1985 for his opera Waituhi with libretto by Witi Ihimaera and the CANZ Citation for Services to New Zealand Music in 1990. His major works include five string quartets, five symphonies, a violin concerto (premiered by Anthony Marwood in 2010) and a cello concerto (premiered by Li-Wei Qin in 2012). His collaborations with poet Vincent O’Sullivan have produced two operas, a symphony, three song cycles and Requiem for the Fallen.
Currently joint HOD of Music at Mana College, and an active freelance musician on the Wellington music scene, Jacqueline Nordon was born in England, and came from a musical family of church organists and singers. From playing violin in the Kent University orchestra to leading street bands and playing a variety of instruments from trumpet, double bass and sousaphone, Jacqueline is the ideal exponent of Klezmer style bass and helps to drive the ensemble with consummate character and style.
“My involvement with klezmer music grew from my ownership of a small accordion. In 2005 I was invited to form a band with Debbie Rawson, Robin Perks and Tui Clark. I immediately found myself intrigued by the genre and set about composing pieces. To date I have written about 25 pieces, 15 of which are regularly performed by the Kugels and enjoyed by audiences. I have attempted to expand upon some of the unusual aspects of klezmer, especially the non-traditional relationship between melody and harmony.” Ross Harris
EXTERNAL LINKS: The Kugels
Klezmer is the folk idiom of the Jewish people – the music of dance halls and weddings, The Kugels bring these exciting and evocative songs to the stage, sharing their passion and skill with audiences. From heartfelt laments to wild dances traditional music is woven together with compositions by NZ Arts Laureate Ross Harris.
A selection of works, the exact details subject to change:
Ross Harris | Ringlen / Viglid 1.
Traditional Russian | Dobriden - Ser 178 - Gas-Nign 65
Ross Harris | Batamt - Voglenish
Anon arr. R. Perks | Ghetto
Ross Harris | The Hidden One
Traditional | Zemer Atik - Liebe Dich
Traditional | Liebes Tantz
Ross Harris | Gezegenung - Faln
Traditional Serbian | Magla Padlana v Dolina
Traditional | Heisser Bulgar
A. Goldkuhle - Traditional | Yankele - Shain v d L’vone - Abi Gezint
Elstein arr D. Tarras | Der Alte Tziganer
Traditional - R.Harris | Kale Bezetsn - Narish
Traditional - D. Tarras | C Minor Doina - Rukhelleh
Ross Harris | Lozengang
Traditional | Doina - Skocne 117
Duration: 100 minutes – including interval