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Monsieur Camembert

...a brazen and intoxicating blend of jazz, gypsy swing, Latin & East European influences! (The Age, 2005)

If I had to summarise the immense appeal of this group, it is their subtle quirkiness and sense of surprise they could groove to them all night...

(Diaspora Magazine)

Gloriously melodramatic, extraordinary musical prowess [and] breathless panache… ensemble playing at it’s finest... (Drum Media Magazine)

…a winning tongue-in-cheek insouciance that is instantly intoxicating and highly infectious (The Adelaide Review)

With a vibrant, contemporary edge, triple ARIA Award winning group Monsieur Camembert has been described as eclectic, virtuosic, theatrical and irreverent. Fusing the wild rhythms of Eastern Europe with tango and Latin music, swing, jazz, klezmer, tarantella and French Musette, Monsieur Camembert’s shows have become synonymous with an atmosphere of celebration and spontaneity. This is gutsy, emotive and irresistibly danceable music, played with originality, virtuosity, sensuality and flair.

The most successful world music band in Australian music history, the core group has been performing for more than seven years and has gained a wide audience at a range of events, including national and international music festivals, concert halls, various performing arts and jazz venues, including the Sydney Opera House, The Basement and the Art Gallery of NSW and celebrity weddings. In 2000, they were a featured act at the Paralympic Games Opening Ceremony and were broadcast on ABC Radio National's live concert series: “Live On Stage” three times.

Performances over the past few years have included the prestigious Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland, three sell-out concerts in Paris, WOMADelaide in South Australia and Woodford in Queensland, Port Fairy Festival, Brunswick Music Festival, Ohel Leah’s Centenary celebrations in Hong Kong, St Kilda Festival in Melbourne and Bellingen Global Carnival. The group has also devised a full-length show Just a Gigolo based on the life and music of Louis Prima, which played to sell-out audiences in Sydney and the Gold Coast. In 2003, they released their third CD, Absynthe, which has now been on the Australian Jazz Charts for a record-breaking 105 Weeks, after more than 6 months at the No.1 position. Absynthe won an ARIA AWARD for Best World Music album. This followed on from their 2002 win in the same category for their Live on Stage CD.

2005 highlights have included a Best World Music Album ARIA for their new double self-titled CD Monsieur Camembert, performances at the Mosaic Festival in Singapore, the Toyota Muster in Queensland, headlining the Cygnet Festival in Tasmania, and the Sydney premiere of a Leonard Cohen tribute show. Plans for 2006 include recording, national touring, festival appearances throughout Australia, performances in New Zealand and a follow up European tour.

Monsieur Camembert is:

Yaron Hallis - Lead Vocals/Rhythm Guitar

Edouard Bronson - Saxes/Clarinet/Flute
Marcello Maio - Accordion/Piano
Santiago - Lead Guitar
Mark Harris - Double Bass
Jess Ciampa - Percussion
Guest Artists:

Anatoli Torjinski - 5 String Cello/Balalaika

Daniel Weltlinger - Violin
Julian Curwin - Lead Guitar
Shenzo Gregorio - Violin
Vladimir Khusid - Trumpet/Flugelhorn
Svetlana Bunic - Accordion

What the critics say:

"Two parts push-you-back-in-your-chair passion to one part tongue-in-cheek excitement...” (Sydney Morning Herald)

“…a gloriously good humoured & eclectic collection of genres colliding together into a surprisingly coherent whole. It’s all carnival sounds and folk parody but played with undeniable ebullient gusto and enthusiasm….[Musically] as diverse as the ethnic mix in the line-up itself, and delivered with all the virtuosity, bravado and wit you’d expect from this superbly cerebral yet viscerally driven ensemble…” (Drum Media)

"...the excellence of the musicians is never in doubt as they quote a kaleidoscope of genres not only with flair and humour, but also with telling feeling" (Diaspora Magazine)

"Rippling guitars, accordion swirls and ridiculously fast rhythms lend themselves beautifully to the gypsy-flavoured tunes…which can veer suddenly from a brisk, hot, club-style swing into a sultry tango or a strangely appropriate country and western twang …so bring your Cossack boots and prepare to dance." (The Age, 2004)

“Hot solos, blistering fretwork, extreme clarinet, accordion frenzy and vocal hi-jinks…their music is exciting and their fans excitable!" (The Weekend Australian)

“With irresistible bounce and stylistic verve, their sound is a true melting pot, transcending musical boundaries galore… and you'll find some of Sydney's most free thinking musicians in the line-up” (CitySearch)

"...frenetic energy and unstoppable groove…impossible not to dance to. It’s the irreverence with which Camembert approach their music that gives it its vibrancy and energy” (Revolver Magazine)

"Not many bands can claim to have played at the lord mayor's New Year's Eve party at the Sydney Opera House, Sydney Global Festival and at the wedding of actress Toni Collette all in the same week...rock n' roll Gypsy outfit Monsieur Camembert is one such band!" (Beat Magazine)

“These guys really know how to swing...[its] the perfect party music - there is something very irresistable and fun and sexy about it… These guys are wonderful and sorely needed in this pre-packaged age." (Basement-online)

“Riotously theatrical and kitschy arrangements make for great entertainment that is, by turns, high energy Django Reinhardt & sleazy, smoky cabaret…” (fRoots Magazine, U.K.)

“The eclectic repertoire races across styles and geographical boundaries with never a care…Like light changing on water, the band is expert at flitting between moods…[They] have that fervour for their music, and the expertise to sustain it. They pick you up and carry you on a wave of energy, excitement and poignancy that never relents…” (John Shand, Music Writer, Sydney Morning Herald)

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