Based in Sydney, Chaika (“chai” as in the spicy tea, “ka” as in ‘car’) is an ensemble that performs uniquely original compositions and re-imaginings of traditional songs. Sensuous, cinematic and at times irresistibly danceable, their music is a rich tapestry of vocal harmonies that weave seamlessly into instrumental dialogues. They are influenced by a range of musical genres from contemporary jazz to the Balkans. Clarinet, violin, piano, double-bass, guitar, accordion, percussion, and four female & two male voices create soundscapes that go beyond the realm of folk and jazz, reinventing the textures and dynamic temperament of classical music. They have been described as “deeply touching and meditative” as well as “exuberant, virtuosic and uplifting.”
Formed of six musicians who have, between them, written for and performed with such artists as Monsieur Camembert, Nahko and Medicine for the People, Nicky Bomba, Riley Lee, Mara! & the Martenitsa Choir, The Song Company, The Brandenburg Orchestra, The Rhythm Hunters, Kevin James, Baby et Lulu, Great Waitress, Tángalo, Klezmer Divas, The London Bulgarian Choir and The Renaissance Players, on major national and international stages, they collectively bring an extraordinary depth of experience to their music.
Words cannot describe how great and unique they really are. Seeing this kind of music produced live was an amazing experience, which we were lucky to witness.
– The Rhythm Hut, Central Coast
To say that these guys are talented would be an understatement. Mesmerising… Extraordinary.
★ ★ ★ ★
– Michael Morton-Evans, Fine Music 102.5FM
Clarinet, accordion, violin & double bass all intertwine diversely & at times unpredictably giving Chaika a rich depth. … such a young & talented group of musicians.
– Eastside Radio, Sydney
Spine tingling a capella… sublime harmony vocals… It is easy to be enchanted by the beauty of its four-part harmony vocals. Chaika’s collective instrumental chops, not to mention its ability as arrangers and composers, are well exhibited.
– Tony Hillier, The Australian & Rhythms Magazine
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)