Mara!

Acclaimed worldwide for her distinctive voice, Mara Kiek is an authority on Bulgarian vocal technique, song, and folk music.

Her 35-year career has included performances and recordings in styles ranging from folk to early music, and rock to improvised music. Mara was female artist of the year in the Australian World Music Awards in 2000, and has been the recipient of two ARIA’s (Australian Recording Industry Awards).

In 1988, with the assistance of the Australia Council’s Performing Arts Board, Mara travelled from her native Australia to Bulgaria for six months of study in folk music, choral music, and conducting.

Upon her return to Sydney, she recruited around 40 singers and formed the Martinetsa Choir, modeling the ensemble after the magnificent Bulgarian state choirs. Martenitsa has since become one of the most highly regarded and innovative choirs in Australia.

Further reading

Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan at WOMAD 1985: Were you there?

Nusrat's concert at the festival in 1985 was the first in front of a primarily non-Asian audience

Alan James Creative Bursaries 2019

The English Folk Dance and Song Society have awarded four new bursaries.

Riding a wave of emotion: Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan at WOMAD 1985

David Hutcheon explores the significance of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan's iconic show at WOMAD in 1985.

7 East African artists performing at this year’s Ongala Music Festival

Named after the late Remmy Ongala, the event showcases exciting new East African talent.