TIMNA and Elias
photo: Courtesy of Chaverim Chaverim
This could be the recipe according to which Timna Brauer & Elias Meiri Ensemble cook up their music.
Born in Austria to a Yemeni mother and an Austrian father in 1961, the vocalist Timna Brauer formed the ensemble in 1985 with the Israel pianist Elias Meiri, who later became her husband. Since then, the ensemble has toured the world, issuing eight CDs.
"Our aim is to present Jewish music in all its richness and variety of styles, for Jews have been dispersed throughout the world for many centuries and in their music one finds Arabic, Balkan, Spanish and Indian influences," says Brauer, who grew up with three different languages, moving between her family home in Austria, her grandparent's home in Israel, and her studies in France.
The couple, who performed at the Bratislava Jazz Days a couple of years ago, have returned to Bratislava. Accompanied by English/Austrian/Ukrainian guitarist Martin Kelner and Trinidad & Tobago drummer and steel drum player Courtney Jones, they will present their Music for Peace programme on March 21.
"Music for Peace is dedicated to my grandfathers - Simon Brauer, who was from Lithuania, and Hechiel Dhabani, who emigrated on foot from Yemen to Palestine during the last century. He served as a coachman for Theodor Herzl, the founder of Zionism," says Brauer.
"Both were excellent musicians, and their songs - European and Oriental - have inspired me as well as contributed to my musical background."
While the programme is largely based on traditional Jewish songs from eastern Europe, Spain and Yemen, Brauer and Meiri are also open to Christian and Muslim influences. Their arrangements of traditional styles fused with other music genres result in a unique, eclectic performance.
"This crossing-over of religions and cultures invites us to free the old works from their sometimes stiff and museum-like character and to revive them with a contemporary musical approach without loosing their original essence," says the couple.
"Their music is spiritual, meditative but at the same time very modern and creative," says Peter Bartoš, one of the concert's organisers.
Slovak Jewish folk group Pressburger Klezmer Band will open the quartet's concert at 19:00, March 21, at Dom Kultúry (Culture House) Zrkadlový Háj, Rovniankova 3, in the Bratislava suburb of Petržalka.
Tickets: Sk100-140. Tel: 02/6383-6776. For more information on the ensemble go to www.brauer-meiri.com.