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Sun, 29 Oct


Good Shepherd Chapel

The Boîte presents East of West & SARAY Iluminado Femme

A wonderful Sunday afternoon of Balkan, Mediterranean and Sephardic Jewish music as Queensland trio East of West and Melbourne’s Saray Iluminado Femme join in a double bill of contemporary music informed by deep traditions.

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The Boîte presents East of West & SARAY Iluminado Femme
The Boîte presents East of West & SARAY Iluminado Femme

Time & Location

29 Oct 2023, 3:30 pm – 5:30 pm

Good Shepherd Chapel, 1 St Heliers St, Abbotsford VIC 3067, Australia

About the Event

The Boîte presents East of West & SARAY Iluminado Femme Trio live at Good Shepherd Chapel, Abbotsford Convent.

East of West is a world/jazz trio led by Bosnian-born composer Goran Gajić (double bass), with Philip Griffin (oud, laouto) and Malindi Morris on (percussion). East of West’s second album 'Moving Home', released in June 2023, offers a fresh set of original compositions by Bosnian-born double bass player Goran Gajić. Over the four years of their collaboration, the trio’s musicians have developed an intuitive musical relationship which emerges through their exciting dynamic interplays and expressive soloing, interspersed with moments of mesmerising musical sparseness.

East of West’s compositions and improvisations primarily draw from the rich musical influences of the Balkans and Mediterranean, creating beautiful story-telling melodies spun over traditional rhythms, open solos and improvisation. The trio’s musical dialogue creates a unique atmosphere, blending to create a sound that will awaken in the listener a sense of mystery and possibility…

Goran Gajić is a Bosnian-born double bass player and composer. Brisbane based, he plays with jazz and world music acts and leads the project ‘East of West’. Goran has performed nationally and internationally, some highlights of which include two European tours, the Woodford Folk Festival, Mona Foma and the Blue Mountains Music Festival.

Malindi Morris is a percussionist and composer with influences from the Mediterranean, Balkans, Turkey and Iran. She specialises in frame drums and hand percussion, and has studied and performed in Australia and Europe.

Philip Griffin is a musician, arranger and composer working across a wide range of styles.  He has, among a myriad other things, written music for the Royal Shakespeare Company; directed the Fire Event Choir at Woodford Festival; played with Balkan bands including Makedonski Bop, Ssassa, Xenos and The Balkanics; toured and recorded with Ross Daly, Linsey Pollak, Frankie Armstrong and many others; and played plucked strings with period instrument groups in New Zealand and Australia.


SARAY Iluminado Femme is a trio derivative of the ensemble SARAY Iluminado, a Melbourne based group that specialises Sephardic Jewish and Sevdah, the traditional music of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The trio started by making an appearance at a women's iftar gathering in 2017 and has operated ever since featuring predominantly, but not exclusively, at women's events.

The group explores contemporary, diasporic reimagining of Sephardic Jewish Romances and Sevdalinka songs. Similarly to the five-piece version of SARAY Iluminado, the Femme Trio creates a playful sound-field for the musical musings of its members, welcoming musicians who come together in love and respect of each other’s musical and cultural traditions. The Femme Trio made their European debut at the Sicilian traditional music circuit in August 2019. 

Saray Iluminado Femme Trio is: Nela Trifkovic, Irine Vela and Kelly Dowall. 

Nela Trifkovic | vocalist, frame drum

In the realm of folk music, Bosnian Sevdah and Sephardic Jewish songs are Nela's greatest passion. They have been an integral part of her life and upbringing. These musical genres have inspired the formation of the ensemble Saray Iluminado, allowing Nela to gather a curious bunch of like-minded musical travellers and pursue life away from home by finding a home in song. 

Irine Vela | laouto

Irine Vela is a composer, creative producer, musician and the Artistic Director of Outer Urban Projects. Irine’s work emphasises the validity, necessity and excitement that diverse voices and forms bring to the Australian arts.  She has collaborated with many of Australia’s finest performers, writers, directors and theatre companies. Her work has conceptualised and enabled many fertile collaborations.

Kelly Dowall | ney, clarinet, dayereh

Kelly was studying clarinet at the University of Queensland School of Music when she fell in deep with a community of world musicians and has never looked back.  Her love of Balkan, Mediterranean and Middle Eastern musical traditions has taken her to Greece and Turkey for further study of ney and clarinet. Kelly has performed with traditional and contemporary music groups including Gelareh Pour's Garden, The haBiBis, Muziz and Kashkul Ensemble. 


Supported by MAV.

This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through Creative Australia, its principal arts investment and advisory body.

The Boîte presents East of West & SARAY Iluminado Femme

Sunday 29 October 2023 3:30 PM 

Good Shepherd Chapel, Abbotsford Convent, 1 St Heliers St, Abbotsford VIC 3067


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