Avarus Ensemble is a completely new sound on the Estonian music scene. Bringing together musicians from both the classical and jazz background it organically bridges the gap of composed vs improvised and maps new territories in both sonic and conceptual sense. Avarus Ensemble has so far been performing the music of the composer and double bass player Mingo Rajandi, but some new works by others have been commissioned for 2016!

RUMBA (TMW 2016):
“The concert of Avarus Ensemble proved to be a jackpot. The band truly took off with vibraphone, guitar and string instruments blending in compositions by Mingo Rajandi, the leader and double bassist of the group. The guest soloist Liisi Koikson leaned towards both the world of minimalism and also the visual expressivity in “The Tiger” (based on the poem by William Blake). “The Tiger” got wild as the group fused into a free improvised frenzy and the sound exploded as everybody joined in a rhythmic playfulness. In the end the abstract form was in a fine way and with disregard to all genre limitations rebuilt to match the visuality of the text.”

Read the full text here (in Finnish).

In any case vocalist Kadri Voorand also features in Avarus Ensemble and this turns out to be a TMW highlight. With material mostly written and arranged by double bassist Mingo Rajandi the nonet draws equally on jazz and classical vocabularies yet defies any kind of chamber-jazz expectations with pieces that are rigorously scored yet frequently open out into more freewheeling forms.”

Read the full text here

Avarus Ensemble is:

Mari-Liis Vihermäe – flutes
Meelis Vind – clarinettes
Kadri Voorand – vocals, effects, various small instruments
Virgo Sillamaa – electric guitar
Kirke Karja – piano and keyboards
Karl-Johan Kullerkupp – marimba, vibraphone and other percussion
Egert Leinsaar – violin
Villu Vihermäe – cello
Mingo Rajandi – double bass
Haar Tammik – sound engineering