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Klezmer music with The Kugels - wild, spirited and haunting

19 Aug 2019 to 29 Sep 2019
29 Aug - 29 Sep 2019
Three top musicians and a celebrated composer have joined together in their love of klezmer, the feisty 19th century folk music of the Jewish people.
Event type: 


Robin Perks, Debbie  Rawson and Jacqueline Nordon, former members of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, and composer/New Zealand Arts Laureate Ross Harris were a great hit when they toured with AOTNZ in 2016.

Now they’re back again with music that makes you want to dance.

The programme features the original Klezmer compositions of accordionist/NZ Arts Laureate Ross Harris, interspersed with music from the traditional repertory – originally played at weddings and other celebrations in Eastern and Central Europe.

Featuring the highly expressive sound of violin, clarinet, accordion and bass, laced with the multi-talented reeds of Debbie Rawson on soprano sax, clarinet, bass clarinet and the Maui Xaphoon, The Kugels bring these exciting and evocative songs to the stage, together with an informative and engaging commentary.

-“This amazing ensemble gave a concert of rare quality that would grace any of the top auditoria worldwide.” – Geraldine Community Arts Council News

-“The band is tight, with Debbie Rawson and Robin Perks by turns plaintive and zesty on reeds and fiddle, while Harris’ compositional ingenuity…is staggering” – William Dart, NZ Herald


For more information, contact:

Diana Moir, AOTNZ media liaison, 021 126 573, diana@aotnz.co.nz

Steve Thomas, AOTNZ Trust, 0274 386 154 aotnz@xtra.co.nz www.aotnz.co.nz Facebook

Debbie Rawson, debbie@saxcess.com, 021 189 5995, https://the-kugels-klezmer.com/


The Musicians

Robin Perks – violin - played in various European orchestras in his 20s, and was a member of the NZ Symphony Orchestra for 37 years. He has performed klezmer for 15 years, culminating in his membership of The Kugels, which has become a perfect vehicle for his passion for the genre.

Debbie Rawson – clarinet, saxophone, xaphoon - has played in all major orchestras in New Zealand and founded the saxophone group, ‘Saxcess’. She is Head of Woodwind at the New Zealand School of Music, Wellington.

Ross Harris – accordion - a celebrated composer who has written many works including operas, symphonies, songs and chamber music, Ross took up the accordion and started writing klezmer music in his 60s.

Jacqueline Nordon – bass – has played a range of instruments and styles ranging through Irish, jazz, pop and classical. She plays in the Wellington Chamber Orchestra and teaches at Mana College, Porirua.



Thursday 29 August 7:00pm Darfield

Trinity Church Darfield

$20 Adults, $10 Students Book: Selwyn Gallery, South Terrace, Darfield


Saturday 31 August 7:30pm Geraldine

St Mary's Church, Talbot Street

$20 Book: Louk Clothing, Talbot Street, Geraldine (NO EFTPOS)


Monday 2 September 7:30pm Stewart Island

Stewart Island Community Centre

$25 Book: Door sales


Wednesday 4 September 7:00pm Roxburgh

Roxburgh Town Hall

$20 Book: I-Site and door sales


Thursday 5 September 7:30pm Alexandra

The Stadium Tavern

$25 Adults, $20 Gold Card, $10 Children Book: Alexandra i-SITE, plus cash door sales


Friday 6 September 7:30pm Cromwell

Tarras Hall

Adults $25; SuperGold $20; Student/Child $5

Book: All Central Otago iSites or www.artscentral.co.nz



Saturday 7 September 7:00pm Wanaka    

Hawea Flat Hall

$30 Adult / $20 Student Book: www.festivalofcolour.co.nz


Wednesday 11 September 8:00pm Barrytown    

Barrytown Hall    $20 Book: Door sales


Thursday 12 September 7:30pm Reefton    

Reefton Club

Adults $20, Student $10, Family $50

Book: Door Sales or Ph. (03) 7328542 or (03) 7328111


Friday 13 September 7:30pm Hokitika    

Old Lodge Theatre, 11 Revell Street

$20 Book: Hokitika's Regent Theatre


Saturday 14 September 8:00pm Balcairn

Balcairn Hall                           

Tickets $25 from Sally Macs and Mumma T Amberley;

Stan's 7 Day Pharmacy Rangiora and Sefton Garage; www.balcairnhall.com


Sunday 15 September 5:00pm Ashburton    

Ashburton Trust Event Centre - Open Hat Book: No pre booking


Monday 16 September    7:00pm     Lincoln    

The Laboratory

$20 Book: Over the bar or phone (03) 3253006


Wednesday 18 September 8:00pm Onekaka    

The Mussel Inn    

$15 Book: On the door


Thursday 19 September 7:30pm Picton    

Picton Little Theatre    

$25 Book: Take Note, Picton and Alyssums, Blenheim


Saturday 21 September 8:00pm Norsewood    

The Old Dairy Factory

$20 Book: On the door


Tuesday 24 September 7:30pm Opotiki    

Opotiki Senior Citizens Hall

$20 Book: Purchase tickets at the Library or online at www.trybooking.com


Wednesday 25 September 7:30pm Whakatane    

Ohope Chartered Club    

$20 Book: The Good Life, The Strand, Whakatane


Thursday 26 September 7:30pm Kauaeranga     

Kauaeranga Hall    

$22 Door; $20 Pre-book

Book: Txt: 021912993; Email: kauaerangahallmusic@gmail.com

Shop: Lotus Realm, 714 Pollen St, Thames


Saturday 28 September 7:30pm Putaruru    

The Plaza    

$20 Book: The Plaza; Eventfinda


Sunday 29 September 7:30pm New Plymouth    

4th Wall Theatre    

Adults $25, Seniors $20, Students $10    

Book: www.4thwalltheatre.co.nz


Arts On Tour NZ (AOTNZ) organises tours of outstanding New Zealand performers to rural and smaller centres in New Zealand. The trust receives funding from Creative New Zealand as well as support from Central Lakes Trust, Community Trust of Southland, Interislander, Otago Community Trust, Rata Foundation and the Southern Trust.  AOTNZ liaises with local arts councils, repertory theatres and community groups to bring the best of musical and theatrical talent to country districts. The AOTNZ programme is environmentally sustainable – artists travel to their audiences rather than the reverse.

Written by

Arts On Tour NZ Trust

5 Sep 2019