Cabaret Festival Review: Alma Zygier Quintet

Sometimes words just get in the way; this set of songs transcends what you would expect from a jazz quintet.


Presented by Adelaide Festival Centre
Reviewed 15 June 2019

Alma Zygier walks on stage with her four musicians Brennan Hamilton-Smith on clarinet, Dan Whitton on acoustic bass, Sam O’Halloran and Lachlan Mitchell on acoustic guitars, she lifts her arms in the air to the opening chords of Stardust, played by this sublime quartet, and the world as we know it melts away. She is diminutive in a beautifully cut plain brown dress that could be silk, could be satin that is patterned in a cream leaf motif. It is as beautiful, appropriate and understated as her performance.

Sometimes words just get in the way; this set of songs transcends what you would expect from a jazz quintet. Songs you’ve heard a hundred times are like gems you are hearing for the first time. Her voice is music, it is painful, it is filled with truth, it lifts you out of your ordinary mundane life. It’s like being in the presence of an ethereal being, caught between earth and a place where everything lifts you to a heightened state of awareness, suspending you in a place where everything stands still and you can hear yourself being.

I really thought everything I had seen so far in this Cabaret Festival was a five star rating; how do you give something like this a rating when it is without a doubt the most engaging performance from an artist I have seen so far, and I have seen some exceptional talent strut its stuff in this festival. She makes the world tilt on its axis, aided and abetted by four men who are all complicit in the journey created by the incredible artist that is Alma Zygier. Am I raving? – Yes, I’m raving. If the Adelaide system works and word of mouth spreads about this one it’s another show that will sell out. Don’t miss it, please don’t miss it.

Reviewed by Adrian Barnes

Rating out of 5: 5 Sublime

Venue: Space Theatre 
Season: Sat 15th June, 3.15pm, Sun 16th June, 7;30pm
Duration: 1 hour 10 mins                                                                                        Tickets: Premium Adult $51.90 A Reserve Adult $46,90, Conc 41.90 Greenroom Members $25.00

Adelaide Cabaret Festival, Cabaret Festival, cabaret, Space Theatre, Alma Zygier, Brennan Hamilton-Smith, Dan Whitton, Sam O’Halloran, Lachlan Mitchell

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