Performances since 2012 include:
Music From The Wetlands, Alphington Sunday 19 November 2023
Fawkner Festa CB Smith Reserve, City of Merri-bek with Alana Hunt, violin, Sofia Chapman on accordion and Frances Evans on double bass.
Czech and Slovak Film Festival of Australia 2023 Closing Night Event @ Classic Cinemas
Friday 22 September 2023, 7pm
Melbourne Recital Centre & Vardos present:
Music to Spy to
This performance in Primrose Potter Salon delves into the intriguing true story of a violinist turned spy catcher. Ion Petre Stoican was an ambitious violinist in 1970s Romania during the Ceaușescu dictatorship. Snubbed by the musical elite of Bucharest, he worked his way into the inner circle by catching a western spy. Instead of asking for a cash reward from the government, Ion requested to be allowed to record an album with the leading Bucharest musicians of the day.
Vardos presents this thrilling musical story with Alana on violin, Sofia on accordion and Maxine on double bass, exploring echoes of the Ceaușescu regime that can be felt at every turn. FB event here
Primrose Potter Salon Corner Southbank Boulevard and Sturt St, Southbank, traditional land of the Wurundjeri-willam people
Friday 8th -Sunday 10th September 2023
To the Balkans and Beyond
This exciting weekend at Queenscliff included workshops from a wonderful and talented group of people such as Phil Carroll (Arabic tunes/songs), Matt Stonehouse (Percussion) Linsey Pollak (Macedonian tunes) Jasna Dolic (Sevdah singing) Sofia & Alana from Vardos (Romanian/Hungarian music) and Briohny May (Belly dancing). jamming, a community dance led by Terry Cole and the Footscray Gypsy Orchestra, an afternoon show and the opportunity to connect with other music enthusiasts.
Dandenong Market EuroFEAST 13 August 2023
Fonó Hungarian Dance Group - Táncház / Dance House at Hungarian Community Centre, with visiting teacher Bianka Balatoni, 5 August
Vardos Trio at Open Studio, 21 July 2023
Montsalvat WinterFest 2023 on lands of the Wurundjeri-willam people
CERES WINTER SOLSTICE FESTIVAL, Ceres Environment Park 2023
Sat 10 June 2023 Vardos at Local Lunch Club Kathleen Syme Library
Sat 27 May 2023: the final Vardos Trio at Korona Csárda
13 May 2023 The Hungarian Dance House Revival. Celebrating 50 years of the Táncház (Dance House) movement in Hungary, with Hungarian dancers Hien Albert and Károly Albert and multi-instrumentalist Maxine Sutcliffe. Primrose Potter Salon Melbourne Recital Centre
Friday 31 March VARDOS - LIVE AT OPEN STUDIO
Yackandandah Folk Festival 2023, photo by Dan
WOMADelaide 2023 with Taraf de Caliu (Romania)
Photo Philip Griffin
Opening of ADELAIDE FRINGE 2023: Sounds of Romania & Hungary - Vardos (Vic)
HAT's Courthouse Cultural Centre, 4 St Vincent St, Auburn 5451, Ngadjuri Country. Established 13yrs ago Hats (Heritage Arts and Traditions) presents multiple events annually at the beautiful heritage listed Courthouse offering a variety of styles and unique events for South Australian's to enjoy.
Vardos Year of the Rabbit tribute- celebrating Lunar New Year 31 Jan 2023. The Drunken Poet
Portarlington Mussel Festival 2023, Wathaurung country with Maxine Sutcliffe on double bass
Many evenings at Korona Csárda Hungarian Restaurant: click here to watch video snippets.
Polyfonix Intercultural Music Festival at The Estonian House, 43 Melville Road, Brunswick West, VIC, Australia. Presented by On The Road Again, 3ZZZ & The Boite. Featuring Alex & Tash Vargas, Sounds of Greece with Con Kalamaras, Senes Flamenco, Vardos, Zourouna and Zulya and The Children of the Underground. Click here for video footage!
Vali Myers: Her Life and Work State Library of Victoria, Conversation Quarter, a screening of a documentary about beloved Melbourne artist, dancer and free spirit Vali Myers, followed by a discussion with guests film director Ruth Cullen and art historian Tracy Spinks, as well as live folk and Romany music performed by Vardos with Frances Evans on double bass.
4 Nov 2022 at Primrose Potter Salon, Melbourne Recital Centre: Birds and Beasts of the East: In Eastern European culture, anthropomorphism has long been used as a symbolic way of telling stories and dictating the rules of society. Listen to the music of this Vardos concert and decide for yourself if the bird will be free or the goat’s milk will curdle.
October fest with Vardos at Korona Csárda Hungarian Restaurant
Spring Sculpture Prize Opening Party Lot 19 Dja Dja Wurrung Country, Castlemaine
Closing night of the 2022 Czech and Slovak Film Festival
Vardos duo (accordion and violin) at Philippe restaurant Melbourne for Bastille Day and NYE 2022.
Firelight Festival, Docklands, Melbourne’s epic winter festival, July 2022
Montsalvat WinterFest Eltham, Melbourne, June 2022
Our Wyreena Music Cafe debut! 27 May 2022 at Wyreena Community Arts Centre, Croydon. Alana Hunt - violin, Sofia Chapman - accordion, viola, hurdy gurdy, vocals ; Maxine Sutcliffe - double bass.
ANTFARM - an Anthropomorphosis returned to Fawkner Food Bowls! 29 April-1 May 2022, 2 Creedon St Fawkner 3060. ANTFARM—an Anthropomorphosis is a large walkthrough installation, a bizarre ant world of art, shadow puppets and optical illusions with theatre performances and music; peep into small and large lit tunnels, you might see a tiny ant thought projected there. An interesting, fun way to find out many things about Ants. Supported by Arts Merri-bek and Coffex Coffee. On Sunday 1 May Hira Salman's art mural was also unveiled at the Food Bowls at 12pm, with music by Vardos, supported by a Merri-bek City Council Summer Community Event Grant.
North Richmond FESTIVAL OF WOMEN Dhangawagu (festival) Baggarrook (women) on Wurundjeri Country 26 March 2022
Windfire Music Festival, Geelong
Vardos celebrate female musicians: International Women's Day 2022 at The Drunken Poet
Vardos pay tribute to Eastern European accordionists, violinists, double bassists, violists and singers we have met and learnt from including Esma Redžepova-Teodosievska, Márta Sebestyén, Salamon Beáta and others who were before our time such as Romica Puceanu, Panna Cinka and Maria Tănase.
Primrose Potter Salon, Melbourne Recital Centre: A Window into every Village 18 Feb 2022: The song ‘Ablakomba besütött a holdvilág’ (moonlight shone in my window) is famous throughout Hungary and Romania and yet is played differently in every village.
Vardos January 2022 residency at Sandringham Rotunda and Sandringham Village Square
Summer Nights Drone Show: Docklands 2022
Au revoir 2021! NYE Celebration at Philippe restaurant, Melbourne. Dining under the stars in George Parade.
17 Dec 2021 The Seduceaphones w/ Vardos Trio - Bar Open, 317 Brunswick St Fitzroy
A residency at Kensington Shopping precinct, Saturdays in December 2021
Afternoons at Castlemaine Taproom
11 December 2021 La Mama War-Rak/Banksia Festival commemorates the return of her iconic Carlton home. Original music from Sofia Chapman’s darkly comic La Mama plays, performed live by Sofia, Alana Hunt and Kirri Büchler from Vardos Trio on violin, accordion and double bass, and vocalist Penny Larkins as Viscountess Narcissa. Watch snippets here and with Penny Larkins here.
Entertaining Countess Dracula online film premiere
In 17th Century Hungary, the infamous Blood Countess was convicted of gruesome crimes of torture and depravity with her young maids. Was she a bloodthirsty monster or the victim of a sinister political intrigue? As the net closes in on the Countess, her musicians come closer to the truth, only to find themselves trapped in a castle of absurd horrors. In the tradition of the silent era, directed by short film-maker Nathan Godkin, with a breathtaking musical score by Vardos, 'Entertaining Countess Dracula' tells a daringly bloody and comical tale of the woman behind the myth of the first female vampire.
With a spooky introduction by writer and performer Sofia Chapman, and violinist and actress Alana Hunt. Film is approximately 30 minutes, PG: Parental guidance recommended.
Fawkner Festa 2021, CB Smith Reserve.
ANTFARM: An Anthropomorphosis premiere: Ants are one of the species on earth that form large societies/ groups. There is much about them that is similar to the human. Ants are currently working on a large walkthrough installation artwork that will be an interesting and fun way to find out many things about Ants and show what it is like to be an ant. As in Aesop’s folktale ‘The Ant and the Grasshopper’, the grasshoppers will be there too playing their unique music while the ants toil. Ants invited the humans to walk through the Antfarm artwork 24 April 2021. Supported by Merri Health.
Vardos: Music in the Gardens 2021, Albury Botanic Gardens, Wodonga Place, Albury NSW
Wonthaggi International Film Festival 2021
Fish Creek Children’s Literature Festival
The Vardos Cookbook : Local Heroes Series, Primrose Potter Salon, Melbourne Recital Centre.
From feast to famine, the culinary identity of Eastern Europe can be traced back through song. Vardos delves into the great melting pot of music from Hungary, Romania and their neighbours, stirring up many delicious discoveries to savour. Original arrangements of rarely heard songs about cooking and food provide a glimpse into the region’s wonderful culture. Vardos’s enthusiasm for this scrumptious fare, combined with its stunning musical talents, entices you to journey further and sample every course. Alana Hunt violin, Kirri Büchler double bass, Sofia Chapman accordion/viola/hurdy gurdy.
Gulyásfesztivál! Goulash Festival. Hungarian Community Centre, 760 Boronia Rd Wantirna.
BIG STRINGS FESTIVAL- 22 Brown Alley. Alana - violin, Sofia - viola, Frances Evans- double bass.
Seasonal Gyöngyös Bokréta Táncházok 2021 (dance houses) with live music by Vardos Trio
Au revoir 2020! NYE Celebration at Philippe restaurant, Melbourne. Dining under the stars in George Parade. Sofia and Alana from Vardos -chansons françaises as well as your Eastern European favourites!
18 Dec 2020, 27 Feb and 1 May 2021; 2 April, 7 and 21 May 2022 Vardos Live @ Korona Csárda Hungarian restaurant Wantirna.
December 2020 - Vardos Trio in the City of Boroondara, first live public performances since March!
Fri 4th Beswicke Square, Hawthorn, Saturday 5th Ashburton, Sat 12th Union Rd Surrey Hills
Now available as an audioplay, supported by the City of Melbourne COVID-19 Arts Grants
In January 2020, Vardos, La Mama and the Burning Deck Theatre Company presented The Top Secret Violin Case at La Mama Courthouse 349 Drummond Street, Carlton VIC, part of Midsumma Festival. A new play by Sofia Chapman, with Vardos playing live on stage. Lighting Teri Steer. Outside eye Görkem Acaroğlu. Image by Darren Gill. Romania, 1970 something, in the grip of Ceaușescu's oppressive regime. Enter Brad (played by Sasha Čuha), hoping to escape his American closet and learn Romanian folk music, whilst dodging the secret police, until he encounters an ambitious violinist who will stop at nothing to get to the top ... 'Hilarious, weird, dark and light' Eloise Caleo We had an extremely successful and sold out season! A great review from Stage Whispers - click here.
Vardos were invited to participate in Victorian Seniors Festival reimagined. Watch the interview and listen to the online performance here! Vardos, Lemony S Theatre and Batton and Broadway, with a special introduction by talented hosts Tristan Meechan and Bec Reid.
From the World to Whittlesea online concert. June 2020. Streamed online, professional artists, musicians including Vardos, poets and storytellers perform live. Overshadowed by the impact of COVID19, the refugee experience is ageless, so while we lament the difficulties of staying home, this concert reminds us of those who have been forced to leave theirs.
Vardos PBS Sounds Like Home - Aired 28 June 2020 PBS Radio 106.7FM As music lovers, we were all ready for a return to normality and live music. In the interim, PBS brought the live vibe direct from artists' homes to yours with Sounds Like Home. Local, diverse and talented musicians from the community, with each session delivering a brand new intimate recording from an artist you love; delivered immediately from artist to listener, including an eclectic performance from local trio Vardos.
Our duo performance as part of Melbourne Recital Centre's At Home Series, 'At Home With Vardos'. Our doors may be closed, but the music plays on! Alana and Sofia from VARDOS take us into their Palazzo, where the vibrant folk and gypsy music of Eastern Europe is still being played and enjoyed during times of lockdown and isolation in Victoria. Stay tuned for the cute-critter-cameo at the end! This social media recital is supported by Melbourne Recital Centre Performer Support Fund. No matter where you are watching and listening from, we are #HearTogether.
VARDOS were featured in Beats, Ballads and Ballrooms: Darebin Live Music Venues 1955-2020: audio-tour brings listeners to key locations and revealing songs and stories behind venues, past and present! You can also read excerpts of the interviews. Sofia Chapman (Vardos Trio), Rose Turtle Ertler, Achilles Yiangoulli (The Habibis), Paige Black, Tony Lovett (Stray Blacks) Mick Thomas and others discuss the history of Rebetika and Eastern European music in Darebin as well as country, indie, punk, folk and pop venues and scenes. Beats, Ballads and Ballrooms was commissioned and funded by Darebin Arts for HYPERLOCAL and has been produced by Iain McIntyre, Kirstyn Lindsay and Teishan Ahearne. FUSE Darebin festival. Online virtual tour November 2020-2022
Thurs 12 March 2020 Vardos Live at Oussou- BAR OUSSOU 653 Sydney Rd Brunswick, part of Balkan Festival. This was a fun night and turned out to be the last live performance for a while...
8 March 2020 Port Melbourne Wine and Cheese Festival
28 February 2020 Journey to the Danube Delta, Primrose Potter Salon Melbourne Recital Centre
Vardos journey down the River Danube, winding through countries and making music along the way. Hear the wind blow on the river, generating spinning dances in Slovakian kitchens, fuelling the health spas of Serbia, growing apples and sustaining foxes in Bulgaria, Jewish dancers in Southern Ukraine and a whole region of folk music in Hungary. All presented with the captivating combination of violin, accordion, double bass, viola, hurdy gurdy, and songs in five languages.
Synthesis -Down Under 2019 Tour Nov 2019 Vardos in the all star group 'Sonic Temple' Support act for Macedonian band Thornbury Theatre
From the Caravan to the Club at Primrose Potter Salon, Melbourne Recital Centre
Vardos trace the beloved Roma musical tradition to its Eastern sources. In contemporary Romania synthesisers and electric violins have crept in, but here Vardos play traditional instruments in the classic ‘Taraf’ formation of violin, accordion and double bass, with vocal laments and ballads in Romanian and Romani (Gypsy) language. These rousing works unearth a trove of mysterious and exotic wonders.
The Final Village Festival at Edinburgh Gardens 2019
From Myth to Masterpiece at Primrose Potter Salon: May 2019. What inspired Bartók, Liszt and Chopin to add folk motifs into their works? Discover the folk traditions behind classical Eastern European masterpieces as Vardos give new life to the original sources of inspiration. Enjoy the classics that reflect ancient beginnings performed on early instruments such as the three-string viola and hurdy gurdy.
2019 Melbourne Taranta Festival with Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino (Italia)
Lost Trades Fair 2019 - Kyneton Victoria
25th Rosebery Festival, Tasmania 2019
MONA Museum of Old and New Art, 655 Main Rd Berriedale, Tasmania
Goulash Festival, Hungarian Community Centre, Wantirna, Melbourne
St Kilda Festival 10 February 2019
Euraw Stories at Loop Performance Space and Bar, 23 Meyers Place Melbourne
Hungarian Fête, Bocskai Hungarian Centre, 121-123 St Georges Rd Nth Fitzroy
THE MAKERS FESTIVAL Kingston City Hall
Polish Festival at Federation Square 2017-2018
Thursday 15 November 2018 - Big bread, big boots - Music of the Hungarian plains, kitchens, and village dance halls. Melbourne Recital Centre, Primrose Potter Salon:
2 metre high loaves of bread and laments of boots without boot stiffener, sorrow over homelands and missing lovers, the Hungarians use music to express all the highs and lows of life. Haunting laments, pentatonic peasant songs and virtuosic and crazily fast dance pieces capture the essence of Hungary.
Vardos residency at Claypots Barbarossa Salon 79 Hardware Lane, Melbourne
Vardos at 'Spiegel et Luna': The Famous Spiegeltent at iconic Luna Park, St Kilda
Festival of Cultures, Louise Multicultural Community Centre
2018 St Ives Medieval Faire, NSW
Vardos 25th Anniversary Show - Django @ Camelot. 103 Railway Pde Marrickville, Sydney NSW
Biennale of Australian Art Opening Night, Ballarat Mining Exchange
Czech and Slovak Film Festival of Australia at ACMI, 2018
Memo Music Hall St Kilda with belly dancer extraordinaire Rachel Brice (USA) 2018
Wangaratta Hall presented by Melbourne Recital Centre
Boite World Music Cafe Eltham 2018 25 year anniversary
Docklands Firelight Festival 2017-18
From the Hungarian plains to the Transylvanian alps, Melbourne Recital Centre Salon June 2018
Inhospitable mountains and wide rivers isolated certain Eastern European communities preserving their unique culture and music. Quirky instruments and wild and wacky chordal and rhythmic combinations have evolved. Along with their usual line-up, in this concert Vardos bring you the distinct tones of the rustic hurdy gurdy, and the portable Jaws harp, the milk jug, spoons and vocal percussion used by Romany people when other instruments weren't available, the flat bridge viola and 2 string double bass of Palatka where only major chords are played and the open tuned guitar, drum and fiddle combination from Maramures on the Ukrainian border.
Dandenong World Fare 2018, Croydon Multicultural Festival 2018, Midsumma Festival Park Lounge 2018
Benalla Festival 2017, Bonegilla 70th year celebrations
Vardos Album Launch at The Spotted Mallard, Brunswick, Melbourne Australia
Beltane Festival 2017, Wolfgang's Palace, 155 Nalangil Rd, Nalangil Victoria
Boroondara Seniors Festival variety concert 2017, Hawthorn Arts Centre
Sunday 24 September 2017 8.30pm Vardos cameo appearance on The Doctor Blake Mysteries, Series 5 Episode 2, 'Sorrow Songs' ABC TV
Sept 2017 Smiths Alternative , 76 Alinga street, Canberra. Canberra Launch of our 5th CD, Palazzo Party, with special guest Tim Meyen on hammered dulcimer
Aug 2017 Vardos Brisbane CD Launch at BEMAC, with MZAZA. Queensland Multicultural Centre
14 July 2017 Melbourne Recital Centre Salon, 'Romania- celebrations, rituals and magic'- Vardos with Tim Meyen
'City Sounds' Queen Street Mall Stage, Brisbane, QLD 2017
Hungarofeszt Hungarian festival and Goulash Festival, Hungarian Community Centre, Wantirna
Queen Victoria Night Market
Vampire Ball 2017
Bastille Day 2016 and the first New Year's Eve party at Philippe Restaurant
Coburg Night Market, Bridges Reserve, Coburg
10 year celebrations of Open Studio Bar and Crêperie featuring Lolo Lovina (Sydney)
Speakeasy, Flinders St accompanied by world renowned Serpent Dancer, Ronicka (photo Brig Bee)
Eat Pierogi Make Love with Vardos and VULGARGRAD at Gasometer Hotel, Collingwood
Falls Festival Byron Bay, Dec 2015- Jan 2016
HATS Auburn Courthouse Adelaide Fringe 2016, Mesopotamia Festival 2016
Szent Iván Folk Fest, Sopron and Pajta Galéria, Salföld, Hungary 2015
L'Équitable Café Marseille, Guinguette Le Tournebelle Narbonne and Sainte-Valière residency France 2015
Russian Resurrection Film Festival ACMI, Federation Square
Mullum Music Festival Mullumbimby NSW Australia
Bohemian Cabaret, State Library
DARK MOFO Winter Feast 2014, Hobart, Tasmania: a three-night Bacchanalian banquet.
The Gypsy Crystal Ball at the Spotted Mallard, with Mzaza and Kavisha Mazzella
Falls Festival Marion Bay, Tasmania
The Courtyard Salamanca, Tasmania
The Homestead, Tasmania
Globe to Globe World Music Festival Melbourne
Sydney Road Street Party Brunswick
Caravan Music Club.
Folkworld Fairbridge Festival Western Australia 2013
Peace Concert, Kibble Park, Gosford, NSW
Castlemaine State Festival 2013
Camelot Lounge, Sydney
THISTLE HALL Wellington, New Zealand
KARAVAN! International Gypsy Music Festival
CARNIVALE Wodonga Harmony
The Famous Spiegeltent, Melbourne
Snowy Mountains of Music Festival, NSW
Hamer Hall Arts Centre, Melbourne, Opening concerts
Courthouse Carnival, South Australia