With a vibrant, contemporary edge, triple ARIA Award winning group Monsieur Camembert has been described as eclectic, virtuosic, theatrical and irreverent. Fusing the wild rhythms of Eastern Europe with tango and Latin music, swing, jazz, klezmer, tarantella and French musette, Monsieur Camembert's shows have become synonymous with an atmosphere of celebration and spontaneity. This is gutsy, emotive and irresistibly danceable music, played with originality, virtuosity, sensuality and flair.
The most successful world music band in Australian music history, the core group has been performing for more than nine years and has gained a wide audience at a range of events, including national and international music festivals, concert halls, various performing arts and jazz venues - including the Sydney Opera House, The Basement, the Vanguard - and celebrity weddings. In 2000, they were a featured act at the Paralympic Games Opening Ceremony and were broadcast on ABC Radio National's live concert series: “Live On Stage” three times.
Performances over the past few years have included the prestigious Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland, three sell-out concerts in Paris, WOMADelaide in South Australia and Woodford in Queensland, Port Fairy Festival, Brunswick Music Festival, Ohel Leah's Centenary celebrations in Hong Kong, St Kilda Festival in Melbourne, Bellingen Global Carnival, Bangkok International Festival of Music and Dance. The group has also devised a full-length show Just a Gigolo based on the life and music of Louis Prima, which played to sell-out audiences in Sydney and the Gold Coast. More recently, Monsieur Camembert’s Leonard Cohen tribute show ‘Famous Blue Cheese’ was recorded live to full houses at the Vanguard over three nights and has become their latest album of the same name. In 2003, they released their third CD, ‘Absynthe’, which was on the Australian Jazz Charts for a record-breaking 105 Weeks, after more than 6 months at the No.1 position. ‘Famous Blue Cheese’ was nominated for an ARIA in 2007 in the Original Cast Recording category and the album ‘Absynthe’ won an ARIA AWARD for Best World Music album. This followed on from their 2002 win in the same category for their Live on Stage CD.
Recent highlights include a third Best World Music Album ARIA for their double self-titled CD Monsieur Camembert in 2006, performances at the Bangkok Festival, the Mosaic Festival in Singapore, the Toyota Muster in Queensland, headlining the Cygnet Festival in Tasmania, and the release of ‘Famous Blue Cheese’. Plans for 2008 include a new recording of original and other new material, national and international touring, festival appearances throughout Australia and the continuation of regular Sydney performances at The Vanguard, The Brass Monkey amongst others.
Monsieur Camembert is:
" ...a brazen and intoxicating blend of jazz, gypsy swing, Latin & East European influences!" (The Age, 2005)
"If I had to summarise the immense appeal of this group, it is their subtle quirkiness and sense of surprise they engender...you could groove to them all night ... " (Diaspora Magazine)
"Gloriously melodramatic, extraordinary musical prowess [and] breathless panache .. ensemble playing at it's finest" (Drum Media Magazine)
"…a winning tongue-in-cheek insouciance that is instantly intoxicating and highly infectious" (The Adelaide Review)