A Band Of Brothers

Adelaide Festival

Dunstan Playhouse

4 March 2024


They may have only recorded one album, the self-titled album in 2008, but in the intervening 16 years the brothers (Leonard and Slava Grigoryan, guitars, plus Joseph and James Tawadros) have not only cemented their reputation as amongst the best that we have, but probably the world.

Although both sets of brothers are steeped in the classics of their origin, they have embraced a wider view, taking in world, jazz and even bluegrass! This open approach is what makes this project so successful.

The evening opened with the Tawadros Brothers, James stunning oud augmented by his dexterous brother James on riqq (a small tambourine) and bendir (frame drum), using only his fingers to belt out complex rhythms. From there the four played four songs from the above named album, mixed in with newer material including some inspired and simply beautiful music with “Love Token”, from the Grigoryans latest CD, with Leonard on a small 8 string guitar.

With three acoustic string instruments, some rules need to be in place. Here, Slava often supplied the bottom and in doing so proved that he would make a very fine bass player! Leonard wasn’t confined to either the six stringed classical or eight stringed small guitar, he was equally at home on the 12 string, adding extra tonal colours to the music.

The programme reached a highpoint with Joesph’s Bela Fleck inspired piece, “Bluegrass Nikriz”, fast and furious! One down side, Joseph referring to Paul McCartney’s “Blackbird” as a John Lennon song!

Aside from the amazing musicianship, this was a concert of simply beautiful, uplifting and powerful music.

Michael Prescott

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