Exploring culture and tradition: Melbourne Recital Centre’s November program promises to take you somewhere new

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Exploring culture and tradition: Melbourne Recital Centre’s November program promises to take you somewhere new

live music November
Words by Luke Carlino

Scratch your experimental music itch this November with fresh takes on jazz, Mariachi, First Nation’s storytelling, Irish tales and more in Primrose Potter Salon.

Every month, Melbourne Recital Centre releases a program that gives you a unique opportunity to discover new sounds. The November program is no exception, with a range of diverse performances that bring together artists of different persuasions to explore various musical cultures.

It is important to note that most of these performances are either one-offs or the last of a tour run, meaning this is it. See them now, or forever wonder what could have been.

Keep up with the latest music news, features, festivals, interviews and reviews here.

Perolas Quartet

  • When: November 3
  • Where: Primrose Potter Salon
  • Tickets here

An innovative fusion of experimental jazz, soul-stirring lyrics, and unconventional rhythms is what you’ll get with Perolas Quartet. Grounded in the rich tones of the harp, the group meld futuristic electronica with classical instruments to create a truly unique sound.

Featuring an electroacoustic harp, vocals, trumpet, electric guitar, synthesiser, live drums, and double bass, the eclectic ensemble explores a sonic landscape of never-before-heard compositions in Primrose Potter Salon to push the boundaries of musical exploration.

Sionnach Rua’s Great Irish Song Book

  • When: November 4
  • Where: Primrose Potter Salon
  • Tickets here

Grab all of your green clothing for a night of Irish music and storytelling with Sionnach Rua’s Great Irish Songbook. Ireland’s rich heritage is told through frontman Gallie’s lived experiences, cleverly mixed with tales from Irish folklore.

The hits of Celtic music are also included, with versions of Van Morrison, The Dubliners, Planxty, and The Pogues delivered as if Primrose Potter Salon has become an Irish bar. No need to wait for St. Patrick’s Day next March; you can have an authentic Irish experience in November.

The Boite – Queen of Hearts

  • When: November 10
  • Where: Primrose Potter Salon
  • Tickets here

Enjoy a night of vibrant Mariachi with the local, all-female band, Queen of Hearts. Their vocal performances will simply blow your mind as they frame traditional Mariachi music through their original lens. Queen of Hearts’ diverse line-up combines musicians from a range of cultures, all of whom draw inspiration from Andean, folkloric and cumbia music.

With strong vocals backed by violins, big bass, trumpets, and more, this will be a celebration of tradition with songs that will have you grooving in (or out of) your seat.

Coco’s Lunch & The Sai Brothers – Raising Rhythms

  • When: November 14
  • Where: Primrose Potter Salon
  • Tickets here

The Sai Brothers and Coco’s Lunch have combined for a new collaboration called Raising Rhythms, which mixes South Indian vocal percussion, the mridangam and kanjira, and some stunning harmonies. This reimagining of the Misra Chappu album blends Eastern and Western traditions to form a distinct language and style.

The performance also features Lisa Young’s award-winning composition, Other Plans, reimagined to suit the rhythmic onslaught the Sai Brothers are well-known for. 


  • When: November 15
  • Where: Primrose Potter Salon
  • Tickets here

If experimental neo-classical Persian music is your jam, musical duo ZÖJ launch their debut album FIL O FENJOON in the Salon this November. If you’ve never heard of this style, just know that Nick Cave has referred to the group as “consistently exquisite genius.”

The Persian kamancheh is the driver of interpretations of Persian poetry sung in Farsi, combined with hypnotic drumming. While the album will be on display, the improvisational nature of these performances ensures that this experience will never be heard again.

Tamara Kuldin & Matt Boden with Callisto Strings – Heart Strings

  • When: November 22
  • Where: Primrose Potter Salon
  • Tickets here

We love it when skilled artists get together for something new, and Tamara Kuldin, Matt Boden and Callisto Strings are doing precisely that to dive into the Great American Songbook.

This will be a fresh take, as Callisto Strings are well-known as experts in chamber music. So, mixing them with Matt Boden’s cinematic piano compositions and Tamara Kuldin’s driving jazz vocals means you’ll hear songs you love in ways you never have before.

Rekindled Systems 

  • When: November 23
  • Where: Primrose Potter Salon
  • Tickets here

Rekindled Systems pairs Yorta Yorta artist Allara Pattison with Ukrainian-Canadian artist Olenka Toroshenko, two genocide survivors who seek to navigate the current cultural paradigm with healing ballads.

The upcoming Melbourne Recital Centre performances will be the final show in a month-long regional tour. Audiences can expect evocative storytelling through spoken-word poetry served with double bass, looped tones, and dance. These creative expressions of First Nations stories will inspire you; plus, it’s your last chance to experience it, so best not to miss out.

Tristan Lee – Between Heart & Head

  • When: November 28
  • Where: Primrose Potter Salon
  • Tickets here

November at Recital Centre closes out with acclaimed pianist Tristan Lee performing some timeless piano masterpieces. Beethoven’s late Piano Sonata Op.90 and Chopin’s fiercely ironic Scherzo No.3 Op.39, in C minor, will be included in an evening where Lee’s internationally recognised skills will be put to the test.

The theme is all about romance, so think of this as the ultimate date night, and calm yourself before the impending silly season with Tristan Lee.

Melbourne Recital Centre’s November program runs from November 3 – 28. For the full program, head here.

This article was made in partnership with Melbourne Recital Centre.