Babaganoush have featured in festivals such as The Melbourne Festival ”Spiegeltent” 2006, National Folk Festival 2007, Maldon Folk Festival 2007, Cygnet Folk Festival 2008, Darebin Music Feast 2006-2009, Surrey Hills Music Festival 2012, Karavan Melbourne International Gypsy Festival 2011, Viva Victoria Multicultural Festival, Warburton Harmony Festival 2012, International Artist Blacksmith’s Festival 2013 & 2015, Globe to Globe Music Festival 2015, and VIVA Victoria Multicultural Festival 2015, Renaissance Festival 2015, Earthartbeat festival 2015, Murray River International Festival 2016, Oakleigh Glendi Greek Festival & Mediterranean Fiesta 2016 & 2017, Four Seasons festival-Clunes.
In 2007 the band toured Europe and took France, Switzerland, Germany, Belgium and Holland by storm. They are popular in Melbourne’s most intimate and liveliest bars and cafes. They have sold out shows at The Spotted Mallard, Open Studio, Bar Open, The Gasometer Hotel, Sooki Lounge to name a few and have performed at popular events like the Queen Victoria Night Market.
They continue to play in music festivals & give circle dance demonstrations around Australia, various concerts, bars, cafes, weddings, parties, dance collaborations, benefit concerts & private functions. essay topics
They have made several live appearances on various radio stations over the years: ABC Radio National, 3MBS,3RRR, PBS, 7THE (Ausflok Radio), FM2CBD
“Hugely talented…..leaves you hungering for more” Trad & Now 2007 (Australian folk music magazine)
“I had the pleasure of engaging Babaganoush to play at the International Blacksmiths Festival in March 2013. The band brought the crowd to their feet with its unique blend of original and traditional energetic gypsy and Balkan tunes. Babaganoush represented the highlight for the festival and I will not hesitate in seeking them out again for our next event.” (Steve Phillips, Project manager and director of the International Artist Blacksmith’s Festival 2013, 2015 & 2017)
Their influences include great Romani/Gypsy musicians such as Taraf de Haidouks, Kocani Orkestar, Esma Redzepova & Kali Jag. From the Spiegeltent to Europe’s liveliest bars, Babaganoush have ventured the world music circuit in full swing. Seamlessly they cover many traditions (Romani, Serbian, Bulgarian, Romanian, Hungarian, Greek) with their own authentic touch. Exuberant, heartfelt, the band has an organic beauty that is rare and unforgettable.
Babaganoush was founded in 2003 by Malini Chidzey, the band’s charismatic leader and virtuoso violinist. She invited singer and accordionist Mark Planigale to join the group and they began performing as a duo in early 2004.
Babaganoush’s profile has steadily grown with performances at local and national festivals as well as a European tour in 2007 that took the band to Germany, Holland, Belgium, France and Switzer land. Babaganoush has a history of interesting collaborations with other groups including involvement in the Vjerba Dance Theatre production ‘Svetlana’s Lullaby’ in 2006. They have participated in great collaborative projects such as the KARAVAN International GYPSY MUSIC FESTIVAL 2011 & BALKAN BEAT BOX at the FORUM 2009
- Jan 2004: First gig
- Nov 2004: Clarinet added to lineup
- Mar 2005: Bass added to lineup
- May 2005: First radio live-to-air performance (3MBS)
- Aug 2005: First festival performance (Darebin Music Feast)
- Dec 2005: Launch of debut CD ‘Posthumous’
- Oct 2006: First performance with dancer Sarah Turner (Spiegeltent)
- Apr 2007: First interstate performance (National Folk Festival)
- Jun 2007: First international tour (Western Europe)
- July 2008: Launch of second album “Lyubov”
- Feb 2009: Percussion and guitar added to line up
- July 2014: Bouzouki & Greek vocals added to lineup
- Nov 2017: First special guest appearance of Stefan Noceveski playing trumpet with the band.
- Jan 2018: Currently line up includes: Malini Chidzey-violin & vocals, Andre Vikas- Clarinet, Stephen Stanisic- Piano accordion/guitar, Tom Lee- Double Bass, Byron Triandafyllidis – Percussion (darbuka) & Bouzouki