Carolina Moon

Carolina Moon

 Auckland, Auckland, NZL

“Powerfully expressive” – John Clare, Sydney Morning Herald

A captivating canvas of world music with ancient and modern roots, deep song, wild groove and world-class improvisations. Performed in ancient tongue and modern language.

“utterly beguiling …. her voice was vibrant and beautiful...”
John Shand, Sydney Morning Herald

“ The emotion was so visceral it sent a shiver down the spine” John Fenton – Jazz Local 32 (JJA


"a universe of cultural richness as deep as the time that it engendered" Les Nouvelles Caledoniennes

" un univers d’une richesse culturelle aussi profonde que l’époque qui l’a engendrée"

“utterly beguiling ” John Shand, Sydney Morning Herald

Ms Moon heads this innovative ensemble which assembles the cream of boundary stretching NZ improvising artists. They perform a captivating canvas of world music with ancient and modern roots, deep song, wild exotic groove and world-class jazz infused improvisations.

The stunning melodies of Sepharad or Sephardic Spain lie at the heart of the group's repertoire. Borne by mothers, lovers, sisters and daughters of the Diaspora for almost 1000 years, these songs of life, love, loss and joy still resonate with a vibrant spirit of tradition and community.

The sybilline Ms Moon unfolds ancient scripts and original songs amid creative soundscapes ~ gutteral wisps of electric oud, guitar loops, crazy rhythms, ecstatic violin, and pure wildness within a matrix of contemporary harmony.

Carolina Moon's ensemble combines the extreme talents of these NZ artists - all international jazz-and-beyond performers in their own right. The NZ ensemble was formed in 2008 to explore medieval and original world music within the context of a modern improvising group, with representatives from Sephardi, European, Canadian and New Zealand cultures. Their interpretations are coloured by the sounds and textures of their personal journeys and remain true to the spirit of this beautiful music whilst bringing it into the present day. Their extensive performance experience collectively spans NZ, Australia and the Pacific, the UK, India, China, USA, New York, Canada.

N.B. Performances can be accented towards a 'world music' or a 'jazz audience'.

Appearances include: The Cultural Centre - New Caledonia, WOMAD, Nelson Winter Festival, Creative Jazz Club - Auckland, Auckland Domain, LATE @ The Museum, Melbourne Womens IJF, SIMA, Samoa IJF, Tauranga / Titirangi Festivals, Auckland University Monday Jazz Series, Auckland Art Gallery, The Great Synagogue - Sydney, Carnivale Multicultural Arts Fest - Sydney

“ Ode raises the bar spectacularly with Mother Tongue, on which Moon breathes new life into these lovely Sephardic ruminations.” Gary Steele – METRO Magazine

“ Carolina has a wonderful rich tone that coupled with her passion for the lyrics makes this a stand out piece of work. “ Mark Robinson – UK jazz radio

CAROLINA MOON - vocals, compositions, bells
Ms Moon is a multi lingual, improvising vocalist with a passion for medieval and traditional world musics. UK - born, she spent her formative years on the London jazz and world music scene, moving to Sydney in 1995. Here she performed and collaborated with many leading artists including Mark Isaacs with whom she first performed the Sephardic repertoire. In 2002, she travelled to the Jazz India Vocal Institute, Mumbai studying voice and raga. Her debut album 'The Shaman's Kiss' was nominated for a 'Bell' in the Australian Jazz Awards 2003. Now based in New Zealand, Caro completed her Masters of Music in Performance in 2009. 'Mother Tongue' was released in 2011 to critical acclaim. Her performance experience spans the UK, Australia, India, China, Aotearoa and the Pacific.

NIGEL GAVIN (US/NZ) ~ electric oud (glissantar), guitar, loops, banjo, mandolin
Nigel has contributed scene-stealing solos to an astonishing variety of musical groups and settings, bringing with him the dedication to the guitar that earned his place in Robert Fripp’s legendary League of Crafty Guitarists. He continues to work both in New Zealand, Europe, Australia and the US.

ROGER MANINS ~ saxophones, clarinets and flute
"an outstandingly gifted musician with a warmly passionate sound, remarkable instrumental ability and total musical integrity" - Mike Nock
Roger Manins, recently awarded a 'Jazz Hero' Award by the US Jazz Journalists Assoc., is a force in Australasian jazz. Based in Sydney for 10yrs, New York for 2, he now lives in Auckland, NZ recording and performing internationally.

"Manins et al. aren't merely recreating--they're creating new music by taking Hard Bop elements to new places" Slim Spins, Cadence Magazine


Mother Tongue 2011
East of the Sun (2007)
The Shaman’s Kiss (2002)
That Old Feeling (2002)


Jonathan Besser - Campasari (2011)
3 Sides of the Same Coin ~ Andrew Atwill (2010)
Jazz Cinema (2010)
Parfums de Paris (2009)
Jazz for a Rainy Day (2009)
Double T ~ Ad Infinitum (2003)
Caroline Lynn / Mark Isaacs ~ Songs of the Spanish/Sephardic Tradition (2002)
Jazzgroove Compilation (2001)

Set List


Yo Hanino, Tu Hanino (trad Sephardic)
Cuando el Rey Nimrod (trad Sephardic)
Yad Anuga (Hebrew)
Tres Hermancias (trad Sephardic)
Dance of the Silverfish (Moon)
Black is the Colour of My True Loves Hair (trad Irish)
Gula Gula (trad Norwegian / lyrics Gaelic)
Nana (trad Spanish)
Home by Barna (trad Irish)
Ondas (13th century Spanish)
Lama Bada (trad muwashshah)
La Sirena (trad Sephardic)

Beneath an Evening Sky (Towner)
He Waits He Knows (Moon/Harris)
Red Cold Earth (Moon)
Walk Soft (Moon)
Looking On - (Kenny Wheeler)
Puncha Puncha (trad Sephardic arr. Avishai Cohen)
Mantra (P. Schaeffer)