Mealea ‘Miss Sarawan’ Lay’s singing career began within the walls of a Phnom Penh temple where she sought refuge after travelling from her small rice-growing village in Kampong Cham Province. The monks at Wat Sarawan encouraged the young diva with 5000 riel per song. Mealea doesn’t live in the temple anymore, but she still spends her days intoning the rich Khmer repertoire, with a voice that evokes the fragile beauty of a Houy Meas or a Ros Seryesothea. Along the way she teamed up with country bumpkin Joe Wrigley, who offers acoustic guitar backing and cowboy counterpoint to her singing.
The Miss Sarawan Quartet is completed by celebrated alto saxophonist Bunhong Cheak and ace percussionist Antti Siitonen. This unique blend of musicians will perform original renditions of Cambodian classics as well as brand new Khmer songs.
Quatuor Sarawan, with Bunhong Cheak and Antti Siitonen
Thursday 2 March at 7pm