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New album Sinking Cities to be released on ABC Classic May 31! 

I'm thrilled that my new album Sinking Cities, performed by The Australian Voices, Camerata - Queensland's Chamber Orchestra, and I, with lyrics by Pearly Black, will be released by ABC Classic. This project explores concepts of erasing history and sinking cities, and was inspired by the ancient city of Hasankeyf in Turkey which was flooded for a dam major project. So much love and time has gone into this project and I am so happy with the stunning performances by the ensembles and the moving text by Pearly.
It is only a digital release but I am scheming and planning on printing a very limited run of physical books showcasing the powerful text alongside words from Pearly, Brendan Joyce, the Artistic Director of Camerata, and myself.
Please click here to pre-order.
The world premiere performance of this work took place on Australian Digital Concert Hall on February 11, 2022.

Sinking Cities was made possible through the support of Arts Queensland’s First Night Showcase – Judith

Wright Arts Centre Fund, the PPCA and the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts,

its arts funding and advisory body.


New Single release 'The River Above' 

I'm very excited to announce that ABC Classic have released ‘The River Above’, a single from the upcoming album release of Sinking Cities, performed by Camerata-Queensland's Chamber Orchestra, The Australian Voices and I with lyrics by Pearly Black. Please have a listen here

This project explores concepts of erasing history and sinking cities, and was inspired by the ancient city of Hasankeyf in Turkey which was flooded for a dam major project. The full album will be released on May 31. Please click here to pre-order.

This was the biggest work that I have undertaken and has been many years in the making so I am thrilled that it is finally out!  

Forest Lines Single Launch at NIMA in Newcastle, November 14 by the Eucalyptus Treeo 

I'm looking forward to playing with these awesome musicians at NIMA in Newcastle to launch our new single Forest Lines on ABC Jazz. Hannah James, Steve Barry and I were commissioned by ABC Jazz to compose and record music inspired by our relationship with and the history of our National Parks. This is the first single from the upcoming album.

Here is a link to the gig tickets

Here is a link to the single

ABC Jazz Commission and recording with Eucalyptus Treeo 

In January pianist Steve Barry, bassist Hannah James and I went into the ABC studio in Sydney to record our commissioned works which explore the changing histories and roles of our National Parks. We have been preparing for this for a while so it was very exciting to final get to track it.

Thanks to ABC for the opportunity!


Album Review of Equally True in Jazz Journal (UK) 

I'm very happy to have received another lovely Album review, this time in the UK Jazz Journal

I particularly like the quote below. Woohoo.

'If illustration were needed of how music so often speaks more eloquently than words, it would be hard to beat Australian saxophonist and composer Rafael Karlen’s new album: the words sung by Kristin Berardi often segue into expressive vocalese that tells the listener as much if not more than the narrative.' - Nigel Jarrett

National Tour: The Rafael Karlen Quintet feat. Jo Lawry 

I'm very excited to be starting a National Tour next week with some incredible musicians to launch a new Single- Again, As Always. If you're in South East Queensland please come along to the Brisbane or Tamborine Mountain Shows.

The band features acclaimed vocalist Jo Lawry, pianist Matt McMahon, bassist Brett Hirst, and drummer James Waples. Woohoo.


Friday September 2

JMI Live in Brisbane 

10 Exhibition St, Bowen Hills 



I will also be taking a workshop open to the Public at JMI on Friday between 2-4pm. 


Saturday September 3 

The North Stores 
46 Main St, Tamborine Mountain 

7:30 PM - 9:30 PM

The Sweetness of Strings featuring Andrea Keller and The Partridge String Quartet at the MRC, August 19 

On August 19, the wonderful pianist Andrea Keller and exciting The Partridge String Quartet will play new pieces alongside my earlier works from my album The Sweetness of Things Half-Remembered at the Melbourne Recital Centre- I'm very excited! We will premiere three new pieces alongside some Chamber Jazz hits. 

To fit in character limits it's billed as The Sweetness of Strings (which is also true).

Tickets and more information can be found here.

and the Facebook Event